“Low-density lipoprotein [LDL] cholesterol was 101.36 ± 23.57 mg/dL and 120.60 ± 34.62 mg/dL (P < 0.005) in the vegetarians and omnivores, respectively, indicating that vegetarians had significantly lower lipid levels. Thus, oxidative stress, body fat, and cholesterol levels were lower in long-term vegetarians than those in omnivores.
…oxidative stress is a major cause of atherosclerosis, cardiac diseases, diabetic vascular diseases, cancers, and even early aging.
Traditionally, Koreans have a lower meat intake than people in other Asian countries and the West, because the Korean diet is predominantly composed of rice as the staple food served with vegetable soup and several vegetable side dishes. However, because of modern industrialization, the dietary habits of Koreans have undergone rapid westernization.
The consumption of animal food was only 3% in 1969, but increased to 20.2% in 2009. The incidence of obesity, a major factor in metabolic syndrome, has steadily increased from 26% in 1998 to 31.3% in 2009 as reported by the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey-IV (KNHANES-IV). The common causes of death in people aged 65 years and older have been replaced by cancers, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, which are similar to those in Western countries.
Thus, Koreans are paying more attention to healthy lifestyle choices, and traditional Korean dietary habits have returned to the spotlight with a focus on consumption of brown rice, fresh vegetables, and fresh fruits…”