Pros and Cons of Vegetarian Diet
A vegetarian diet is sought after by those who want to spare and respect the lives of animals. There are also those who want to use this vegetarian diet to live healthier, lose weight, maintain a healthy weight, lower their cholesterol, lower their risk of heart disease, or to lower their risk of cancer.
You can go on this diet for any reason you want to. However, there are some cons you have to consider before you go on this diet. For instance, the cons of the vegetarian diet are nutrient deficits, misconception of automatic health benefits just because something happens to be vegetarian, your choices of vegetarian foods might be limited depending on where you live, and you might have to cook most of your meals at home.
When you go on a proper vegetarian diet, you will notice how healthier it is than a non-vegetarian diet. You can also avoid diseases and health complications like cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes and some types of cancer just by cutting meat, dairy, and all kinds of animal-based products from your diet.
Without meat and animal-based products to eat (like butter, eggs, and milk), your cholesterol levels will drop. If your cholesterol levels are high or if you want to maintain your healthy cholesterol levels, then a vegetarian diet will help you with your healthy cholesterol goals.
Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
Since you won’t be eating meat and animal-based products anymore, you won’t clog your arteries with fat from meat or butter or anything animal based, either. That’s a huge chunk of what you eat that will be reduced to nothing if you eat a vegetarian diet. Also, you’ll be eating fruits and vegetables more often, which are filled with the anti-oxidants that you need to help prevent heart disease.
And if you eat a vegetarian diet, you will lose weight. Meat has a lot of fat in them and cutting meat out of your diet will result in weight loss. You will also be cutting out a lot of fat out of butter and milk as well. And you will also maintain your weight if that is what you want.
Lowers risk of Cancer
By cutting out meat, butter, eggs, and milk, you will also reduce your risk of cancer because cancer is fueled by fat cells that comes from meat and animal-based products. However, by depending more on a vegetarian diet, you’ll be able to have antioxidants that will help prevent cancer cells from growing, and they will keep your cells in check so that they don’t grow and multiply out of control.
Deficient in vital nutrients
- Deficient in Vitamin D: Milk products come from cows and vegetarians stay away from eating animals and anything that comes out of animals. If you become a vegetarian, you will become deficient in Vitamin D. Take Vitamin D supplements in order to give your body the vitamin D that it needs to function right.
- Deficient in Calcium: Apparently, since milk products come from animals like cows and milk products have calcium, then you will lose out on a ton of calcium because vegetarians don’t drink milk in their diet based on the logic that milk comes from animals.
- Deficient in Zinc: vegetarians also have a lower intake of zinc than non-vegetarians. Put more zinc in your diet with soy foods, legumes, nuts, and supplemented foods.
- Deficient in Protein: When you cut out meat out of your diet, you also cut out a bunch of protein.
- Deficient in Riboflavin: When you cut out meat, you will have low levels of riboflavin. You need to correct this by eating milk, almonds, fortified breakfast cereals, yogurt, soy, bananas, and broccoli.
- Deficient in Iron: low levels of iron. You need to eat more iron from the food that already has iron in your vegetarian diet; that way, you can make up for the iron you’ve lost from not eating meat anymore.
The misconception of automatic health benefits
Just because something is vegetarian doesn’t mean it’s automatically healthy for you to eat. For example, a chocolate chip dairy-free cookie is vegetarian. A dairy-free cookie is not healthy to eat every day at every meal for the rest of your life. You need fruits, vegetables, nuts, almonds, seeds, walnuts, soy milk, etc. You need things that will keep you healthy.
Harder to find all the food you that you need, especially if you live in a small town
Because most food is made with meat in them and junk like that, you would have to go grocery shopping and cook most of your own vegetarian meals. If you live in a big city, you might have more options for your vegetarian diet. If you live in a small town, though, you might find your choices limited and may have trouble finding healthy substitutes for meat.
Have to cook more
When you are on the vegetarian diet, you definitely have to cook more because it’s healthier and because your options are limited. You can’t go out as often to a restaurant because they may not have a vegetarian alternative for you to buy, especially if your friends or family chose the restaurant and you are there with them to eat and have fun with them or to celebrate a birthday.
Also, your workplace might not have healthy veggie substitutions nearby in its cafeteria or in the surrounding areas that you can buy food fast, either. So, in the days where you need to have lunch on you to warm it up, you probably need to have your food already on hand, and you may need to cook your meals ahead of time, and you might need some extra stamina to do that at the end of the workday.
Overall, being a vegetarian can be a rewarding experience. It can make you healthier and will let you lose and maintain weight, and it can lower your cholesterol and lower your risk of heart disease.
However, it will also be time-consuming to cook, and it will limit your choices in what you can buy in a grocery store (depending on where you live) and what services your restaurant provides you with. However, with these pros and cons in mind, you’ll be able to work around the cons and make the diet work for you.