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Many know that vegetarians live healthier. So is it advisable to do without animal products?
The main arguments for a vegetarian diet include: environmental protection, not killing animals and your own health. There is no clear knowledge whether it is really better for the human organism to forego meat or even completely animal products, and the experts also disagree.
It has long been undisputed that fish with its valuable omega-3 fatty acids is good for humans. These cannot be produced by the body itself. A food supply is essential if you want to achieve a life-extending effect. In addition to eating fruit and vegetables, pescetarianism also includes fish and is apparently the healthiest diet.
Most studies on a vegetarian diet and the associated health effects have so far had little meaning. Although they came to the conclusion that vegetarians live longer on average and are less often affected by special chronic diseases, this behavior cannot be clearly attributed to the diet. It could also be due to the generally healthier lifestyle of many vegetarians.
Germans eat too little fish
According to the DGE nutrition report from 2012, adults eat significantly less than the recommended amount of 80 g to 150 g low-fat plus 70 g high-fat sea fish per week. Young people in particular eat far too little fish.
The Viennese nutritionist Ibrahim Elmadfa came to the conclusion that, contrary to popular belief, vegans do not develop any deficiency symptoms. This is despite the fact that they do without animal products altogether and therefore they consume less vitamin B12, calcium and vitamin D than normal eaters.
As an explanation, the nutritionist states that vegetarians and vegans generally lead a healthier lifestyle, thereby reducing the need for an increase in health-promoting products. A lot of exercise, little alcohol and the menu that is typical for them has enormous positive effects. Staying outdoors promotes the body's own vitamin D production
These behaviors make it difficult to carry out a precise scientific analysis of the various nutritional styles and therefore do not allow any clear results. As a possible answer to this problem, Michael Orlich and his team of researchers from Linda University, California, examined a group of volunteers with a uniform diet but a different diet.
A study with Adventists brings light into the darkness. The religious community with a homogeneous lifestyle was examined in more detail. There were a total of 73,000 Adventists. These do not consume pigs or horse meat and do not consume alcohol or tobacco. Most of you also have a vegetarian diet. Orlich says that only 15% eat meat.
The group was closely examined for six years and the result was that 12% fewer people died among vegetarians than among meat eaters. In contrast to women, men in particular contributed to this result. Cardiovascular diseases in particular have fewer vegetarians. However, the researchers could make no difference in cancer.
Milk not as healthy for men as expected Overall, the vegetarians were not much better off than the meat eaters. One reason could be the similarly high number of calories that are consumed every day and that milk, especially for men, is not as healthy as has long been assumed.
In one study, almost 21,000 doctors were given three portions of milk a day. The prostate cancer risk increased by 34 percent. The study leaders from Boston and Chicago assume that the high calcium levels in milk increase the risk and that the body's production of vitamin D is reduced. This is an effective protection factor for the prostate.
The Pesco vegetarians performed best in the Adventist study. Their death rate was 19 percent lower than that of meat eaters, and 27 percent lower among men. So if you focus your menu on fruits, vegetables and fish, you live the longest. The fact that fish has a life-prolonging effect is mainly due to the omega-3 fatty acids.
These protect against diabetes as well as heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases. Germany kills more than 18 times more people from sudden cardiac death than in Japan. Fish is on the menu every day and there is far less meat on the plate. (fr)
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