The eternal debate on which people live longer than the others has always been a battle between vegetarians and meat eaters. There are pros and cons on each side and studies appear to contradict themselves, sometimes favoring one category, sometimes the other. So where lies the truth and how can we determine what is best for us in terms of dietary choices?
The debate is still in full effect and the fact that there is a social problem that needs tackling is obvious. Little more than 70% of the American adult population has overweight issues, and more than 80% of the children under the age of 5 fits into the same category. There is no question about it – overweight and obesity are social issues determined by how and what we eat, even if there are other factors involved, such as the sedentary lifestyle and genetic behavior.
Also, obesity has been related to an increased risk of premature death, which goes to show that we have a long way to go. Everybody wants to live longer, but what which of these two dietary choices and the best in moving us closer to our goal?
It seems like we may never the able to answer this question in a definitive way. All we have are pros and cons, but if we are to establish a parallel between eating habits and longevity, we first need to have a look at the concept of longevity itself. There are 2 factors influencing longevity and allowing us to live more than our predecessors: genetic inheritance and lifestyle habits. In other words, if we come from a genetically advantageous background in this regard, we can cancel its importance if we tend to live chaotic lives, filled with excesses and vice-versa.
Keeping these into consideration, what is it better, a meat-filled diet or vegetarianism? In our quest to live longer, both have ups and downs we need to take into account. Meat, for instance, is the best source of protein you can have, keeping the body in full battle ready condition, aside from providing it with highly effective sources of vitamins and minerals it needs.
The downside is that, due to the high levels of saturated fats and its impact on the cholesterol values, it is not recommended for those who intend to live longer. At least the exaggerated consumption, that is. In addition, red meat, in particular, has been associated with cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
According to some of the studies, a vegetarian diet could help you live longer, at least in theory, because of the fact that it eliminates the risks associated with meat consumption. There is no risk of elevated blood pressure, reduces the likelihood of contracting diabetes or becoming obese and vegetarians, statistically, tend to live longer and be healthier.
Unfortunately, being vegetarian guarantee neither a healthier lifestyle nor that you will live longer. This is because of the poor caloric content, leading to lower levels of energy and the difficulties of living active lifestyles as a result. The protein will become scarce and you will lack essential nutrients, as calcium, folic acid, and fatty acids, aside from the total absence of animal protein, a key ingredient in building muscle mass and a strong immune system.
As a result, you will have to compensate by taking supplements.
What should we do if we want to live longer? The answer to the question does not involve either of these diets, but one particular aspect: balance. According to nutritionists, the best approach is to make 2 thirds of your meals plant based. But keep meat in the diet, because without you cannot have a properly working organism. Eat what you like, but avoid excesses and introduce a lot of greenies and vegetables in your daily eating habits.
Balance is the key to living longer and happier lifestyles.