Apart from other health considerations, there are other benefits of a vegetarian. People become vegetarians for different reasons. In addition, Producing vegetarian foods are more ecologically sustainable and it also reduces damage to the environment. Many people stop eating meat for religious, ideological, ethical reasons. But often, the focus is on health enhancement.
Here are some ways in which avoiding meat products can enhance a person’s health.
A more healthier cholesterol levels: Scientists have shown that one specific vegetarian diet can lower cholesterol level.
Vegetarian benefits weight loss: It has been discovered that fish eaters, vegetarians and vegans had a lower body mass index ( BMI ) than those who are meat-eaters.
Lower risk of developing cancer: One of the pros of vegetarianism is that, overall, vegetarians have a lower risk of many different types of cancer as compared with meat eaters. However, the same study found a higher incidence of colon cancer among vegetarians.
A vegetarian diet has been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular risk factors.
Vegan health studies has shown that vegetarian food tends to be lower in fat, especially saturated fats and higher in fiber than animal-based foods.
Becoming a vegetarian
It’s discovered that the amount of people between the ages of 9 and 20 years in the U.S. that have chosen a vegetarian diet is around 4 percent.
It’s also very important that parents of vegetarian children should ensure their diet contains all of the key nutrients.
Those who choose to become vegetarian include children and teenagers. Anyone who is decides to become a vegetarian needs to educate themselves to ensure that they continue to get their key nutrients. Parents whose children are vegetarian must make sure their children are not just omitting the meat served with the family meal, but getting their nutrients in other ways.
It is possible to become a vegetarian but there are some things to consider which requires a gradual change:
A gradual change is more likely to become a long-term move and a lifestyle
A sudden change in diet can affect some people’s digestive system at first. Changes to the gut microbiome may lead to temporary bloating. Gradually replacing meat with more vegetables, legumes, fruits, such as beans and lentils and whole grains may reduce this impact.
Choose whole-grain products, such as whole-wheat bread, wild or brown rice, and whole-grain cereals
Take a varied diet and grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and so on.
Have a regular or alternate source of vitamin B12.
Use eggs and dairy products in moderation, if at all.
Ensure to take a sufficient intake of vitamin D, especially if one’s exposure to sunlight is low.
It’s also suggested that reducing the intake of high-sugar and high-fat foods, especially transfats.
Risks of Being a Vegetarian
It is also important to source nutrients and iron on a vegetarian diet, as these may result in a short supply without animal products in the diet.
Also a vegetarian diet that is based on heavy snacks and junk food can still be high in calories.
People who eat less or who do not eat fish or meat may lack certain nutrients, more especially if they are not consuming eggs or dairy products.
Nutrients that may be lacking include:
· Vitamin B12
· Vitamin D
A Good sources of iron are sea vegetables such as legumes, fortified breakfast cereals, nori, such as beans and lentils, dried fruit, such as figs, and broccoli, among others. Consuming these with foods high in vitamin C.
Milk and yogurt are important sources of calcium. Vegetarians who are avoiding dairy products can get calcium from fortified soy milk, green leafy vegetables, and dried figs.
It’s also important for vegetarian children and teens to plan their children’s nutrient intake as their bodies are still developing. Lack of Calcium intake, for example, can affect the health of the bone in a long term.
Taking a Fortified soy milk and breakfast cereals can assist in the synthesis of vitamin D, but not withstanding that the exposure to sunlight is also necessary.
Vegetarians have a high risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency as compared with other people who consume animal-based products. Also the human body cannot utilize the plant-based form of vitamin. Fortified foods are advised for those who do not eat eggs or dairy products.
Dairy products normally contain zinc but dried beans, fortified cereals, nuts and soy products can make up for this. Zinc is an essential nutrient that plays a big role in the metabolization of cells and immune function.
Note that, becoming a vegetarian will not guarantee one a good health or a healthy diet. Anyone is at risk of poor health if they only consume excess calories, unhealthy snack foods, a lot of refined carbohydrates.
Many vegetarian products are howeverly available for those who are busy with other things or are not confident in their cooking skills, vegetarian burgers and sausages, including ready meals. Most restaurants now offer vegetarian options.
However, people who aren’t too busy to cook their own food can be sure of the contents and becoming a vegetarian may also encourage people to learn new cooking skills.