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The Pros And Cons Of Having A Vegetarian Diet

One of the most popular diets around, and has been for a long time, is the vegetarian diet. Any decision to become a vegetarian or to use a vegetarian diet is a serious one, as it requires a shift in the way food is viewed and thought about. When you go on a vegetarian diet what it means is that you totally eliminate meat and fish from your diet. You must understand what it is you are gaining by using the vegetarian diet and what you are giving up.

Advantages of the vegetarian diet

The vegetarian diet has been heralded as providing great dietary support in the fight against many chronic diseases. There are a number of researches that has been done that shows that a diet rich in plant foods, such as vegetables, whole grains, fruits, nuts, and dried peas and beans will assist in reducing the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and some cancers.

If you are seeking to get to a weight that is right for you, then the vegetarian diet may be the right choice for you. You will be eating foods that tend to keep you filled, like whole grains and nuts, to name a few, and you are less likely to overeat or consume too many calories.

If you are concerned about the health of your heart, then a vegetarian diet is the way to go. Studies have shown that plant foods are very low in artery clogging saturated fat which is a major contributor to incidences of heart problems because it raises your blood cholesterol levels. Animal foods are usually responsible for the dietary cholesterol which causes the problem; those on a vegetarian diet are free from this kind of cholesterol.

When you are on a vegetarian diet there is an increased likelihood that your blood pressure will remain or become normal. Anyone with high blood pressure is at risk for heart disease and a stroke. Foods high in fiber and a vegetarian diet have been shown to decrease the risk of type two diabetes, colon and prostate cancer.

Disadvantages of the vegetarian diet

Despite the vegetarian diet helping to stave off certain diseases, a vegetarian diet that is not considered healthy can give rise to other medical problems. There are concerns over the elimination of meat, fish dairy and poultry, because the diet may leave the body lacking in certain nutrients. Nutrients such as vitamin A, B12 and D, along with iron, zinc and calcium have to be supplemented by anyone on a vegetarian diet.

If your vegetarian diet includes dairy foods you should try not to fill your plate with too much food that is high in saturated fat or full fats. If your vegetarian diet is filled with junk food you are combating the intent of the diet.

A vegetarian diet must be considered very carefully as it is initially not an easy diet to follow. You will be required to change your lifestyle somewhat in order to benefit from a vegetarian diet.