Vegetarianism. Part VI

At this stage it is worthwhile clearing up a common misconception. Many people believe meat to be an excellent source of energy; without it we will wallow in a state of lethargy. Due to this reason many people eat enormous amounts of meat. Actually meat, like other protein foods, is not the ideal type of food for providing the body’s energy demands. The best foods for providing energy are the carbohydrates and fats, such as bread, cereals, butter, etc. The body has a certain protein requirement in order to build up and rejuven-ate all worn out cells. If more than this amount is taken into the body through digested food, the body merely utilizes the excess for providing its energy needs. This is not very economical, for protein foods, including meat, generally are far more expensive than foods containing carbohydrates and fats. Also, the proteins that are used in this manner tend to leave certain residues or ‘ashes’ in the body as a by-product, which have to be eliminated by the kidneys, placing a greater load on these often overworked organs. So, in fact, meat and other high protein foods are not the best foods to obtain your energy requirements. Also, note that your daily protein needs are surprisingly low under normal conditions of health (60 gm) and so it is not necessary to consume large amounts of protein food, whether meat, milk, nuts or any other form of protein source.

What happens if one replaces meat by vegetable substitutes? Of course one will avoid the disadvantages connected with eating meat that we have already described. Furthermore, it is easier for the digestive system to process vegetarian food. There are less waste products for the body to eliminate after digestion compared to meat eating. This is itself a convincing argument for vegetarianism, for if the body can assimilate the food more easily there is less effort involved. The digestive system will be less likely to break down or suffer ailments, and at the same time will be able to resist the onset of disease. Furthermore, the body will be able to conserve more of its energy, utilizing it for other purposes. One will tend to become healthier and have more zest in everyday life.

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