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The Pros and Cons of a Vegetarian Diet: The Truth about Plant-Based Eating.


I've been an off-and-on vegetarian since I was about 10 years old. I remember telling my mom at a young age that I didn't want to eat meat anymore, and as an athletic child, she was worried.


"How will you get your protein?", "Will your energy, mood, and performance suffer?", "Do I have to cook you a separate dinner now?" were all questions that came up with this change.


Why do I choose to eat very little meat? Well to be honest it's partially because meat grosses me out, and partially because I'm a highly empathetic person who is passionate about animals. I don't advise everyone go vegetarian, but if it speaks to you, I support that! If not, keep doing your thang.


I've gotten many questions lately about the facts of a vegetarian diet, so I want to give you guys some pros & cons of being a vegetarian:


PROS:

-More environmentally friendly (reduces water used, methane/nitrous oxide production, and more)

-More anti-inflammatory

-Can lower the risk of heart disease & type 2 diabetes

-Can be cheaper (beans and rice are much cheaper than meat)

-Can improve digestion, skin, energy, and mood in some


CONS:

-Meat is a more convenient source of protein

-Meat is highly bio-available (more nutrients absorbed)

-Meat has more heme-iron available

-Vegetarian diets can get repetitive or boring

-Several traditional dishes & restaurants do not have many vegetarian options


MISCONCEPTIONS:

-"You won't get any protein"...yes, you will, you just need to consume a wide variety of grains, legumes, eggs, dairy, and vegetables.

-"It's expensive"...The cost of a vegetarian diet is typically about $1,000 – $1,500 cheaper per person per year.

-"You just eat veggies"...no, you eat pretty much everything but meat. There's 4 other food groups.

-"You'll have no energy"...it's true, vegetarians get less energizing vitamin B without meat, so I recommend a wide variety of foods or a whole-food multivitamin that also contains iron.


I don't have all the facts, this is just based on my research and experience. For every pro-vegetarian article and study, there is also a pro-meat eating article and study. My best advice to you is to try it, and if you like it, then yay! But if you don't, it's okay!


I highly recommend you do some further research to find out if eating plant-based is for you. Here are some sources:

https://vegetarian.procon.org/

https://goqii.com/blog/vegetarianism-pros-and-cons/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27886704

Sincerely, Leah Peters Leahpetersfitness.com

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