Debate: Pros and cons of being a vegetarian - Pros
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Hellenic Atherosclerosis Society, Athens, Greece
Publication date: 2022-05-27
Public Health Toxicol 2022;2(Supplement Supplement 1):A64
Vegetarian diets were shown to exert several cardiometabolic benefits, mainly attributed to their high content in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and fibers, as well as to the absence of unhealthy fat consumption. In this context, these diets were reported to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, obesity, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Indeed, the implementation of a vegetarian diet can improve blood lipids, glucose, blood pressure and body weight. Vegetarianism also has a positive effect on the environment (by lowering the demand of mass-produce meats) and often represents an ethical choice against animal negative treatment and killing.
Different types of vegetarian diets include lacto-ovo-vegetarian (no meat and seafood, but include eggs, dairy and plant foods), lacto-vegetarian (no meat, seafood and eggs, but include dairy and plant foods), ovo-vegetarian (no meat, seafood and dairy foods, but include eggs and plant foods) and vegan (no animal foods, only plant foods). Therefore, there are multiple diet options for a vegetarian.
Vegetarians should also consume the appropriate number of calories and a variety of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, limit alcohol intake, avoid processed foods, unhealthful fats, added sugar and salt, exercise and avoid smoking.
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