Vegetarian Diet: A Good Practice to Lose Weight or Not? Obesity is one of the major problems of modern societies. At this present, Thai people are getting fatter. According to Kasikorn Research Centre, the researches in 2008 indicates that the number of Thai people classed as overweight is expected to increase between 10 – 12 millions, which is almost 1 in 6 people of the country. However, nowadays, people are more concerned about their health and fitness. They want to be good looking and healthy, so people are looking for ways to lose weight. One popular dietetic practice is vegetarianism.
In many areas, people are vegetarians because of inadequate income, lack of animal products, and religious belief. Vegetarian diet becomes the most popular diet practice as it has been proved to lose weight effectively. However, vegetarian diet remains a controversial issue among people. Some people claim that vegetarian diet is lack of nutrients, unhealthy and a difficult practice. However, vegetarian diet is a good practice for losing weight as it benefits weight loser in many ways. Firstly, vegetarian diet is an effective practice to lose weight.
Many studies indicate that vegetarian dieters can lose weight very fast. The easiest concept of losing weight is people have to eat fewer calories than they expend. Vegetarian diet helps people lose significant weight since vegetarian foods which include vegetables, fruits and grainsarevery low in calories. Moreover, there are other supporting factors. The fact is fruits and vegetables contain a large amount of water and fibers which enable people to feel full quickly. From the scientific study, human body can absorb vegetable nutrients better than meat.
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Besides, vegetarians can eat unlimited amount of high-fiber foods without feeling hungry. Furthermore, eating vegetables helps increase calories burnedafter meal since the nutrients from vegetables are digestedfaster than from meats. Also, the consumption of whole grains, one of the staples of vegetarian diets, is proved to be associated with a lower body mass index and waist circumference(BMI). From the researches, vegetarian dieters can achieve their weight losing as they can lose weight about a pound per week without additional exercise and calories intake limitation (physician committee for responsible medicine, 2006).
Vegetarianism is the only diets for permanent weight loss since it enables people to shed off unnecessary fats. If people decrease their animal products intakes, undoubtedly, they will lessen their fats intake which is the main reason of weight gain. Quoted in physician committee for responsible medicine, Susan E. Berkow, the author of the Nutrition Reviews, wrote in her reviews that both male and female vegetarians weight 3 to 20 percents lower than meat eaters. Therefore, vegetarian diet is proved to be an effective way to lose weight It has been claimed that being vegetarian is not a good practice because it has many side effects.
Some people argue that vegetarians are fainted easily and stressed since they have to avoid meats. In fact, vegetarian diet has fewer side effects when compared to Atkins diet and using diet pills. The first one, Atkins diet practice, gives many trans-fats which come from eating an unlimited amount of meat, dairy products. As reported in Akins Nutritional Organization article, trans-fats have no nutritional value and are the major cause of obesity and the contributor to heart disease. Additionally, meats are converted to fats and fats have been added to weight increasing.
Nutritionists have found that Atkins weight loss program increases the risk of heart disease while vegetarian diet decreases it. Moreover, according to the American Cancer Society’s studies, meat increases the risk of colon cancer. On the contrary, fruits and vegetables help lower the risk of getting cancer. The second way to lose weight compared to vegetarian diet is taking diet pills. Diet pills restrain appetite so they make people feel full so that they can lose weight very quickly; however, it causes many side effects on health. The fact is diet pills cause many ailments such as nervousness, fatigue, headaches, and diarrhea.
Moreover, diet pills overdose leads to tremors, hallucinations, heart attack and even death. Many pills contain dangerous chemical substances. For example, Phenylpropanolamine can increase heart beat rate and blood pressure. From the report published in 2004 by the New England Journal of Medicine, San Francisco researchers link diet pills to be the cause of 10 deaths and 20 heart attacks and strokes within the past two years after their drug intake. Hence, losing weight by eating plant products poses less harm than Atkins diet and taking diet pills. Also, vegetarian dietbenefits weight losers in terms of the expenses.
