Is the vegetarian diet the preferable lifestyle choice? Is it really as healthy as you believed? Nutritionists and doctors give their opinion.
Updated: 02 July 2019
The rise of vegetarianism is undeniable and this has been attributed to quite a few things, including celebrities singing their praises about plant-based food. Some people stop eating meat because of the cruelty animals endure while others do so because they believe that their mind, body, and spirit will benefit more from a plant-based diet. What do the experts have to say about this? Let’s find out.
There is enough evidence to suggest that people who are on a plant-based diet do not suffer as much from chronic diseases and enjoy longer lives. However, Natalie Parletta, a nutritionist, wants to stress that it is essential to eat a well-balanced diet that has a variety of nutrients such as vitamin B12 and Omega-3. Get fiber and nutrients from legumes, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Aside from having a much healthier body, going vegetarian or vegan also helps reduce our carbon footprint on the planet so it is a win-win situation for everyone.
Doctors also attest to the fact that people who are on a plant-based diet have lower rates of high blood pressure, diabetes, and a variety of cardiovascular diseases. There is also news that a vegetarian Mediterranean diet can help people cope with depression, although there are no concrete facts to back this claim up, yet. Although shifting from a meat-based diet to a plant-based diet is no walk in the park, it can be done and the decrease of lifestyle diseases should be motivation enough.
Dieticians also believe that a plant-based diet is healthier than a meat-based diet as long as the vegetarian food consumed is of good quality. Eating red and processed meats increase the risk of colorectal cancer, which is among the top three killer cancers in the world. Today, there are plenty of plant-based alternatives readily available in the market. We now enjoy vegetarian burger patties, vegetarian turkey, and vegetarian cheese, among many other things. There is simply no excuse not to go vegetarian. These alternatives are lower in fat and have higher amounts of fiber.
So many good things have been said about going vegetarian or vegan. However, there are also claims that a vegetarian diet lacks protein, iron, and zinc. Although vegetarians and vegans have lower levels of iron stored as ferritin, their levels are still considered normal and cannot be classified as a deficiency, so there is no need for alarm bells to start ringing.
It must be highlighted, however, that the World Health Organization does not preclude small amounts of poultry or meat for a more sustainable diet. They believe that being a vegan or a vegetarian means you should proportionately choose more of your food from plant sources, instead of entirely eliminating meat from your diet. By doing so, you are making the best decision for yourself and also for the planet.
Now that you have taken in as much of the city as you can, you will surely be leaving with a lighter heart and fond memories.
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