Wednesday, December 23, 2015

It’s Official – Vegetarians lead a healthier life


A Vegetarian (lovegan style) dinner
Several earlier articles in this blog have reported that it seems a vegetarian diet is a healthier one provided it is well balanced and that it leads to lower incidence of diseases with age. It was also pointed out that some of the strongest and longest lived persons on the planet are those who are vegetarians or nearly so. However this claim was based merely on anecdotal and intuitive evidence and not on a scientific study. Now a detailed scientific study backs these claims. The study was conducted by Oxford University. To quote from a report online at:



“The study, conducted by the Oxford University and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is one of the largest analysis piloted on the subject and involved two prospective studies that covered 60,310 persons living in the United Kingdom.  Findings of the study suggested significant differences in health risk, mainly related to chronic diseases, among regular meat-eaters, low-meat eaters, fish-eaters and vegetarians. For specific causes of death, compared with regular meat-eaters, low meat-eaters had around 30-45% lower mortality from pancreatic cancer, respiratory diseases, and all other causes of death. Fish-eaters had almost 20% lower mortality from malignant cancer and around 20% higher circulatory disease mortality. Vegetarians and vegans had 50% lower mortality from pancreatic cancer and cancers of the lymphatic or hematopoietic tissue.

The findings remained unchanged on further adjustment for body mass index, sex and smoking habits, the report said. The study comprised 18,431 regular meat-eaters (who ate meat five times a week on an average), 13,039 low meat-eaters, 8516 fish-eaters (who ate fish but not meat), and 20,324 vegetarians (including 2228 vegans who did not eat anything sourced from animals).”
Vegetarians, Vegans and Lovegans

For someone new to the subject there are subtle differences in the food habits of those who do not meat. Vegans avoid all animal products whereas most vegetarians consume milk and milk products. Lovegans on the other hand consume eggs too on grounds that neither eggs nor milk cause any violence in their procurement from animals especially if they are well cared for as pets in small numbers.

This author was a non-vegetarian in his younger days but with time gradually became almost completely a lovegan style vegetarian. A photo from his dinner tonight accompanies this note. It includes stir fried diced potatoes and peas, stir fried in an iron wok with cumin and other spices. (Stir frying in an iron wok imparts a dark, blackish color); an egg scrambled in clarified butter with onions and sweet green chilies; a small bowl of creamy yoghurt, grated carrots and unleavened bread. The dinner was a substantial one and this author just barely managed to go through it all and only because it was absolutely delicious, Praise the Lord. As any one may conclude the diet is rich in easy to digest health giving proteins. An iron wok has been described in an earlier note in this blog if you would care to search through.

Caution 

A word of caution is in order for anyone planning to switch to vegetarian food from the author's own experience. A sudden switch will lead to weakness because we are all prisoners of our habits. Spread the change over a few years bringing down the days you have meat in a week slowly as you figure your way around the alternatives that are best for you.

If you would like to read more about vegetarian food in this blog check out the following link:


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