Let's examine how popular vegetarianism is now and why, and consider the medical aspects of this diet for the human body.
How healthy is vegetarianism?
Giving up animal foods are rapidly gaining popularity around the world. Vegetarianism can be good for humans and the planet but also harm the body. Here is everything you need to know about vegetarianism
Vegetarianism is not just a diet. It is a lifestyle and a vector of beliefs. Of course, most of the joys of life are available to vegetarians, like playing The Best Indian Online Jhandi Munda and watching movies at the movies. But you'll have to be more careful about which snack to choose during your leisure time.
What is vegetarianism
Vegetarianism is not just an eating regimen that benefits the body. Many people give up animal foods for political, ethical, and religious reasons.
Vegetarianism is becoming more and more popular every year. In most E.U. countries, a vegetarian diet is followed by between 5% and 10% of the population.
Why do people become vegetarian?
Here are the main motives that make people vegetarian.
- Benefits to the body. Many people think this way of life is good for the body. Sometimes this position is based on pseudoscientific information - vegetarianism will only benefit some, and some can seriously harm others. Choosing such a diet, you should consult a doctor.
- Medical conditions. Doctors sometimes prescribe patients a diet without meat. However, a completely vegetarian diet is rarely prescribed today - chicken breast or steamed fish is possible for almost everyone. The writer Franz Kafka, the most famous medical vegetarian, suffered from digestive problems.
- Religion. Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and the Christian teaching of Seventh-day Adventists consider avoiding meat a blessing. Some Christian and Jewish preachers view this diet positively. Many vegetarians and vegans are among the followers of New Age religions such as the Hare Krishnas and modern pagans.
- The ethics of the humane treatment of animals. The idea that animals do not deserve to be mistreated and die for the sake of feeding humans is increasingly spreading worldwide.
- Ecology. The meat industry is highly damaging to the environment, so mass vegetarianism is good for the planet. Livestock farming uses 80% of the earth's land but creates only 17% of all food. It takes 1,695 liters of water to produce one beef cutlet. Livestock businesses are the most significant greenhouse gas producers and pollute water bodies. The U.N. estimates that if every third beef burger an American eats were replaced by a plant-based one, it would be the equivalent of 12 million cars disappearing from the streets.
History of Vegetarianism
Contrary to popular belief, vegetarianism is not a modern phenomenon; its roots can be traced back to history.
The earliest proponents of the denial of animal food were preachers of Jainism - Indian religion, which is based on the principle of ahimsa, i.e., not causing harm to any living creature. Jainism emerged in India in the 6th century B.C., and today it is practiced by about 5 million people in that country.
The orthodox Jains cover their mouths with a cloth so as not to swallow an insect and sweep the road in front of them so as not to crush anyone.
There are also many vegetarians and vegans among the followers of Buddhism. They believe that Buddha welcomed vegetarianism and veganism but left the individual with a choice.
There is a similar attitude toward meat food in Hinduism, which also preaches the principle of ahimsa, but not in as radical a form as Jainism. According to various estimates, between 20 and 37 percent of Indians follow a vegetarian diet, the highest percentage in the world.
Ideas of giving up meat foods were popular in ancient Greece and Rome. The philosopher Pythagoras was the first and most famous vegetarian of that period, who lived around the same time as the foremost gurus of Jainism. The rejection of meat in the Pythagorean teachings is related to the belief that human souls can move into animals.
Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato also welcomed vegetarianism - they believed that fighting over pastures provoked strife and war, so it was better to use the territories for more economical and productive farming. Their considerations echo modern critiques of the meat industry by ecologists.
During the Middle Ages and Modern Age in Europe, vegetarianism was predominantly among the clergy. Christianity rejected food prohibitions and proclaimed any edible food as a gift from God. However, the Christian idea of compassion for all living things led to the renunciation of meat by ascetic monks, holy fathers, and ascetics.
What are the contraindications of vegetarianism?
Vegetarianism is contraindicated:
- Patients with type 1 diabetes;
- with impaired absorption (e.g., after a gastric or intestinal resection);
- pregnant women;
- Patients under 18 years of age;
- With severe forms of iron deficiency;
- with pernicious anemia;
- With osteopenia, osteomalacia, osteoporosis;
- with immunodeficiencies;
- Reconvalescing (recovering) after cancer.
Doctors do not recommend resorting to extremes, which include vegetarianism. If a person decides to give up meat, he should undergo a checkup:
- check 13 vitamin levels;
- get tested for 20+ minerals in the body;
- undergo a fibro gastro duodenoscopy (an extended version of a gastroscopy that includes an examination of the duodenum);
- Look at hormone levels - for women.
The studies will help to identify the presence of deficiencies in the body. Next, you need to contact an endocrinologist and a nutritionist with all the tests. Finally, a specialist should prescribe a diet and a unique selection of vitamins and nutritional supplements.
It is essential to consult the doctor in charge regularly and undergo checks every six months to adjust the diet and the intake of vitamins and supplements. The stricter the diet, the more frequent the checkup.
Disadvantages of vegetarianism
Although a plant-based diet can fully meet human needs for vitamins and micronutrients, vegetarians must monitor their diet more carefully than meat eaters. For example, many nutrients are derived from milk alone - to compensate for the rejection of several products at once. It's relatively easy today, but it takes time and energy.
A plant-based diet can vary, but many novice vegetarians may find it restrictive and monotonous. It will take time and a lot of effort to get used to such a diet and develop an interesting one.
Studies show that vegetarian diets usually contain fewer calories than omnivorous diets. It is because high-fat, high-protein meat and dairy products are digested more slowly and keep you fuller for longer.
A common mistake of beginning vegetarians is to increase the intake of sweets. The feeling of satiety from plant foods is slightly lower and not as long as from heavy meat dishes. During the first transition from a traditional diet to a vegetarian one, the body demands energy and the craving for sugar and fast carbohydrates increases.