Giving up burgers, steaks and bacon might not be something you feel you are capable of or even want to do, but there are huge health benefits if you do decide to go meat-free.
Indy100 have compiled a handy list of seven great and sometimes unexpected things, that happen to you if you go the whole hog and quit.
Reduce the risk of cancer
Processed meat such as bacon, salami and frankfurters are classed worryingly as carcinogenic – essentially poisonous – by the World Health Organisation, who places them alongside gamma radiation and cigarettes. Yum.
There are also wide-spread discussions as to whether red meat actually increases your chances of developing cancer.
Lower risk of heart disease
Going veggie means you lower your cholesterol levels and therefore lower your chances of getting heart disease. This in turn lowers your risk of heart related illnesses and ultimately, heart attacks.
Vegetarian food is also lower in the saturated fats that are found in meat – much better for keeping your ticker ticking.
Reduce the chance of getting diabetes
Bizarrely, a study has found that people who eat meat on a weekly basis are nearly a third more likely to develop diabetes than their meat-free counterparts. Those who eat processed meat regularly are nearly 40 per cent more likely to get it.
The one you’ve been waiting for… weight loss
On first switching from being a meat-eater to vegetarian, on average people lose more-or-less ten pounds. To put that in perspective, that’s nearly a stone in weight gone – just from getting rid of meat out of your diet.
This was the case made by scientists at George Washington School of Medicine in Washington anyway, after studies throughout Europe and America revealed that a vegetarian diet can aid weight loss without altering calories or exercising more.
Other studies have also shown that being vegetarian can lower your Body Mass Index (BMI).
Richard Branson revealed that after he quit his carnivorous lifestyle, he felt healthier and more active. In the case for blogger and runner, Matt Frazier – the man behind No Meat Athlete, he claimed that switching to the other side enabled him to actually run faster as well as lose weight. All good stuff.
Less pain after exercising
Weirdly, the aches in your muscles after exercising are attributed to having a heavy protein diet due to meat.
This causes a build up of waste products such as uric and lactic acid in the muscles which can be painful and take longer to recover from than your vegetarian friends.
And finally, what you all wanted to know… A healthier gut
Apparently, according to a study conducted by City University, New York, non-meat eaters have a protective species of bacteria in the gut which can have all sorts of health benefits in comparison to those who do eat meat.
All these things are quite surprising and could pave the way to a healthier, more compassionate lifestyle.