Whether you will eat meat or not is your personal choice! Some people cannot imagine their life without meat, while others believe that staying away from meat is healthier and much more sustainable.

In October 2015, the Cancer Agency of the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Agency for Research on Cancer, issues an alarming report. This report was based on studies which were done over the course of 20 years and it studied the cancer-causing potential of red meat and processed meat, the two most popular varieties of meat.

Red meat includes all types of muscle meat, such as horse, veal, mutton, lamb, beef and pork. Processed meat refers to meat which has been highly processed and undergone processes like fermentation, smoking, salting, and curing. The list of processed meat includes pastrami, ham, frankfurters, burger patty, canned meats, meat sauce, sausages, beef jerky, etc.

According to the report, regular consumption of processed meat is linked to colorectal cancer. Those eating 50 g of processed meat daily are at higher risk of developing colorectal cancer, the experts explain.

Processed meat alone is not carcinogenic, but the risk increases when the person regularly consumes other kinds of meat along with processed meat once in a while.

Even though non-processed meat contains certain nutrients, the health risks which come with regular consumption of meat outweigh the benefits.

Do a little research and make sure you are well-informed in regard to diets and health so that you can make the right choice. Whether you will remove meat from your diet or limit its intake, learn more about its effects on your body.

Your Heart Health Improves

Inflammation is the body`s defense mechanism against any microorganisms and viruses. Certain foods, including meat, are inflammatory and may lead to chronic inflammation. This is highly dangerous since ongoing inflammation may lead to many diseases, including heart disease.

According to a 2015 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, when eating meat, the body reacts to the foreign molecule found in the meat itself, and it activates an immune response in return. Regular meat intake keeps the body responding in this way, which leads to chronic inflammation.

According to a 2013 study published in Nature Medicine, red meat contains L-carnitine, a compound which triggers clogging of arteries when it comes into contact with intestinal bacteria. Clogged arteries are the major cause of heart disease-related deaths.

On the other hand, vegetarian diets protect the heart since they are anti-inflammatory.

You Protect Yourself from Cancer

As already discussed, inflammation is the major cause of many fatal diseases, including cancer.

According to the WHO report, carcinogenicity of both red and processed meat is very high. Earlier studies have come to the same conclusion as well.

According to a 2004 study published in Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis, regular meat consumption is linked with the prevalence of colorectal cancer, including bowel, rectal, and colon cancer.

When cooked at high temperatures, meat releases chemicals which make certain changes in human DNA and make it prone to cancer. On the other hand, vegetarian diet is not associated with such risks.

Vegetarians are also at lower risk of certain cancers, including bladder, ovarian, and stomach cancer, according to 2009 study published in the British Journal of Medicine.

Switching from a non-vegetarian to vegetarian diet lowers the concentrations of neutral sterols and acids, which in turn lowers the risk of colon cancer.

Neutral sterols and bile acids are fats which occur with feces and large amounts of these fats leads to an elevated risk of developing colon cancer.

Your Chances of Living Longer Increase

Eating red and processed meat may shorten your lifespan. According to a study which involved thousands of participants from America and Europe and was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vegetarians who ate trivial amounts of meat lived longer than those who ate meat in larger quantities.

According to a 2012 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, out of thousands of participants whose diet was studied, it was concluded that those who ate more red meat died younger from cancer and heart disease.

People consuming a daily serving of red meat have 13% higher chance of dying young, which increases to 20% if the meat is processed.

Replacing meat with protein from vegetarian sources, such as nuts, legumes, and dairy products, significantly increases your lifespan.

You Lose Weight

It has been shown that switching from non-vegetarian diet to a low- or no-meat diet leads to losing weight.

According to a 2007 study published in Obesity, a plant-based diet, which excluded animal meat and animal-derived products, was linked to weight loss in overweight subjects at follow-up period of 1-2 years.

Vegetarian and vegan diets are based on the consumption of fruits, veggies, and whole grains, all of which are abundant in fiber. Fiber was found to lower body mass index and thus lower weight. In addition to this, plant-based foods are lower in calories but richer in nutrients.