Reducing your meat consumption can do your body good, Fox News reports.
1) You may lose weight
A large, five-year study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2013 revealed that people who don't eat meat have a lower average BMI than meat-eaters, and that vegans have a significantly lower obesity rate than omnivores (9.4 percent versus 33.3 percent). Plus, a new study presented at The Obesity Society's 2013 meeting found that overweight/obese people following a vegan or vegetarian diet lost more weight than those who consumed meat—even though both groups took in the same number of calories.
Consuming saturated fats—which primarily come from meat and dairy—raises the level of cholesterol in your blood, and high levels of blood cholesterol increase your risk of heart disease. Ditching meat automatically lowers the amount of saturated fat in your diet, in turn reducing your cardiovascular disease risk, said Dr. Steven Masley, nutritionist.
2) You may lower your blood pressure
Vegetarians and vegans have less hypertension than meat-eaters, according to findings published in the journal Public Health Nutrition. Researchers say it's due to their lower average weight and higher intakes of fruits and vegetables.
3) You'll reduce your diabetes risk
An American Diabetes Association study found that people following a vegetarian diet had a decreased risk of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors linked to type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
4) Your cancer risk may drop
In 2002, researchers at Loma Linda University began a 10-year study of nearly 70,000 Seventh Day Adventists, whose religious doctrine advises them against eating meat. Their research found an association between a vegan diet and a decreased risk for all cancer types.
5) You'll feel better in tight pants
Eating more veggies and legumes means your fiber intake will go up, and more fiber means less constipation and improved digestion overall. When you have regular digestion and are not bloated, you'll feel thinner, energized, and possibly even sexier, said Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, author of The Flexitarian Diet.
6) Your skin will glow
Vegetarianism is one of the best diets for your skin. Eating more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains loads you up with antioxidants, which neutralize the free radicals that can bring on wrinkles, brown spots, and other signs of aging.
7) You might smell better to your significant other
Following a meatless diet could make you smell more attractive and pleasant to the opposite sex, according to research published in the journal Chemical Senses.
8) You might be happier
Economists and public health researchers from the University of Warwick and Dartmouth College studied the eating habits of 80,000 people in Great Britain and found that mental well-being appeared to increase with the number of daily portions of fruit and vegetables, and hit an overall peak at seven servings.
9) Your energy levels might increase
Eating more spinach, kale, beans, and other foods high in dietary nitrates may help you feel more energized over time.
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