Being a Vegetarian is not equivalent to a healthy lifestyle

     Most of us nowadays are already being more conscious with their health and because of this, and they go being a vegetarian wherein they do not eat meat, poultry, and fish instead, they mainly eat fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, seeds, and nuts. But, being a vegetarian has its own advantages and at the same time disadvantages in which some of the vegetarians are not aware of which ends up to a non-healthy lifestyle.
     Vegetarians are classified into three groups according to the American Dietetic Association (ADA) namely: the Vegans or the Total Vegetarians who doesn’t’t include meat products in their diet; the Lactovegetarians who exclude meat, poultry, fish, and eggs but include dairy products in their diet; and the Lacto-ovovegetarians who doesn’t’t include meat, poultry, and fish but include dairy products and eggs in their diet.


     According to the article “Being a vegetarian,” vegetarians get proper nutrition and they get important vitamins and minerals the body needs such as the following:
     Protein. ADA (as cited in Being a vegetarian) has said that it is not necessary to combine specific foods within a meal in order to complete the amino acids and proteins found in plant foods such as whole grains, lentils, beans, tofu, low-fat dairy products, nuts, seeds, eggs, and peas.
     Calcium. As recommended by ADA (cited in Being a vegetarian), at least 1000mg of calcium should be consumed by adults 19-50 years-old which is equivalent to three cups of milk or yogurt and vegetarians can get sufficient amounts of fat-free dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese, and in plant foods including spinach, mustard, broccoli, beans, sunflower seeds, and calcium-rich cereals.
     The article also added: Vitamin D which aids in the absorption of calcium which is consumed by vegetarians through soy-milk products; Iron which can be get from cereals, dried fruits, pure juice, black strap, molasses, pumpkin seeds, and soy-bean nuts; and Vitamin B-12 which are being taken up by vegetarians from eggs and some also take multivitamins and mineral supplements to supply their need of B-12.
     According also to the article Top 10 Advantages of going Vegetarian by Kshipra Bansal (2014), vegetarians get the following benefits and advantages as they choose being a vegetarian.
     Bansal (2014) said that being a vegan helps reduce your body weight since non-vegetarian diet contains larger quantities of fats compared to a vegetarian diet which only contains less-cholesterol meals such as milk, fruits, and vegetables in replace of meat which is therefore, results to less chances of being infected with weight-related ailments. She also stated that a vegetarian meal can enrich the look and texture of your hair, nails, and skin.


     Vegetarians are also expected to have longer life expectancy according to Bansal (2014) for their body are only consuming natural food free from hormones, toxins, and chemicals which makes them have an allowance of 5-10 years compared to a non-vegetarian diet which is incomplete in phytochemicals, fiber, and certain vitamins making them more prone to health problems and may live shorter. She also added that being a vegan makes you happy for it creates an aura of happiness around you, it lowers incidence of depression and anxiety and overall, it saves your money (for a vegetarian diet is much more cheaper than those of the non-vegetarians’), keeps you away from disease, increase your durability, reduces your weight, and makes you look better.


     However, some articles are opposing the idea regarding the advantages of being a vegetarian. One of these articles is the Disadvantages of being a Vegetarian by Jason Ladock which states that vegans lack these nutrients and minerals necessary for the body:
     He said that one of this is protein which makes up the “building blocks” (para. 4) of our body and that vegetarians claim that they can still get enough protein from eggs, beans, and broccoli well in fact, protein in vegetables and plants are not the same as the amino acids we get from meat. Ladock also said that in order for our body to get enough amino acids, it needs the right balance of IAAs and DAAs (Indispensable and Dispensable Amino Acids) and BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids) coming from animals necessary for the structure of muscles and lack of protein means we are slower to heal wounds, skin looks more dull and unhealthy, struggle to develop muscle tissue, digestion suffers (for digestive enzymes comes from amino acids) and vegetarians will eat more carbohydrates in order to replace the lost protein which then leads to weight gain. He even added the logic that “Humans are made up of meat. Therefore when we eat meat, it will already be easy for our body to convert it into useful protein compared to when we eat plants and vegetables which is obviously not meat, then it would take more time for our body to convert it to usable proteins” (para. 7).


     Oils, particularly Omega 3 fatty acid also are another mineral vegans lack according to Ladock for we also get these from meat which helps us break down and utilize protein and is also useful to the brain and for preventing the damage caused by free radicals which causes cancer. He also stated that Vitamin B12 is also another vitamin we get from meat and deficiency of this may cause nerve damage, low energy, and problems utilizing calcium which leads to osteoporosis and is also significant for brain damage.


