Vegetarian diet sketches in our head a model of healthy and very natural diet, however, the vegetarian diet has its advantages and disadvantages and may or may not favor our body, so this article will discuss its positive points, what its risks and how to promote health by taking a vegetarian diet.
Types of Vegetarian Diet
When talking about vegetarian diet this article will always refer to a vegetable-based diet only, since there are different types of vegetarianisms, including those that include eggs and milk, called Ovo-Lacto vegetarians, or which include or egg or milk. There are vegans or strict vegetarians who only consume foods of plant origin and there is diet on uncooked foods so they do not consume animal food or starches derived from cereals that are only consumed cooked.
This article will deal with the authentic vegetarian diet in which food is less flexible and only include foods of plant origin, for example, strict vegetarians who do not consume dairy meats or eggs but do include in their daily diet legumes, cereals, Seeds, nuts, vegetables, fruits and derivatives thereof.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Vegetarian Diet
Among the benefits of a vegetarian diet is the low intake of saturated fats that contain animal products, as well as it doesn’t contribute cholesterol that is only found in the animal kingdom. In addition, with the vegetarian diet, you can include a greater amount of fiber, and even more if you consume whole grains, which has been associated with a lower prevalence of prostate and colon cancer.
Also among the benefits of the vegetarian diet have been noted its cardioprotective power and its help to prevent obesity. However, talking about a vegetarian diet is not synonymous with a healthy diet, because you can be a vegetarian and eat daily noodles and fries with soda, which would mean not including food of animal origin but at the same time, not including vitamins, minerals or fiber, then the benefits of the vegetarian diet would be limited.
On the other hand, the disadvantages of people on a vegetarian diet are a greater risk of being deficient in some micronutrients, since the high consumption of fiber can prevent a correct absorption of minerals and also, some nutrients are scarce or not available in the vegetable kingdom. For example, Vitamin B12 is obtained from meat products only, therefore, vegetarians may lack it and suffer from anemia as a result of their deficit. It is possible to resort to supplements or the incorporation of algae to the daily diet that acquire vitamin B12 by bacterial synthesis and by contamination. Another risk is to suffer from iron deficiency because iron of vegetable origin is not easily absorbed and this can predispose to anemia.
Omega-3 fatty acid is a great highlight in fish, so vegetarians must have alternatives to incorporate this type of good fatty acids into their diet, for example, olive oil or nuts.
On the other hand, proteins from animal origin are complete and have better nutritional quality than proteins from vegetable origin. Therefore vegetarians must take care of their intake by combining foods that are complemented by lacking some essential amino acids and others do not. It is the case of legumes with cereals that form a perfect combination to obtain a complete protein like meat if consumed together.