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Vegetarian diet pros and cons are becoming a little clearer. That’s because the world is becoming more health-conscious, and an increasing number of people are adopting a vegetarian lifestyle. A vegetarian diet usually comprises whole grains, vegetables and fruits, and it does not contain any meat. It is considered a healthy diet because it has been proven to be effective in improving overall health and preventing a number of diseases.
Recent studies found that about 4% of Americans are full-time vegetarians. A recent poll by the Vegetarian Resource Group found that 46% of respondents say they always or sometimes eat vegetarian meals when dining out. The top reason? Health. And a study by the Plant-Based Food Association found sales of plant-based foods increased 20% in the United States last year alone.
However, plant-based foods may not contain certain nutrients that are essential for the proper functioning of the body. Let’s take a look at the list of vegetarian diet pros and cons.
Because they are lower in or free of animal products, vegetarian diets are low in total and saturated fat and cholesterol. Many studies have shown that vegetarians are less likely to get certain diseases such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Vegetarian diets have also been shown to reduce asthma and promote bone health.
A few additional good reasons to adopt eat a vegetarian diet include:
In fact, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics affirms that a vegetarian diet can meet all known nutrient needs.
The biggest, most basic contradicting argument against vegetarianism usually centers around a lack of nutritional support. But arguments against may also include:
There are still some people who think they will suffer a protein deficiency if they switch to a vegetarian diet. But vegetarians easily meet their protein needs by eating a varied diet, as long as they consume enough calories to maintain their weight. A mixture of proteins throughout the day will provide enough essential amino acids. The list of protein-packed, plant-based foods includes:
Many common foods, such as whole-grain bread, greens, potatoes and corn can also add to your protein intake.
Remember, You can technically be a vegetarian eating a diet made up entirely of snack cakes, pasta, french fries and milkshakes, which have little nutritional value, but as a result, many health benefits may not apply.