     Ladock also said that being a vegetarian affects the lifestyle of oneself for you will miss a lot of food just like eating on a restaurant or a fast food chain wherein vegetable dishes are often served making you eat less or nothing at all; another example also is when you go around your friend’s house and knowing that you’re a vegetarian, you might limit what they are supposed to cook and they will be forced to go out and buy special ingredients just to host you.
     Another article also that talks about the disadvantages of being a vegetarian is the Side Effects of becoming Vegetarian by Judd Hardler (2012) which argues the factors thrown by the vegetarians to the non-vegetarians.
     According to Hardler (2012), one of these factors is the Low Cholesterol levels which is according to the Oxford Vegetarian study of 5000 vegans, vegetarians have lower cholesterol levels than non-vegetarians but the American Heart Association recommend to keep a total of cholesterol levels under 200; however, another study by the Honolulu Heart Program demonstrates that having extremely low levels of cholesterol may lead to an early death.
     Hardler (2012) also said that Increased risk of Colorectal Cancer is another factor in which vegans assume that heavy meat eaters would have a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer but according to the review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, study shows that incidences of all cancers fused are lower in vegetarians than in non-vegetarians, but among the incidences, it is higher in vegetarians than in non-vegetarians and that there are 39% higher incidence of colorectal cancer in vegetarians.
     At the same time, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) (as cited in the article Food Pyramids and Plates: What should you really eat?), we have this what we call The Healthy Eating Pyramid which serves as our guide for getting the proper nutrition.


     The pyramid’s structure constitutes healthy foods we can consume in order to be healthy which includes: Whole Grains— as carbs for our energy; Healthy Fats and Oils— to improve cholesterol levels; Vegetables and Fruits— decreases chances of heart attacks, stroke, and could even lower blood pressure and could protect us from any types of cancers; Nuts, Seeds, Beans, and Tofu— good sources of protein and fiber; Fish, Poultry and Eggs— also a good source of protein and omega-3 from fish; Dairy— for calcium and Vitamin D; Red Meat, Processed Meat, and butter— also important but limit for about twice a week; Refined Grains, White Bread, Rice and Pasta— also a good source of carbs but limit for they also contribute to higher blood sugar levels; Multivitamin with extra Vitamin D— to lower the risk of colon and breast cancer; Alchohol is also included for it lowers the risk of heart disease but just drink moderately.


     USDA also promotes The Healthy Plate (as shown in the diagram) which shows that we have to include vegetables (half of our plate), quarter of it for whole grains, another quarter for protein and we may also include healthy fats, water, coffee, or tea to complete a healthy meal.
     Therefore, this only means that in order to have a balanced diet, it is not necessary that one should be a vegetarian because in my opinion, it takes the combination of glow, grow, and go foods to sum up a healthy lifestyle and not just pure vegetables and fruits only.


10 Incredible Health Benefits of a Vegan or Vegetarian Diet


Global Warming: Typhoon Shifting (outline)

I. Introduction
   A. A recall on the typhoon Yolanda
   B. What is a typhoon
   C. How does the typhoon forms
   D. What causes stronger typhoons
II. Current Philippine status
   A. Introduction to the Philippine typhoon table showing how typhoons get stronger
   B. Discussion regarding the table
     • How can you know if the typhoon is stonger or weaker
     • Comparison between typhoons from the past years up to the present
     • Showing of images with the top 4 typhoons (Juan, Pedring, Pablo, and Sendong)
   C. Major solutions to lessen the typhoon strength
   D. Introduction of how Global Warming affect typhoons
III. Global Warming contributes to stronger typhoons
   A. What is the main cause of Global Warming
   B. Global Warming makes ocean surface temperature rise
   C. Warm ocean leads to stronger typhoons
IV. Conclusion
   A. Realization and reflection with regards to the current situation of the Earth

Global Warming: Typhoon Shifting

Who can ever forget the tragic super typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda last November 7, 2013? The storm which has a really great effect on the Philippine economy including damage in infrastructures having PHP19, 559, 379, 136.11 total cost of damage and in agriculture having PHP20, 262, 118, 716.06 total cost of damage according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). Haven’t we noticed? As the years pass by, typhoons are getting more and more tragic that it causes too much effect to the country. Typhoons approaching to the Philippines in the present time are already getting stronger compared to the past years and the question is: What causes this so-called the “Typhoon Shift?”

According to John Roach (2005) in his article for National Geographic News entitled “Is Global Warming Making Hurricanes Worse?” states that hurricanes/typhoons bring massive winds and heavy rains that flood streets and destroy not just homes but also farming fields, and even a whole region. He quoted hurricane and typhoon historian Jay Barnes of Prime Knoll Shores, California stating his explanation regarding the physics of a typhoon is that heat warms the sea bed and then quickly evaporates, the particles coming from the evaporation of water becomes cloud and then scattered rain showers and thunderstorms form; thus rotating Earth causes the winds within the storm whirl around the center of the depression which will now become the eye (size varies depending on how much heat is available) of the storm.

In addition, Roach also stated in his article that studies in the past years found no proof that typhoon strength have increased because of the rise of global temperature, but a new study already discovered that typhoons are getting stronger which then correlates with the rise in ocean surface temperature and that the strength of typhoons increased for about 50% over the last three (3) decades. Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge atmospheric science professor, Kenny Emanuel (as cited in Roach, 2005) states that for every 1°Celcius (1.8°Fahrenheit) rise in sea temperature, there is also a 5% increase in a typhoon’s strength and speed. Emanuel also added that the world already have half a degree Celcius of warming which led to 2.5.% increase in typhoon intensity.

