Celebrating World Vegetarian Day: How This Eating Style Can Transform Your Health


Did you know that October 1 is World Vegetarian Day? It’s a perfect opportunity to talk about healthy eating styles and how a vegetarian eating style is one that can not only be tasty, but super healthy as well!

Scientific Support for a Vegetarian Diet

There are numerous studies in the medical literature that tout the benefits of eating a vegetarian diet. Over the years, populations of folks who eat a vegetarian diet have been followed to find out how their health differs from those who eat a diet containing meat. What the studies show is that those eating a vegetarian style diet tend to have a lower incidence of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and even some cancers. In fact, the American Heart Association, in their goal to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 2020, puts great emphasis on a “Healthy Diet Score” which includes eating 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables per day and 3 servings of fiber-rich whole grains per day. What better way to protect your heart than biting into a crisp Gala apple or eating a fresh tomato from your summer garden with some basil on top?

Is a Vegetarian Diet Nutritionally Sound?

Some people question whether you can get all the nutrients you need from a plant-based diet, particularly protein. It turns out, there is protein hiding in all sorts of plant foods you may have never considered! Did you know that a cup of oatmeal has 6 grams of protein, ½ cup of chickpeas has 8 grams of protein, and an ounce of almonds has 6 grams of protein? In addition, a healthy vegetarian diet also includes eggs and dairy products, which are packed with protein as well as calcium, vitamin D and many other essential vitamins and minerals.

So, if you are considering how your food can affect your health, consider trying a vegetarian eating style. In 2018, approximately 835 million people worldwide ate a vegetarian diet. Why not give it a try?

If you are new to this way of eating there are great resources online including:




…and many more! Patients who visit our lifestyle medicine practice are also provided with plenty of resources and recipes for a vegetarian style of eating, among other great topics. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating World Vegetarian Day by trying a meatless meal tonight!

Elizabeth A. Parker, MD