A vegetarian diet has certainly been a hit in recent years. An increasing number of people are switching to this type of diet, for health, ecology and ethics reasons.
But while a vegetarian diet does have a number of benefits, a number of studies also address the disadvantages of this type of diet, so we will talk about pros and cons of being vegetarian.
A vegetarian diet excludes meat, fish and poultry. Vegans additionally eliminate dairy products, eggs and products of animal origin such as gelatin or honey from their diet.
As nutritionists point out, when it comes to a quality diet, a vegetarian diet can be both good and bad – depending on whether you choose boiled vegetables or oil-fried potatoes.
Therefore, learning about nutrition and nutrients contributes to overcoming the harmful aspects of any diet, including this one, which is based mostly on plant-based products.
Cons Of Being Vegetarian
1. Increased risk of stroke
British researchers have followed more than 48,000 men and women with no history of heart disease or stroke for about 18 years. Vegetarians had a 13% lower risk of heart disease than those who ate meat. At the same time, they also had a 20% higher stroke rate than those who ate meat.
2. Effect on brain health
Experts state that vegetarians are threatened by a lack of choline, a nutrient important for brain health, but also for a number of other functions. Choline is found in poultry meat and eggs, and the human body cannot produce sufficient amounts and it needs to be ingested through food. Therefore, vegetarians are advised to eat eggs regularly just for the sake of choline, and vegans are advised to take choline as a dietary supplement.
3. Increased hair loss
Studies show that a diet that does not include meat may be deficient in terms of protein and some micronutrients, primarily iron, vitamin B, and zinc.
They are responsible for the health and healthy hair growth. Therefore, if you follow a diet that does not contain meat, you need to consider the plant sources of these nutrients and their regular sufficient intake, in order to avoid the negative consequences of their deficiency.
4. Mood problems
When it comes to the impact of a vegetarian diet on mood, studies have some opposing findings. While some state that this diet improves mood, a study conducted by Hogg-Kollars showed that postpartum depression was more common in women on a vegetarian diet than in women who ate meat.
Yet, we don’t want to take sides, but only give readers information that there are different results of studies on this topic.
Pros Of Being Vegetarian
There’s a series of the positive effects of the vegetarian diet, so here are the pros of being vegetarian:
- Positive impact on heart health
- Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
It is important to note that people who eat a healthy vegetarian diet have a 25% lower risk of heart disease, but those who eat an unhealthy vegetarian diet have a 32% higher risk! Also, for vegetarians, good food choices reduce the risk of diabetes by 34%, but bad ones increase it by 16%!
A healthy plant-based diet includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, vegetable oils, and tea and coffee. Less healthy ones include fruit juices, sweetened beverages, refined cereals, pasta, potatoes, sweets and desserts.
Warning: Don’t be a junk food vegetarian!
Although many people experience a vegetarian diet healthy, this may not be the case, or it depends on the choices a vegetarian makes. Namely, just like with any other diet, as a vegetarian you can eat badly and, for example, base your diet on junk food!
You can be a vegetarian, and your diet is based on french fries, refined carbohydrates (white bread and bakery products), fizzy drinks and unhealthy desserts, right? Of course, no nutritionist in the world will call this diet healthy, although it still keeps its vegetarian name.
We hope you liked our findings about pros and cons of being vegetarian. If you are a vegetarian, choose healthy foods, whole grains, nuts, legumes, olive and other healthy oils and take advantage of all the benefits that a vegetarian diet can offer.