7 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Stop Eating Meat
People go plant-based for lots of reasons. These include losing weight, feeling more energetic, reducing the risk of heart disease, decreasing the number of pills they take … there are dozens of great reasons! For even more inspiration, check out these other benefits you can expect when you go plant-based.
7 Health Advantages of Going Vegan
Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
Animal protein, especially red and processed meat, has been shown in study after study to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Meat is often associated with this illness because of the animal fat, animal-based iron, and nitrate preservatives present in it which were discovered deteriorate the health of the pancreatic cells, contribute to gain of weight, impede the insulin-related processes, and increase inflammation. On the other hand, a plant-based diet is capable of bettering and even reversing diabetes.
The antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients coming from whole plant foods were found to be able to change the gene expression and thus, better the way in which the cells repair the damaged DNA. Moreover, positive lifestyle changes, including plant-based diet, were found to lower the expression of c.a.n.c.e.r genes in men with prostate c.a.n.c.e.r.
Healthy gut microbiome
The trillions of microorganisms living in our bodies are collectively called the microbiome. Not only do they help us digest our food, but they produce critical nutrients, train our immune systems, turn genes on and off, keep our gut tissue healthy, and help protect us from c.a.n.c.e.r.
Plant foods help shape a healthy intestinal microbiome. The fiber in plant foods promotes the growth of “friendly” bacteria in our guts. On the other hand, fiber-poor diets (such as those that are high in dairy, eggs, and meat) can foster the growth of disease-promoting bacteria. Landmark studies have shown that when omnivores eat choline or carnitine (found in meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy), gut bacteria make a substance that is converted by our liver to a toxic product called TMAO. TMAO leads to worsening cholesterol plaques in our blood vessels and escalates the risk of heart attack and stroke.
When your diet is based mostly on plant-based foods, there is scarce or no production of TMAO.
Balanced cholesterol levels
You’ll probably see a marked drop in your cholesterol. To a large extent, our genes determine our cholesterol level; however, exercise and your diet will also affect cholesterol levels. A meta-analysis published in the journal Nutrition Reviews found that plant-based vegetarian diets are associated with lower levels of total cholesterol, including lower levels of HDL and LDL cholesterol, compared to omnivorous diets.
Plant-based diets are naturally anti-inflammatory, because they are high in fiber, antioxidants, and other phytonutrients, and much lower in inflammatory triggers like saturated fat and endotoxins (toxins released from bacteria commonly found in animal foods). Studies have shown that people who adopt plant-based diets can dramatically lower their level of C-reactive protein (CRP), an indicator of inflammation in the body.
Right amount and type of protein
The average omnivore in the US gets more than 1.5 times the optimal amount of protein, most of it from animal sources.
Excess protein is stored as fat or turned into waste, and animal protein is a major cause of weight gain, heart disease, diabetes,inflammation, and c.a.n.c.e.r.
The protein from whole foods will keep you safe from chronic illnesses and you need not track the consumption of protein when it comes from plant-based foods. Simply meet your daily need of calories and you will get sufficient protein.
Good for the environment
Did you know that animal agriculture is harming our planet?! It is the largest and single cause of greenhouse emissions and a major reason of deforestation, land and water use, extinction of species, and destruction of wildlife. Moreover, today’s food system, which is mostly based on dairy and meat production, is a major contributor to world hunger. This is because most of the crops worldwide are grown so that livestock can be fed instead of feeding the hungry.