How much can you save by going vegetarian?

by in Blog, Why 16/01/2015


When you ask a vegetarian what their reasons are for completely skipping the meat, they would likely be giving you the normal replies such as animal rights, health concerns or religious beliefs. Rarely would you hear the answer “to save money” and indeed, there is a common misconception that to go vegetarian would be to spend a whole lot more money on organic foodstuffs and pricey replacement recipes.

This is not entirely the case, and here, we have three main reasons why!

1) Lower nutritional costs
Let’s use a simple comparison method (not taking into account the person’s gender, age or medical conditions) to calculate a basic cost of going vegetarian and drive home the point here. A person would need approximately 46g to 56g of protein a day and would be able to get it by consuming meat, poultry, eggs, nuts, and seeds. Protein is important in one’s daily diet as they have a primary function of building blocks for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. They are also building blocks for enzymes, hormones, and vitamins.

A typical 200g of boneless and skinless chicken breast that you can get from Tesco Malaysia for RM3.38 would contain an average of over 50g of protein. On the other hand, a 250g pack of tofu from the same store would only cost you about RM1.59 which will provide you with a little over 60g of protein. According to the Malaysian Adults Nutrition Survey (MANS), adults generally consume about 23kg of chicken a year and the total cost of buying that much of chicken would come to RM388.70 whereas if the same were to be assumed for tofu, it would only cost about RM146.28, thereby saving you RM242.42 in the long run.

2) Lower health care costs
Some of the more common “silent killers” in Malaysia today such as heart disease, cancer, obesity, and stroke are directly linked to meat-based diets. According to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) the “average vegetarian cholesterol level is 133 (compared to 210 for meat-eaters); there are no documented cases of heart attacks in individuals with cholesterol under 150. Vegetarians are approximately one-ninth as likely to be obese as meat-eaters and have a cancer rate that is only 40 percent that of meat-eaters.”

Having read all that, don’t you already feel the inclination to start the transition to a vegetarian lifestyle? Many people I know have tragically lost at least one person they care about to any one of the diseases mentioned above. Remember the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Similarly, the majority of meat-eating people are known to consume, on average, about 500 calories more than those who lead a vegetarian lifestyle. That would be equivalent to 45 minutes of vigorous exercise, more or less.

This means that vegetarians have overall better health which spells out lower costs of health care (makes a lot of sense doesn’t it?) in the long run.

3) Cheaper alternative to feeling great
With lots of proper planning and general common sense when buying for your new vegetarian lifestyle, the wondrous thing about going into vegetarianism is that when you start to eat healthier, you start feeling great about yourself. Soon you develop a sense of adventure, wanting to branch out from the basic staples of a vegetarian diet and explore all the exotic superfoods (such as the “camu camu” from the Andean swamps) you can find to see just how amazing food can make you feel.

This article is published originally by Caitlyn Ng. Wanna read more? Go to:


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