More and more people throughout Britain are gradually ending their consumption of meat and turning to vegetarian alternatives, for several reasons. Here are some of them.
Recent food safety scares such as BSE (or 'mad cow disease' as it is commonly known) and salmonella have also led many to stop eating meat.
It takes 5 pounds of grain to feed enough cattle to get just one pound of beef which is a remarkable mismanagement or resources when there are still millions of people in the world who are suffering from malnutrition or starving. According to the British group Vegfam, a 10-acre farm can support 60 people growing soybeans, 24 people growing wheat, 10 people growing corn and only two producing cattle.
Meat sources, particularly red meat have recently been linked to increased risk of many diseases including cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's and arthritis. Because the focus is on non-meat food items, this diet contains a lot less fat and cholesterol, and contains more beneficial fibre.
Opting out of eating meat doesn't mean you have to have a boring diet; there are plenty of healthy substitutes out there.
Vegetarian Meat Substitutes
Tofu, TVP ™ and Quorn ™ are all healthy and flavourful meat substitutes that come in several varieties. Not only do they all have a low fat and lo cholesterol content, they are also rich in calcium, selenium, manganese, iron and of course, protein.
There is a wonderfully wide range of fish to choose from and not only are they delicious, they're great for your health. Eating fish like bluefish, salmon or tuna two or three times a week can prevent heart disease. Fish oils are a good source of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Salmon, herring and mackerel are particularly good sources because they have higher fat content and so can provide more omega-3 than other fish.
Fruit and Veggies
Don't forget good old fruits and vegetables. They are both essential parts of our diet and have a wide range of healthful effects. As well as all the vitamins they contain, the phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables are substances that may have a variety of biological effects in the body -- some of them are potent antioxidants, others help to boost the immune system and others change enzymes that help medicines work better in our system. Current research has shown that eating more fresh vegetables and fresh fruit can help prevent cancer, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and hypertension.
When you digest proteins, they are broken down into amino acids and are then absorbed into the bloodstream. Your body then uses them to construct proteins that repair and maintain tissue. By eating a well balanced diet that contains a variety of foods it is possible to obtain all the amino acids that the body requires.