It is easy to change to a vegetarian diet; however, one needs to know some basic nutritional information. There are healthy vegetarian diets and unhealthy vegetarian diets. In addition to the vegetarian diet, one needs to avoid foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol; foods that are fried, over-cooked, processed, canned, high salt content, too spicy, and junk foods. One needs to have a strong proportion of a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables daily.
The key nutrients to include are vitamin B-12, vitamin D, and essential omega-3 acids. Consume ample amounts of pure water. Be physically active through daily walks, and include a balanced yoga practice of asana, pranayama, and meditation. Maintain a positive mental state for the natural healing system in the body to emerge.
Scientific research has proven that a vegetarian diet decreases the risk of such serious and wide spread health issues as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, obesity, and heart diseases. Cholesterol is found only in animal products such as meat, eggs, poultry, seafood, and dairy. The vegan diet is a plant diet; thus, cholesterol-free. Vegetarians have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels and heart disease.
While diabetes is becoming rapidly an epidemic, research has proven that the best dietary prescription of controlling diabetes 2 is a vegetarian diet and proper exercise. Required is a diet high in complex carbohydrates and fiber (which is only found in plant foods). White rice turns to sugar and is not recommended for diabetics, whereas whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruit lower blood sugar levels. This plant-based diet, along with exercise, allows for medication to be greatly reduced or eliminated. Those with diabetes will be at a higher risk for heart disease. The reduction of cholesterol and fat reduces these chances. Vegan diet is the best way to achieve this.
In various vegetarian studies it is shown that death rates from cancer are about one-half to three-quarters of those who eat a non-vegetarian diet. This occurs due to several factors. One is the less fat and higher fiber in the diet, and the increase in cancer-fighting substances found in a plant based diet called phytochemicals. The vegetarian eats more fresh vegetables and fruits that contain all the vitamins and minerals, along with antioxidants, to protect against cancer.
In addition to these serious diseases, vegetarians are less likely to suffer from kidney stones or gallstones and are at a lower risk for osteoporosis. The intake of animal products leaches calcium from the bones. Those living in countries where their diet is more plant-based have little osteoporosis.