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And is it true a vegetarian lifestyle greatly reduces the risk of contracting some chronic, degenerative disease?

A considerable amount of scientific information suggests the existence of a positive relationship between vegetarian lifestyles and the changes of contracting any of the different chronic degenerative disease, such as obesity, heart disease, cancer and others.

Medical researchers have attributed this advantage of longevity and healthy lifestyle, a lifestyle which encourages abstinence from tobacco, and alcoholic drinks on a whole.

So What Makes up a Vegan Diet?

A Vegetarian Diet contains less fat, and is composed of a large variety of vegetables, fruits. Whole grains, legumes, nuts (walnuts or pecans, almonds, etc) and nonfat or low-fat milk products.

If you want to try a vegetarian diet, you must pay attention to protein sources. Meats, eggs, and dairy foods provide the bulk of most people’s daily protein needs. Cutting some or all of those out will lower your protein intake, unless you make the effort to include higher protein plant foods.

Simply going vegetarian does not guarantee a healthy diet. It is easy to eat a high fat/low fiber vegetarian diet. What I’m trying to say is: whether or not you eat meat, you still have to pay attention to fat intake. Simply eliminating meat from your diet does not automatically mean you are eating less fat.

This reverts me back to my original Question:Is a Vegetarian Diet Better? I’m curious to hear you take on this subject? Let’s hear about it in the comments.

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Editor’s note: I begun writing this article last week, and it came out to be more than 5, 000 words, almost 10 pages long. So I’ve decided to break it up into smaller chunks and publish it as a series.

I hope that you find these articles helpful and look forward to your comments.

This article is the start of that series.

Obesity is increasing at an alarming rate throughout the world. Today it is estimated that there are more than 300 million obese people world-wide – which is associated with a large number of debilitating and life-threatening disorders. Everyday millions people are diagnosis with some type of killer disease. Heart disease and cancer account for 75% of all deaths in the western would, for example.

A large majority of these diseases can be preventable just by changing our eating habits and proper exercise for maintaining a healthy body. Changing your life-style can literally postpone your funeral for years.

Probably no more than 20 per cent of those trying to lose weight, and possibly as few as 5 per cent, will have any long-term success with dieting.

So how does a trim, noticeable figure come about? Certainly not by accident; you have to eat less and exercise more. The key words are balance, common-sense and planning.

A lot of people adopt short-term weight reduction schemes to loss weight quickly, but many of these weight-reduction schemes may be at a cost to one’s general health if vital nutrients are missed out.

Nor will skipping meals on a regular basis help since there is a general tendency for meal skippers to ‘catch up’ at their next opportunity. Many are prepared to eat less but rarely think of engaging in an exercise programme.

The two items (eating less and exercise more) must go hand in hand – exercise is an aid to reducing, not a substitute for correct eating practices.

To be continued…

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Heredity is usually described as one of the minor risk factors of heart disease. Despite that description, the role of heredity should not be underestimated.

There are hereditary elements present and common to all of the lifestyle diseases and individual coronary risk factors. Usually these factors can be controlled, suppressing the role of heredity in the disease process. Were it not relatively controllable it would be easy to blame heredity for all the problems that arise.

Although blaming heredity would be a far too simplistic overview, we would be partly justified in taking that line of thought, for without doubt we do inherit genetic weaknesses that might surface sooner or later.

Chromosome Abnormalities

A developing fetus inherits forty-six chromosomes, twenty-three from each parent. It’s estimated that there might be as many as sixty-four billion different chromosome combinations in one, fertilization. Genes contained in the chromosomes are responsible for our physical development — including height, body size, constitution, appearance, personality, temperament, intelligence, co-ordination, reactions, metabolism, disease resistance, and a whole host of other features and qualities.

Naturally, then, there are unlimited possibilities for something to go wrong or for abnormalities to occur. One or both of the parents may carry a particular genetic tendency without showing any signs or symptoms of its presence. A child, born to parents inheriting these potential genetic abnormalities, may display the characteristics of the particular condition at some point. However, special diagnostic procedures detect those at risk (even before birth) and, along with genetic counseling, the suitable intervention is made.

Heredity and Your Heart

Apart from hereditary heart diseases, it must be emphasized that even where these factors are inherited it is the tendency or potential that is inherited rather than the actual disease. Heredity does not usually the reason behind the disease.

All the evidence suggests that where the environment and lifestyle are at their most favourable, the related disease patterns do not generally occur. Congenital heart disease is the failure of the heart or large blood vessels to develop normally. There are a variety of causes in which heredity may or may not play a role.

Your Heredity and Life-Style

In many instances, take obesity as an example, it is quite clear that it is familial attitudes and behavior that determines the lifestyle. A growing child, for the most part, observes and conforms to domestic practice. Thus type, quantity and quality of food, attitudes to exercise and a healthy life-style, are largely determined without too much individual thought. Under such conditions poor habits are likely to be perpetuated. Adopting good health practices based on personal choices afford the individual the best protection.

I’m not saying that adopting the best life-style available will guarantee the absence of any particular disease or condition.

In the majority of cases it will help to prevent their development. It should be understood that while diabetes, arthritis, allergic conditions, and cancer all have hereditary features, there is no certainty that the individual will develop any of these complaints.

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