Is non-vegetarian (Craig, 2010). Results from Adventist

Is it really safe to eat meat? This
question has always been asked from time to time. The news media report that
meat can cause cancer but the effect of eating meat with the risk of cancer is
still a controversial topic (Corpet, 2011). However, there is study shows that
consumption of red meat can increase the risk of colorectal cancer but the
results show an only significant increase which is 20%-30% (Corpet, 2011).
Various websites or studies show that obesity is a significant factor in the
individual risk of cancer (Craig, 2010). This is because an individual who are
vegetarian basically have a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) when compared to an
individual who are non-vegetarian (Craig, 2010). Results from Adventist Health
Study acknowledge that only colorectal and prostate cancer shows lower risk to
vegetarians while comparing with another type of cancer, there are no
significant differences with non-vegetarian regarding their age, gender and
smoking (Craig, 2010). In 2007 report of World Cancer Research Fund, they have
made a suggestion to restrain the red meat consumption and to avoid intake of
processed meat in order to reduce the risk of cancer (World Cancer Research
Fund, & American Institute for Cancer Research, 2007). However, farmers and
meat industry might suffer from economical problem although the risk of cancer
can be reduced (Corpet, 2011).

The overall picture of the health status
of vegetarian appears to be mixed because some research reported better health
while other research reported poorer health (Baines et. al., 2007). However,
according to Michalak et. al. (2012), studies have shown that vegetarians have
a good physical health and as healthy as non-vegetarian with a same background
and lifestyle. The result of this studies can be explained by health behaviour
of vegetarian which are they were focusing more on fiber and fat consumption in
their diet (Michalak et. al., 2012). In addition, vegetarians have a tendency
to be aware with their dietary intake and ensure to have a healthy lifestyle such
as exercising more than non-vegetarians, drinking less alcohol and the result
is they tend to be fit and slim than others (Michalak et. al., 2012). Michalak
et. al. (2012) also claim that besides having differences between nutritional
intake, vegetarians and non-vegetarians also differ in having a risk of the mental
disorder based on the number of physiological and socio-demographic
characteristic. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian women are different in socio-demographic
characteristic in which vegetarian women tend to live an urban and prefer to be
single (Michalak et. al., 2012). Therefore, Michalak et. al. (2012) concludes
that although vegetarian have a healthy lifestyle, they tend to be diagnosed
with depression because of their socio-demographic characteristic which differs
with non-vegetarian.

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Furthermore, vegetarians also have a
lower rate of hypertension compared to non-vegetarians (Craig, 2010). For
instance, the result obtained from Adventist Health Study-2 shows that vegan
diet has an even lower rate of hypertension when compared to the vegetarian
diet (Craig, 2010). In addition, some studies also reported that vegetarians
have a lower blood pressure. Both results obtained may be due to the lower Body
Mass Index (BMI) of vegetarians and vegans (Craig, 2010). Craig (2010) supports
that food consumption in the vegetarian diet that contains potassium,
magnesium, antioxidants, dietary fat and fiber also might be the reason of
vegetarians having a lower rate of hypertension and even a lower rate of blood
pressure. Craig (2010) conclude that vegetables and fruits can lower the rate
of hypertension of a person. This statement further explains with DASH (Dietary
Approach to Stop Hypertension) study that stated fruit and vegetable intake
will reduce about one and a half of the blood pressure.

In a nutshell, this paper has argued on
the effects on their health of being vegetarian and vegan. To sum up, a human
can live without eating meat because it can reduce the risk incidence of type 2
diabetes, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, fewer risks of stroke and
obesity, the risk of cancer can be reduced, have a healthy lifestyle and lower
rate of hypertension. The vegetarian diet and vegan diet practices can avoid
themselves from getting serious diseases but they still can have other diseases
when they have lack of vitamins and proteins. Overall, the health of
vegetarians appear to be satisfying and human can actually live without eating
meat as long as the dietary pattern is taken care to ensure that the diet are
nutritious and well-balanced (Craig, 2010).


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