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| benefits and problems with the vegetarianism
People become vegetarians for many reasons
(posted:10/5/05, 2:03:41 PM)
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE BENEFITS OF A VEGETARIAN DIET?
Since vegetarianism includes such a wide variety of dietary habits, it is difficult to generalize about the benefits and risks of the vegetarian diet. But here's what studies have shown about vegetarianism and health:
Vegetarians in the U.S. have a lower incidence of heart disease than the general U.S. population. This may be because most vegetarian diets are low in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. Vegetarian or nonvegetarian diets that are low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol may decrease blood cholesterol levels. (A high blood cholesterol level is a major risk factor for heart disease.) However, some lacto-ovo vegetarians eat a diet that is very high in fat and saturated fat. If these people were separated out, they might have a rate of heart disease similar to the general population.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE PROBLEMS WITH VEGETARIAN DIETS?
Protein, contrary to popular opinion is not usually a nutritional problem of vegetarians. Vegetarian diets provide less protein than nonvegetarian diets, but it's still enough. Most nonvegetarians get much more protein than is really needed. Lower protein diets might actually have some advantages. Lower protein diets are associated with a lower risk of osteoporosis. This may be because high protein intakes can increase calcium excretion. Studies from other countries show that people who eat lower protein diets do not require as much calcium as the U.S. RDA for calcium which is based on a high protein diet.
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