Vegetarian Diet & Health

Around the world and throughout the centuries many – if not most – societies have relied heavily on plant foods, with small amounts of animal protein. While these diets grew out of a mix of available foods and cultural patterns, today many people choose a vegetarian diet for its proven health benefits.

Research shows that people following a vegetarian diet (plant foods plus eggs and dairy) or a vegan diet (plants food with no animal products) enjoy many of the following health benefits:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced risk for coronary heart disease
  • Decreased risk of colon and breast cancers
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Less risk of diabetes

Oldways’ Vegetarian Diet Pyramid illustrates a healthy model of vegetarian eating, incorporating foods from many traditional diets around the world. Check out our Health Studies page to learn more about the health benefits of a vegetarian diet.

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