Since 1977, World Vegetarian Day has been observed on October 1. World Vegetarian Day, the annual kick-off of Vegetarian Awareness Month, was established by the North American Vegetarian Society and observes and celebrates vegetarian lifestyles. Vegetarian lifestyles are often practiced for a number of reasons. Some include religious, ethical and health reasons. Whatever the cause, celebrate this day by eating delicious meat-free meals and educating yourself about the reasons why people live vegetarian lifestyles.
The Vegetarian Times identifies a number of reasons why you should give vegetarianism a try. Here are just a few.
• A lower body mass index. A study conducted from 1986 to 1992 discovered that overweight people who followed a low-fat, vegetarian diet lost an average of 24 pounds in the first year and kept off that weight 5 years later.
• Decreased cholesterol levels. Balanced vegetarian diets are naturally free of cholesterol-laden, artery-clogging animal products that physically slow us down and keep our energy low.
• A longer life. You can add about 13 healthy years to your life, says Michael F. Roizen, MD, author of The RealAge Diet: Make Yourself Younger with What You Eat.
• A lower mortality rate for cardiovascular disease. A vegetarian diet is inherently healthful because vegetarians consume no animal fat, less cholesterol, more fiber and more antioxidant-rich produce.
• A reduced risk of food-borne illnesses. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, foods rich in protein such as meat, poultry, fish and seafood are frequently involved in food-borne illness outbreaks.
• Increases fiber intake. A high-fiber vegetarian diet can help ward off extra pounds.
• Reduces pollution. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, chemical and animal waste runoff from factory farms is responsible for more than 173,000 miles of polluted rivers and streams.
Try some of our herb-infused vegetarian meals. Are you a vegetarian? Tell us why!
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