Tell your friends and family that you’re becoming a vegetarian and you’ll likely get a variety of reactions, from “that’s great!” to “are you joining a cult?”
People may also tell you that your health is likely to suffer. This concern is usually voiced by well-meaning people, who think that humans can’t be healthy without eating meat. This belief is based partly on science, partially on propaganda put out by the agricultural industry, and to a large degree on misconceptions about vegetarianism and the food choices that it offers. But the truth is, a vegetarian diet contains various healthy food choices!
Yes, you heard it right! 🐄
The fact is, A MEAT-FREE DIET offers numerous advantages. Studies reveal that vegetarians have much lower rates of hypertension, heart disease, and other cardiovascular ailments than those who eat animal flesh.🐓
They consume much lower levels of cholesterol and saturated fat, and far higher amounts of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients. They enjoy longer life spans, more active senior years, and even seem to be happier overall than carnivores.
This is not to say that going vegetarian is easy
It means ADJUSTING LONG-ESTABLISHED attitudes and habits. It may also entail some sacrifices, such as having limited menu options at many restaurants. In particular, though, it means finding alternate sources for many of the nutrients that meat provides. Let’s take a closer look at that.
Of all the objections raised to vegetarianism, the most common by far is…
“but without meat it’s impossible to get enough protein!”🐂
This isn’t true, but it’s partially based on fact. Beef, pork, and chicken are indeed rich in protein, which is necessary for maintaining muscle tissue.
That’s why government nutrition experts began to promote the consumption of meat and dairy products way back in the 1920s. Experts at the time saw this as a sensible way to correct the problems of protein and caloric deficiency, which were widespread throughout most of the U.S. population at the time.
However, as modern dietary science shows, it’s still very possible to get more than adequate amounts of high-quality protein from PLANT-BASED SOURCES.🌿
Beans grains seeds nuts legumes and corn are all rich sources🥦🌽
For example, one ounce of shelled peanuts contains 7% of the recommended daily intake of protein.
Vegetarians usually get PLENTY OF VITAMINS from eating a wide variety of raw or minimally processed foods. However, vegans face special challenges, as vitamin D and B-12 cannot be obtained in sufficient amounts apart from eating eggs or dairy products.
Fortunately, this problem is easily remedied by taking supplements. Being out in the sun a great deal of the time can provide vitamin D, but it might also increase the risk of skin cancer for those with fair complexions.😐
Milk and cheese are rich in this vital substance, which is essential for STRONG BONES AND TEETH. For lac-to and Ovo-Lacto vegetarians, this isn’t an issue, but vegans do need to take special measures, including eating plenty of foods such as broccoli, beans, and soy-based products.
Fortified fruit juices are another potential source
For example, orange juice is extremely healthy, and packagers often add calcium to it.
First studied as a way to reduce the risk of heart disease, omega-3 fatty acids are now touted by experts as having many other health benefits, such as keeping the brain and nervous system healthy.
While most people get plenty of them from fish or eggs, it’s possible to obtain them from sources such as flax-seed, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, soybean oil, canola oil, and certain green leafy vegetables.
THIS IS ANOTHER NUTRIENT that is found in meat and dairy products. But vegetarians can find it in whole-grain bread, cooked beans, lentils, vegetables, and soy-based foods.
Essential for overall health, most meat-eaters actually consume too much of this nutrient, which can cause a host of health problems.
Vegetarians can find sufficient amounts of it by eating cooked dried beans, peas, lentils, and grain products fortified with iron. The body has a harder time digesting iron from plant-based sources, so it’s important to get plenty of vitamin C, which helps to overcome this problem.
The bottom line is that vegetarian food can be perfectly healthy, so long as persons who adopt it ENJOY A WIDE VARIETY of grains, beans, legumes, vegetables, fruits, and soy-based products.😄
They should eat these foods either raw or with as little processing as possible👍
as cooking robs them of much of their nutritional value. Following these basic guidelines will ensure that a meat-free lifestyle is also a healthy one.
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