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Vegetarian diet: This is how our body reacts when we don’t eat meat

Vegetarian diet: This is how our body reacts when we don’t eat meat

For most people in Germany, meat belongs on their plate: 84 percent of adult Germans (18 to 75 years old) eat meat. This emerges from a representative survey by the opinion research institute YouGov. Around 2,000 people were surveyed in August 2023.

13 percent of Germans are already vegetarians or vegans. In contrast to vegetarians, vegans not only abstain from meat, but also from all animal products, such as yoghurt or eggs. Almost a quarter of omnivores could imagine a vegetarian lifestyle – but remember that in addition to the taste of meat, which would be missing, it is also the fear of deficiency symptoms that keeps them going.

All plant eaters and those who want to become one can rest assured: a vegetarian diet can be healthy in the long term. Provided that there is a variety of dishes on the plate and critical nutrients are taken into account. This could be iron, for example. The body cannot absorb vegetable iron as well as iron from meat. If you don’t make sure you get enough, you run the risk of becoming deficient. That’s why vegetarians should always combine plant-based iron with foods rich in vitamin C that promote iron absorption. Around the world, some are highlighting the health benefits of a vegetarian diet, including Norway, the United States and Saudi Arabia, one shows. In general, such nutritional recommendations are aimed at healthy adults.

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based

The German Society for Nutrition (DGE) recently… She recommends a plant-based diet and advises using significantly fewer animal products than before. The DGE has recently recommended a maximum of 300 grams of meat per week for an adult – i.e. one schnitzel and five slices of sausage. The DGE’s nutritional recommendations take into account, in addition to the latest nutritional findings, eating habits, the effects on health and environmental aspects. However, most Germans are still a long way from consuming just 300 grams of meat per week: on average, German citizens consume over a kilo of meat per person per week, according to the .

In a study in which the test subjects were observed for around ten years, it was found that a healthy plant-based diet is associated, among other things, with a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases. But, and this should be explicitly pointed out: Anyone who avoids meat but consumes a lot of processed products, sugary sodas and packaged snacks has no advantages whatsoever.

Vegans and vegetarians often not only behave healthier when it comes to their diet, they also drink less alcohol, don’t smoke and are more physically active than the average eater in Germany. This makes it difficult to identify the effect of diet on health alone,

But what happens to the body when meat is completely removed from the diet?

Most studies on dietary behavior have such weaknesses: In order to be able to make clear statements about the effect, controlled studies would be necessary, i.e. two groups that only differ in that one eats meat and the other does not. Otherwise they would have to behave exactly the same: do the same amount of exercise, consume the same amounts of alcohol and have a similar level of stress. An experimental setup that can hardly be implemented in practice – except for individual studies with pairs of twins.

Nevertheless, studies based on large data sets or different studies on the effects of meat consumption around the world that have come to similar results have shown connections between meat consumption and health. It is undisputed that eating red meat can increase the risk of cancer.

You can find out more about what happens to your body when you avoid meat in the picture gallery above!

Source: Stern

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