The vegetarian diet is generally beneficial to health, provided of course to practice correctly.
By launching its call to say “no thank you to the turkey,” the former Beatles singer was not intended that this poultry. Convinced vegetarian, Paul McCartney counted encourage Americans to adopt the vegetarian diet as him. That is to say to banish from their plate red and white meats, poultry, fish, shellfish – in short, all animal flesh. Vegetarians eat plant indeed but unlike vegans, they do not exclude foods derived from animals such as milk and dairy products, eggs or honey.
Generally advocated on behalf of religious or ideological belief, vegetarian diet, properly practiced, is generally beneficial to health. “Especially in Western countries where people eat a lot of sugars, animal fats and foods whose quality is often questionable,” says Dimitrios Samaras, physician associated with the nutrition unit of the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG ). In addition, the followers of this diet are more successful at the famous consume five fruits and vegetables daily. These plants, associated with legumes and cereals complete, accurate Esther Guex, HES dietician at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV), provide “a diet rich in fiber and antioxidants” that protect our body against various diseases.
Good for the heart and arteries
Vegetarianism is so deemed to be good for the heart and arteries. Animal fats, “especially when they are fried,” said Dimitrios Samaras, indeed contain saturated fatty acids that increase the levels of “bad cholesterol“, which promotes the development of cardiovascular disease.
The vegetarian diet also decreases the risk of colorectal cancer. That makes sense, since studies have established a link between the development of these tumors and the consumption of red meat. “The mortality from this cancer is 10% higher in people who eat one serving per day, says nutritionist HUG. It is even 16% higher in those who daily consume a portion of sausage. ”
Eliminate red meat menus could also have beneficial effects on inflammation of the body that contributes to the development of diabetes, atherosclerosis and even some dementias like Alzheimer’s disease. “These inflammatory syndromes are influenced by food, resumes Dimitrios Samaras, vegetarians and seem slight advantage compared to the rest of the population.”
About the benefits of the vegetarian diet in obesity is a derivative gain, according to the nutritionist who admits he “rarely seen in obese vegetarians.” This is probably due mainly to lifestyle, for those who adopt this type of diet are generally more concerned about their diet, take great care of their bodies and doing more exercise than others.
The vegetarian diet is rather positive for health, provided, insist our two experts, “to document and learn.” Otherwise, it may have some risks. Starting with a lack of protein because “those plants are of less value than those from animals,” says Dimitrios Samaras. We must compensate by consuming eggs and dairy products. But also recommends Guex Esther, “in properly combining cereals and legumes, in order to achieve a good protein complementarity”.
One could also fear a lack of omega-3 highly in fish. But this is actually not a problem, since according to the dietitian, “as we find it in canola oil.”
We must also be careful not to suffer from deficiencies in minerals such as calcium, iron and zinc. The latter “is less well absorbed by the body due to the presence of substances (phytates) in plants,” warns nutritionist Geneva. Furthermore, vegetarians ingest little vitamin B12, “almost only present in animal products’ and vitamin D. All of which leads to Dimitrios Samaras that” you should discuss with their physician the need to take dietary supplements “.
For an adult and warned vegetarian, there is no great danger. The risk is greater, according to Esther Guex for “pregnant and lactating women, who have greater needs in proteins and minerals, as well as for children and adolescents.” For them, says the nutritionist HUG, “this kind of restrictive diet should be under medical supervision.”
Finally, “I would not put anyone vegetarianism” said Dimitrios Samaras. It is quite different, conclude our two experts, the vegetarian diet. By also removing eggs and dairy products, it can cause serious nutritional deficiencies, especially in children.