If you have been thinking of changing your diet but you’re not sure what kind of diet might work for you, consider following.

  1. You’ll be in good company. Many prominent women and men are vegetarians including Hank Aaron, Christie Brinkley, Dustin Hoffman, Henry Heimlich, Leonardo DeVinci, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein and Albert Schweitzer. (Not a reason to switch, but interesting.)
  2. It’s good for women’s health. Women beginning menopause can experience sleep problems, hot flashes, fatigue, loss of sexual desire, mood swings, water retention anxiety, depression and weight gain. Vegetarian women report fewer problems and symptoms related to menopause than do non-vegetarians. Researchers found vegetarian women faired better due to the natural estrogens contained in plants.
  3. It’s good for men’s health. The Harvard Health Letter recently noted that the lowest rate of prostate cancer in the world is among Chinese men living in Shanghai whose daily food consumption is primarily rice and vegetables.
  4. Vegetarianism is good for the planet. Grains and soybeans fed to US livestock could feed 1.3 billion people, according to the North American Vegetarian Society.
  5. Vegetarianism is an automatic cholesterol reducer. Not a single fruit or vegetable has any cholesterol. Cholesterol comes only from animal sources.
  6. You help all creatures great and small. Many individuals turn to vegetarianism for health reasons soon move on to a heightened awareness of animal welfare and environmental issues.
  7. It promotes weight control. Plants and grains are very low in fat and calories.
  8. Vegetarianism is heart smart. Vegetarians experience lower death rates from heart disease than those on meat-based diets.
  9. Dieters diabetes- Scientists have noted that diabetes is rare among Africans, Asians and Polynesians who eat primarily fruits and vegetables. When the same people switch to a meat based American diet diabetes increases dramatically.
  10. It conserves the earth’s precious water supply. An astounding fifty- percent of all water consumption goes for the production of livestock.
  11. It’s better for the budget. Ounce for ounce plants and grains are thriftier choices than meat products.
  12. You don’t have to count calories. If you stick to a diet of high-fiber low-fat fruits, vegetables, beans, eggs and organic dairy you can eat enough to feel satisfied and still wind up losing weight.
  13. It provides greater variety to meals. By eliminating meat as the center of your meal, you are free to pursue new taste sensations.
  14. It arrests arthritis. Meatless diets help relieve the symptoms of all kinds of arthritis in nine out of ten people.
  15. You become a source of inspiration and information. When people learn you are vegetarian, they may first view you with skepticism and curiosity. When they ask questions you can give them the opportunity be informed.
  16. Vegetarianism promotes overall health and long life. Research clearly indicates that vegetarians tend to be healthier and live longer than do omnivores. A California study of nearly 28,000 adults compared meat eaters and vegetarians for twenty plus years and found the greater the meat consumption the greater the death rate from all causes combined.

Finally in passing, one note of interest, the term vegetarian was first coined in the 1840’s by the British Vegetarian Society and had nothing to do with vegetables. The society’s founders based their name on the Latin word vegetus meaning active lively or vigorous.

Till next time, Rebecca.