The Right Reasons to Become Vegetarian

The Right Reasons to Become Vegetarian

By privileging fruits and vegetables and avoiding animal products, vegetarians and vegans do well for their health but also for the environment! Here are 4 benefits of these plans.
The Right Reasons to Become Vegetarian

There are two main diets that favor a diet of vegetable origin: the vegan diet which excludes any animal product, the vegetarian diet (without meat or fish but with animal products such as cheese or eggs). The motivations for becoming a vegetarian can be many: for taste, for ethical reasons, for health reasons and perhaps even to save the planet … even though some are convinced of their choice, it would be very difficult to Long-term vegetarian diet and 8 out of 10 vegetarians would give up this diet. Here are reasons to start and persevere, even if you start with one or two days without animal products each week.

Good for the heart and against cancer

The benefits of vegetarianism have been widely studied but uncertainties remain due to either the size of the samples studied or the specificity of the populations studied. In a new study published in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, researchers analyzed 108 studies to better understand the health benefits of vegetarian and vegan diets.

Their results show that vegetarians and vegans have lower body mass index, lower total cholesterol  and LDL and also lower glycemia compared to people on an omnivore diet. These results confirm a study showing that vegetarians are less likely to have metabolic syndrome.

Specific analysis of prospective cohort studies showed that vegetarians and vegans were at a 25% lower risk of developing and / or dying from ischemic heart disease than omnivores. Ischemic heart disease is a disease caused by the narrowing of the coronary arteries. It manifests itself in particular by the angina of breast or the infarction of the myocardium.

Similarly, a vegetarian diet could reduce the risk of developing cancer by 8%; In vegans this risk would be reduced by 15%.

This study reaches “strong” conclusions because it corresponds to a complete analysis of the scientific literature devoted to vegetarian and vegan diets.

Good for the shape

Vegetarians are often thinner than omnivores, which could push people seeking to slim down to opt for this diet. According to a meta-analysis in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, becoming a vegetarian allows you to lose a few pounds.

To find out if vegetarian and vegan diets were able to lose weight and how exactly, American and Japanese researchers carried out a systematic literature review and a meta-analysis on this subject. They looked for clinical trials, with adults, that lasted at least 4 weeks, and identified 15 clinical trials including 17 intervention groups, including 4 with control.

By switching to a vegetarian (or vegan) diet, individuals lost an average of 3.4 kg. There was no significant difference in weight loss between ovo-lacto-vegetarian diets (with eggs and milk) and vegan diets.

To explain the weight loss associated with these diets, researchers talk about high fiber content, low fat content (although the fat content of diets studied varied considerably from 9% to more than 30%) and better Energetic cost.

In conclusion, becoming vegetarian or vegan can be a good choice for shape and health.

Against diabetes

By focusing on fruits and vegetables and thus restoring the acid-base balance of our body, the vegetarian diet reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. Fruits and vegetables have a basifying power that reduces Acidity of the organism.

The Western diet rich in animal products, cereals, salt, as we know it induces a net acid charge for the body. However, the body needs to maintain a certain acid-base balance to function properly. Fruits and vegetables could offset harmful acidity to the body. A diet that generates too much acidity can cause metabolic acidosis.

The acidity induced by the diet is measured by the PRAL index, which makes it possible to say whether a food will have rather an acidifying or alkalizing tendency for the organism.

66,485 women were followed for 14 years. During follow-up, there were 1372 cases of type 2 diabetes. Among those with the highest PRAL scores (in the top quarter), the risk of type 2 diabetes increased by 56% compared to one-quarter People with the lowest index.

Therefore, a diet that generates too many acids could lead to insulin resistance. Indeed, alterations in the acid-base balance were associated with a decrease in insulin secretion.

If not consume meat limits the acidity of the body, be careful not to over-consume the cereal products which are also acidifying.

Good for the environment

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that by adopting a vegetarian and even semi-vegetarian diet, greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 29% and 22% respectively.

The researchers studied the impact of three diets – vegetarian, semi-vegetarian and non-vegetarian – on greenhouse gas emissions.

The data are from the Adventist Health Study 2 and dietary intakes of 73,308 participants were assessed through questionnaires including 210 questions including fruit, vegetables, legumes, grains, meats, oils, food supplements ….

Vegetarians never or rarely consume meat (<1 time / month), semi-vegetarians consume meat more than once a month but less than once a week, and non-vegetarians consume Meat at least once a week.

The results show that switching from a non-vegetarian diet to a vegetarian diet or even a semi-vegetarian diet helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, by taking the non-vegetarian diet as a reference, the study reveals that greenhouse gas emissions decrease by 22% for a semi-vegetarian diet and 29% for a vegetarian diet.



Dinu M, Abbate R, Gensini GF, Casini A, Sofi F. Vegetarian, vegan diets and multiple health outcomes: a systematic review with meta-analysis of observational studies. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2016 Feb 6:0. [Epub ahead of print]

Barnard ND, Levin SM, Yokoyama Y. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Changes in Body Weight in Clinical Trials of Vegetarian Diets. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015 Jan 17. pii: S2212-2672(14)01763-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2014.11.016.

Fagherazzi G, Vilier A, Bonnet F, Lajous M, Balkau B, Boutron-Ruault MC, Clavel-Chapelon F. Dietary acid load and risk of type 2 diabetes: the E3N-EPIC cohort study. Diabetologia. 11 novembre 2013.

Soret S, Mejia A, Batech M, Jaceldo-Siegl K, Harwatt H, Sabaté J.Climate change mitigation and health effects of varied dietary patterns in real-life settings throughout North America. Am J Clin Nutr.2014 Jun 4;100(Supplement 1):490S-495S