Although a recent study has reported some health routines superfluous, there are many studies that have found various lifestyles, such as vegetarianism, highly beneficial. It all starts with an early morning of Wheaties or protein and a glass of water. A thriving body must exercise to jump-start the metabolism and mental processes at first light, this was recently confirmed in a research paper. Though some people tend to focus on a time limit for exercise, mental fortitude is important for endurance as well. Recent studies also have underscored the importance of diet and exercise, but not as commonly believed. Vegetarianism and an early bird routine will promote health in active individuals.
The Chicago Tribune recently reported on a study that found early exposure to light is associated with a lower body mass index (BMI). This means that a circadian rhythm plays a huge role in metabolism. Morning light directly influences body fat and hormones that regulate appetite. The BMI is a measure of a person’s fat levels based on height and weight. In general, underweight is below a score of 18.5 and overweight is between 25 and just under 30, while obese is considered 30 or greater.
There are many methods to lower the BMI. First, however, it is important to understand that portion size should be within range. Daily calories should, at a minimum, be around 1,200 for women and 1,500 for men. This should be a target for those losing weight.
Four years ago, the archives of Internal Medicine released a study report that proved women who drink red wine in moderation are far less likely to gain weight, and will actually lose weight instead. The comparison group consisted of women who did not drink alcohol at all.
Dr. Lu Wang with the Preventive Medicine and Aging division of the Department of Medicine, Brigham, spoke about the 13-year study of nearly 20,000 healthy women within the United States. Though it was already hypothesized, those women who stopped drinking to avoid extra calories gained more weight.
Women who regularly ingested a moderate amount of alcohol proved to be 30 percent less likely to gain weight than those who did not drink at all. The reason behind these findings is that alcohol not only speeds up metabolism, but it has fewer calories and other nutrients food and soft drinks have. Alcohol is also often a substitute for food, as many women like to “balance their diet.”
An early bird routine and vegetarianism are successful methods of promoting health and longevity. Despite recent research claiming vegetarians are less healthy and more inclined to cancer, researchers at Brown University claim vegetarians are incredibly healthy, as their focus on diet includes products that are green, colorful, and filled with nutrients. These scientists found that vegetarians have lower rates of heart disease and some types of cancers—the complete opposite of recent chatter. The American Dietetic Association has also found a vegetarian diet lowers a person’s risk of developing colorectal cancer, diabetes, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, obesity, and hypertension/high blood pressure.
Some people believe leaders in the meat industry or other large businesses could have high influence on the outcome of research studies for support of their products, and though possible, it could also be mere conjecture. However, this theory could be a viable means of increasing profits since people tend to believe researchers without further question.
Nathan Fiala with Scientific America discusses how meat contributes to global warming. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization found in 2006 that meat consumption adds to greenhouse gases with carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nitrous oxide. Bio gas produced by humans is cited to enter the atmosphere in higher amounts than both transportation or industry byproducts.
Though new research will continue to come out, debunking previous studies, tomorrow will bring yet another “truth.” All sides of the issue should always be weighed with a grain of salt, however. Vegetarianism and an early bird routine have the most support in the assertion that they promote health and a positive way of life.
Opinion By: Lindsey Alexander