One of the most renowned nutritionists at Harvard University says people should be vegetarians if they want to live longer and have quality of life in old age.
In a speech at the Unite to Cure Fourth International Vatican Conference in the Vatican City, Harvard School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and nutrition Walter Willett warned that one-third of premature deaths could be prevented if people stopped eating meat, or even decreasing consumption, and changing the diet to one based on vegetables.
The teacher ponders that his calculations are based on a balanced diet. "If a person stops eating meat, but chooses soda, white bread and donuts, the consequences can be even worse," Willett told the American Daily Meal website. "But there is a real benefit to longevity if people trade the meat for nuts, greens, vegetables, soy and cereals."
Besides health, the professor reminds that stopping eating or reducing meat consumption can bring benefits to the environment. "Just reducing meat consumption, especially red meat and dairy products, directly impacts greenhouse gases. Human health depends on the health of the planet, so this can be an important contribution that we can all follow."
To get an idea, if you swap a 150 gram fillet just once a week for a bean dish, for example, it will prevent the equivalent of 331 pounds of greenhouse gases (such as methane and carbon dioxide) from reaching the atmosphere in a year.
"A plant-based diet can reverse advanced stages of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, and it is linked to the decline of diseases such as hypertension and hyperglycemia," added Julienna Heaver, a nutritionist and author of Plant-Based Nutrition (Idiots Guide) .