Throughout history, there have been doubts about the health benefits of vegetarianism. In the 1980s, The American Diabetic Association was concerned about the health merits of an all-vegetable diet. Now, the ADA has a completely different view of the diet today stating,
“Appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”
Research over the years discovered that eating an exclusively vegetable diet has numerous health benefits. However, it’s a lifestyle that does require proper management and understanding of food’s nutritional value. Common risk factors are insufficient amounts of vitamin D and vitamin K, which promote bone health and can be mitigated through fortified foods like milk and supplements.
By far the healthiest part about vegetarianism is that it significantly reduces risk factors for heart disease, cancer, and Type-2 diabetes. For example, one of the largest studies of its kind combined data from five prospective studies involving more than 76,000 participants concluded that vegetarians were 25% less likely to die of heart disease.