Some people may argue that vegetarian foods cost much money and cooking vegetarian dishes can be complicated since they have to select specialthe ingredients. In fact, vegetarian diet helps save money because vegetables and fruits, actually, cost less than meats and whole grains are less expensive than protein from meats. Moreover, since vegetarian diet has few side effects, it helps people save the money spent onmedical care and health insurance. On the other point of view, people who disagree with vegetarian diet claim that vegetarian diet is an unhealthy practice for losing weight since it lacks many nutrients.
They claim that those who practice vegetarian diet may lack of nutrients from protein, vitamins and fats. Protein for body growth generally comes from meat and dairy products and vitaminB12, for example, which used to help forming red blood cells and functioning nerve systems comes from milk. In addition, energy which is used during all stages of life comes from fats, carbohydrate, and protein. Besides, they argue that water and fibers reduce energy density and increase the volume of foods. Vegetables and fruits, naturally, contain a lot of water and fiber content, so they might low in calories and give low energy density.
Therefore strict vegetarian diet does not providepeople enough energy to use during the daily activities in life. Actually, to people who are not well informed, vegetarian diet is proven to be a good practice to lose weight. The fact is there are four main types of vegetarian diet. It is categorized by the animal meat restriction in the diet. The first type is a total vegetarian or vegan which is the group of people who eat only vegetables. People who are vegans can lose weight very fast. The second type islacto vegetarian.
This type of vegetarian allows vegetables and dairy products. Ovo-vegetarian is another type of vegetarian. They consume vegetables and eggs which give them enough protein. The last type of vegetarian is lacto-ovo vegetarian. People who practice lacto-ovo vegetarians eat all vegetables,eggs and dairy products. It is proved that adopting this diet has many health benefits, more than a meat-full diet since lacto-ovo vegetarian food provides protein, carbohydrate, fats, minerals and vitamins which are necessary to human body.
So, people in this diet type do not need to find other supplements to stay healthy. Another point is that there are other sources of nutrients from plants which function as protein in meats, vitamins and minerals such as whole grains, legumes, vegetable seeds and nuts. Moreover, lacto vegetarians and lacto-ovo vegetarians can gain vitaminB12 by eating dairy products while vegans can obtain vitaminB12 from soy milk and yeast. Besides, milk and dairy products are another source of calcium. Also, kales and green leave vegetables can give calcium which are absorbed better than that from milk.
Furthermore, vegetables contain the less amounts of saturated fats than meats, so it can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and the risk of cardiovascular disease. Additionally, vegetarian meals have essential minerals and vitamins which are good for health. Vegetables are rich in antioxidants and protective Phytonutrients which lower the risk of cancer and chronic syndrome. Besides, losing weight by vegetarian diet is not proven to cause an illness. People who consume a lot of meat have a high risk of heart-disease, cancer and bone loss.
The study of more than 500,000 middle-aged and elderly Americans found that those who consumed about four ounces of red meat a day were more than 30 percent likely to die from heart disease and cancer during ten years followed. In conclusion, there are several benefits of vegetarian diet for weight losers. Vegetarian diet is proved to be an effective way to lose weight since it has lesser negative side effects and benefits weight losers in terms of the expenses. There are four types of vegetarians included lacto vegetarians, lacto-ovo vegetarians, ovo-vegetarians and vegans which are categorized from the restriction of animal products.
Although some people argue that vegetarian diet is an unhealthy way to lose weight, many studies prove that vegetarian diet is a healthy weight loss practice. Albert Einstein once said “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution of vegetarian diet. ” Nevertheless, there are many people who starting vegetarian diet without nutritional background knowledge about balanced diet. Therefore, vegetarians should be aware of what nutrients lack in the diet and carefully select types that appropriate for each person to become a wise weight loser. ThanchanokSrisawang 520110045
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