The food pyramid is of often always mentioned when talking about nutritional values of vegetarian foods. Herbivore diets are often associated with many health benefits; lower levels of cholesterol blood, a lower risk of heart disease, and lower risk of hypertension and diabetes type 2.
Vegetarians are criticized for not getting enough minerals and or vitamins in their diet. According to the American Dietetic Association, plant based diets are proven to be ‘healthful, nutritionally adequate and provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases’. Studies have proven that vegetarianism is beneficial for reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as artery disease, diabetes and several forms of cancer (Corliss). Obesity is many developed countries like the U.
S are turning into a national problem. Americans are known for fast food chains which are gaining popularity all around the world. The typical fast food restaurant are packed with too much fat (especially saturated fat), and cholesterol (Campbell, 2013); one of the many reasons of obesity.
High percentage of fat can cause 50% of americans omnivores to die of a heart attack to whereas for a vegetarians the risk is 15% (Vegsource). Somewhat between a health benefit and concern is the amount of protein a vegetarian is consuming. For instance, some meat-eaters say that meat is necessary for a healthy diet, and that it is only harmful when eaten in excess. The average American meat eater consumes two times the recommended amount of protein; it is almost always eaten in excess (Hurley 40).
‘Animal based proteins, of course, are much more similar to our proteins, thus are used more readily and rapidly than plant proteins… When we restore the relatively deficient amino acid in a plant protein, we get a response rate equivalent to animal proteins’ says T. Colin Campbell, a biochemist who specializes in the effect of nutrition on long term health. ‘Some studies say that when these foods are eaten in combination with the right starches… our bodies are able to use these proteins more easily than meat protein. This comes to the conclusion that the average vegetarian consumes more than enough protein to be healthy.