Plenty of Americans Б though far from a majority Б manage to live without meat in their diet. By some counts, 2 percent of Americans are vegetarian and one in four vegetarians is vegan. (Vegetarians are those who have cut meat, fish and chicken from their diets while vegans eradicate all products that come from an animal, including eggs and all dairy products. ) The Mayo Clinic seems to support these dietary choices: БA plant-based diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, legumes and nuts, is rich in fiber, vitamins and other nutrients. And people who don\’t eat meat Б vegetarians Б generally eat fewer calories and less fat, weigh less and have a lower risk of heart disease than nonvegetarians do.
Even reducing meat intake has a protective effect. Research shows that people who eat red meat are at an increased risk of death from heart disease, stroke or diabetes. Б But what about people who simply crave meat Б who like nothing more than slicing into a thick, juicy steak on a Saturday night? The Mayo Clinic advises a cautious approach, or limiting that steak to a lean, 3-ounce serving size. If the issue of incorporating meat into a diet comes down to personal choice Б as most dietary choices do Б the clinic advocates the approach of a Бflexitarian,Б or someone who eats mostly plant-based foods but sometimes indulges on meat, poultry and fish.
Balance is a choice, too.
Donвt we need to eat meat and dairy products to be healthy? No! There is no nutritional need for humans to eat any animal products; all of our dietary needs, even as infants and children, are best supplied by an animal-free diet. Cows milk is suited to the nutritional needs of calves, who, unlike human babies, will double their weight in 47 days (as opposed to 180 days for humans), grow four stomachs, and weigh 1,100-1,200 pounds within two years.
Cow s milk contains about three times as much protein as human milk and almost 50 percent more fat. The consumption of animal products has been conclusively linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and osteoporosis. Cholesterol (found only in animal products) and animal fat clog arteries, leading to heart attacks and strokes. The rate of many cancers including colon, breast, cervical, uterine, ovarian, prostate, and lung is highest in regions where meat consumption is high and lowest where meat-eating is uncommon.
A study of more than 25,000 people found that vegetarians have a much lower risk of getting diabetes than meat-eaters. A South African study found not a single case of rheumatoid arthritis in a community of 800 people who ate no meat or dairy products. There is no physical reason for humans to eat animal products. Cutting animal products from your diet is healthier for you, the animals, and the environment. Learn more about the health benefits of a plant-based diet at.