I wanted to investigate the health practicality of eating vegetarian, even though I have decided not to pursue this diet. I researched a few of the specific questions I had in mind:
1. What are the nutritional pros of eating vegetarian?
– lower count in saturated fats, little or no cholesterol
– plants are higher in fiber, vitamin B, and folic acid than animals
– veggie diets contain fewer calories
– food lower on the food chain contain less pollutants
2. Can vegetarians be healthier in the long-run?
– Yes, in the sense that people who eat plants tend to live longer and healthier lives than people who eat animals
– high fiber and antioxidants in vegetarian diets lead to reduced risk for colon, stomach, mouth, esophagus, lung, prostate, bladder, and breast cancer.
– low levels in cholesterol and saturated fat lead to reduced risk for cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and stroke.
– vegetarians are less likely to get diabetes and visual blindness from macular degeneration
– tend to have lower percentage of body fat
3. How do vegetarians get enough protein?
– you do not need to eat muscle to make muscle
– dairy products, eggs, grains, legumes provide plenty of protein
– you can get all the protein you need from a peanut butter sandwich, couple glasses of milk, or a cup of yogurt
4. Can vegetarian diets lead to nutritional deficiencies?
– Only strict vegans are at risk of deficiencies in some nutrients.
– with a balanced diet, Lacto-ovo vegetarians are unlikely to suffer from nutrient deficiencies
– there are no essential nutrients in meat that are not also found in eggs, dairy, and fish.
– may be at risk for Vitamin B-12 deficiency, since animal foods are the best source
– however it would takes years to become deficient in this vitamin.
– Zinc deficiency may also be at risk with an unbalanced diet.
As we all learn in elementary school, the best diet to have is a balanced diet consisting of more vegetables and fruit than meat and dairy.