According also to an article entitled “Hurricanes in a Warmer World,” there are three (3) main factors which influences typhoon behavior; first is the Warm Ocean Temperature— hurricanes occur when surface ocean temperatures reaches for about 79°F (26°C), second is the Low Vertical Wind Shear, and the third one is the High Humidity. It was also shown that there was really an increase in sea temperatures which is during in the year 2005, there was a 70% increase, during 2006, there was a 60% increase to the 2005 percentage, and an 18% increase over the next 80 years. The article states that the increase in the global temperature was majorly caused by human activities such as burning of fossil fuels, clearing of forests which elevated carbon dioxide for these gases act like an insulating blanket that warms the land and ocean and increase evaporation.

Let’s go back to the current Philippine typhoon situation which is really obviously increasing and lasts even more longer compared to the recent years. Here is a table showing historical and popular typhoons entering the country from the past years up to the present years. IMG_20141123_135252_188

The table shows the name of the typhoon, the date it is active (including the date when it arrived), and its strength. The greater the number of its strength, the faster it is moving and the lesser its strength the slower it is. But as we can see on the table, there are already shifting regarding with their strength starting the year 1964, the year also when the issue of Global Warming was already tackles. image The article “Typhoon Megi (2010)” typhoon Megi (Juan) hit Philippines last October 18, 2010 with the speed of 140km/h affected municipalities of Luzon which includes Abra, Bataan, Benguet, Cavite, Metro Manila, Mountain Province, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales. The article “Typhoon Juan leaves trail of destruction in North Luzon” also states that after its stay in the country, there were 96 people who are dead and 4 are missing and its total cost of damage reached up to PHP82.2 Billion. image According also to the article “List of retired Philippine typhoon names” the typhoon Nesat (Pedring) hit the country last September 26, 2011 with the speed of 220 km/h. Regarding also to the article “Typhoon Pedring affects 195,000,” that there were almost 8 regions nationwide were affected which is the Region II with 16, 841 people from 21 barangays, 7 municipalities in Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya, Region III with 27, 959 people from 60 barangays, 15 towns in Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Bulacan, Pampanga, and Bataan, Region IV-A with “some” (para. 9) 10, 205 people from Rizal, Quezon, and Cavite, Region IV-B with 9980 people from Occidental Mindoro and Romblon, Region V with “some” (para. 11) 88, 525 people from Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, and Catanduanes, and CAR having 12, 871 people; wherein 85 died and the total cost of damage reached PHP15.6 Billion. image According to the article “Typhoon Bopha,” typhoon Pablo hit Philippines last December 3, 2012 with the speed of 280km/h wherein there are 834 people who are still missing. A situation report also on the Effects of Typhoon Pablo (NDRRMC) as of Dec. 20, 2012, 7 a.m. states that there are 711, 682 families/ 6, 243, 998 people were affected in 3064 barangays/ 312 municipalities/ 40 cities in over 34 provinces of Regions IV-B, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, CARAGA, and ARMM. The report also states that the total cost of damage reached PHP24, 222, 823, 528.07. image The article “Typhoon Haiyan” states that typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) hit the country last November 7, 2013 with the speed of 315 km/h which is then considered as the strongest typhoon in Philippine history. According also to “Philippines: Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) Heavily-affected areas (as of 2 Nov. 2013)” the areas affected by the typhoon.

With the table as our basis, we can really compare typhoons from the past to present days. Typhoons nowadays are already unpredictable just like what is shown on the table, typhoons gets stronger and then the next one will not be that strong compared to the recent typhoon and then the following typhoons will get stronger again. There is an explanation for that and that is what science professors (Emanuel and Barnes) on Roach’s article which sates that Global Warming or the global rise of the Earth’s atmospheric temperature causes a typhoon’s unpredictable behavior. They also said that in every rise of the sea surface temperature, there is also a relative increase on the typhoon’s strength and intensity.

Barnes (Roach, 2005) also added that if global temperatures still continue to rise, then it is possible that typhoons and hurricanes will continually get stronger as there is more heat to drive storms and on a global scale, the strength of these storms corresponds with ocean temperatures: “it goes up when temperatures goes up, down when temperatures goes down” (p. 2).

The UCS also included in their proposal the Natural Factors that can “put the brakes on” a tropical cyclone/hurricane/typhoon (para. 13) which is: moving over colder ocean water, strong winds to mix up with the colder ocean water, high altitude winds which is capable of destroying the typhoon’s eye or vortex, and the dry air seething into the typhoon’s core.

In order not to bring back the catastrophe brought by Yolanda, let us make time for realization and reflect with what is already happening to our Earth right now and together, let us help cool down Global Warming.