Living life without meat

Have you ever thought of living a life without meat?

We are a meat eating society with burger joints and barbecue restaurants at every turn. America is a country where large amounts of food and all-you-can-eat buffets are rooted in our “desire-to-have-more” culture.

For Brenda Garza, eating a meatless diet for more than 40 years has been the healthiest choice. Garza is a registered nurse and registered dietitian at Florida Hospital Heartland Medical Center in Sebring.

Though going vegetarian is a personal choice, for Garza it is the only true healthy choice in daily eating. “Vegetarians experience many benefits,” Garza said. “They are usually slimmer and have been proven to have longevity over meat eaters.” She also believes vegetarians have more energy, saying she hasn’t “been out of energy for 40 years.”

Many studies have found a vegetarian diet of whole grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, along with regular exercise, is associated with lower blood pressure, lower bad cholesterol, and less heart disease.

Vegetarians tend to maintain a healthier weight, which leads to less inflammation and fewer incidences of stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and dementia. The vegetarian diet also typically has increased fiber intake because vegetarians eat more fruits, vegetables and grains, which are all fiber-rich foods.

“Just not eating meat isn’t what makes being a vegetarian lifestyle healthy,” Garza said. “You can’t be a junk food vegetarian with a diet high in processed and fast foods. It is what replaces the meat in the diet that makes the vegetarian diet healthy.

“The health benefits are endless,” she said. “Many of these benefits occur due to lower consumption of cholesterol, saturated fat and animal protein.”

The benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle are not just limited to health. There may be many cost savings associated with a meatless diet. Fruits and vegetables on average are less expensive than a diet with high amounts of animal meat.

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There are many reasons why people choose to be vegetarians. Some of these reasons may be health benefits, weight loss, animal cruelty, economic reasons or preservation of the world’s resources.

via Living life without meat.

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