According to experts, there is further evidence that eliminating meat from your diet may reduce levels of harmful biomarkers that promote disease.
Cutting Down Meaty Diet Helps In Avoiding Health Hazards
According to recent research, vegetarians have lower blood loads of disease-linked biomarkers such as bad cholesterol and other causes.
Biomarkers may have both positive and negative health effects, encouraging or avoiding cancer, heart disease, and other chronic conditions. And, while biomarkers have long been used to measure the impact of diets on health, it’s not clear how being vegetarian affects them.
The researchers examined data from about 178,000 British citizens aged 37 to 73. Participants in the sample recorded no significant dietary changes in the preceding five years. They were divided into two groups: vegetarians (those who do not consume red meat, eggs, or fish) and meat-eaters.
The researchers then looked at the connection between diet and 19 blood and urine biomarkers for diabetes, heart disease, cancer, liver, bone and joint health, and kidney function.
The researchers discovered that vegetarians had substantially lower levels of 13 biomarkers than meat-eaters after checking for age, gender, obesity, smoking, and alcohol consumption.
Bad cholesterol, apolipoprotein A, and apolipoprotein B which is linked to heart disease, gamma-glutamyltransferase and alanine aminotransferase which are liver function markers indicating inflammation or cell damage, an insulin-like growth factor which is a hormone that encourages the growth and proliferation of cancer cells, urate which is linked to gout, and creatinine which is a marker of worsening kidney function were among the biomarkers studied.
According to an ECO news release, research leader Carlos Celis-Morales of the University of Glasgow, Scotland, said that the results give real food for thought.
People who adopt a vegetarian diet consume more vegetables, herbs, and nuts, which provide more calories, fiber, and other potentially beneficial compounds, in addition to not consuming red and refined meat, which have been related to heart disease and certain cancers. These dietary variations may help to understand why vegetarians tend to have lower levels of disease biomarkers that can cause cell damage and chronic disease.
However, there was some bad news for vegetarians. The research discovered that they had lower amounts of positive biomarkers, such as healthy cholesterol, vitamin D, and calcium, all of which are related to bone and joint health, as well as considerably higher levels of blood fats (triglycerides) and cystatin-C suggesting to poorer kidney health.
And, regardless of whether people consumed meat or not, the study found no correlation between diet and blood sugar levels, systolic blood pressure, aspartate aminotransferase which is a marker of liver cell damage, or C-reactive protein which is an inflammatory marker.
However, plant-based foods are widely regarded as a better option, according to one nutritionist, Christine Santori, who manages the dietary program at Northwell Health’s Syosset Hospital, New York in the United States. She advised her patients to eat whole plant foods as their primary source of nutrition.
She observed that eating berries, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds as the foundation of one’s diet offers valuable fiber while containing little saturated fat. If they must eat animal products, they should stick to fish and skinless poultry as a side dish.
However, avoiding meat allows for a broad range of diets, including organic, vegetarian, pescatarian (fish but no meat), Lacto-Ovo (no meat but eggs and dairy are permitted), and flexitarian (where folks still occasionally have meat).
And, as Santori pointed out, certain vegetarians can still be unhealthy. She claims she has seen vegetarians who eat only refined grains and heavily processed foods and those people are unhealthy.
Nonetheless, whether a person considers themselves a vegetarian or not, eating more fruits and vegetables will benefit their health, according to Santori. It is possible that it is more about what vegetarians consume than what they do not eat.