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While there are many types and levels of vegetarianism, vegetarians in general are more likely to maintain healthy body weights and have a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease due to ingesting lower levels of animal fats and cholesterol. Animal fats, in particular saturated fats, are high in calories and poor for human diets in anything larger than very small amounts. The high caloric intake of meat fats makes it difficult to maintain a healthy body weight, particularly if it is accompanied by a sedentary lifestyle. Cholesterol is a type of chemical steroid that is present exclusively in meat and animal products (dairy, etc.). Over time, cholesterol can build up in arteries as plaque and disrupt the flow of blood, causing heart attacks and strokes (cardiovascular disease).
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