Mother always said: “Eat your vegetables!” Many took this motherly advice to heart as they grew older and completely centered their diet on vegetables and other plant based products. There are different classifications of plant based diets such as vegetarianism, lacto-ovo vegetarianism, pescatarain, and veganism. For the purpose of the research conducted, the findings presented will primarily be based on studies of vegans and vegetarians. Vegetarianism is the voluntary abstinence from eating meat and meat only while veganism is refraining from eating any animal-derived products at all (Puskar-Pasewicz, 5). Although plant based diets are able to provide consumers with many health and environmental benefits, there are health risks as well as other negative aspects to this diet as well.
By removing meat from one’s diet, they can improve different aspects of their health, for example cholesterol. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is found in all cells of the body. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, there are two types of cholesterol. High density lipoproteins (HDL), often referred to as “good cholesterol,” is helpful as it carries cholesterol from other parts of the body to the liver for disposal. The second type, low density lipoproteins (LDL), also known as the “bad cholesterol,” is harmful to the body in large amounts because it conglomerates in the arteries (NHLBI, What is Cholesterol?). Cholesterol itself comes from animal product as well as saturated fats and too much LDL results in clogged arties which then leads to heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Meat, especially red meats are fatty and contain high amounts of LDL (Palmer, Impressive Benefits). Following a plant ...
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...2012 (CDC, Outbreaks and Surveillance). The foods needed to successfully follow a plant based diet can also be costly and may not be easily accessible. Those who live in inner cities or rural country must travel farther distances to reach a grocery store or farmer’s market that is able to provide fresh vegetables. Consumers must also take in to consideration that fresh foods have shorter shelf lives and therefore must be replaced more frequently. Having to replenish perishable goods can put a strain on an individual or a family’s budget.
Overall, plant based diets are able to provide consumers with many beneficial aspects, however, there are downfalls to them as well. Positives include health and environmental benefits while cons include health risks and cost. Ultimately it is up to the consumer to decide if the benefits outweigh the risks when deciding their diets.
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