People choose to adhere to vegetarian diets for a number of different reasons. Some do so for ethical reasons, while other people feel a vegetarian diet is a healthier option as opposed to eating meat. Regardless of why individuals choose to follow vegetarian diets, it’s very important that they take steps to make sure that they avoid nutrient deficiencies.
What qualifies as a vegetarian diet differs for particular people. Some individuals who consider themselves to be vegetarians avoid animal flesh however still eat poultry and seafood, while others steer clear of animal products altogether. The latter group must be especially careful to avoid nutrient deficiency as malnutrition can sometimes cause permanent damage to the body.
The Link Between Vegetarianism And Health
Most doctors as well as nutritionists are in agreement that a low-fat diet which is high in fruits, vegetables, and nuts may be a boon to health. There’s also research which suggests that reducing or eliminating red meat from your diet may cut your risk of heart disease.
In addition, research has shown that a vegan or vegetarian diet could lower your risk of getting type 2 diabetes. A study which was conducted a couple of years ago found that vegetarians had lower triglycerides, glucose levels, blood pressure in addition to body mass index (BMI).
What Are Common Nutritional Deficiencies Associated With A Vegetarian Diet?
Vegetarian diets can be helpful for your health however completely cutting animal products could make you question where you’re getting particular nutrients. Many individuals assume that getting sufficient protein on a plant-based diet will be a challenge however that is not necessarily true. There are a lot of plant protein sources such as lentils, beans, chickpeas, nuts, seeds, soy products, as well as whole grains.
The nutritional deficiencies which are most common with vegetarian diets involve the following:
This specific vitamin is created by a bacteria and found mainly in animal products such as dairy, meat, insects as well as eggs. However, a number of different plant foods are fortified with B12 (such as nutritional yeast and a number of different plant milks) and supplementing with a B12 vitamin is a feasible option.
Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin! Along with calcium, vitamin D plays an essential role in retaining bone health. Vitamin D is very easily obtained from sun exposure. However remember to limit your time in direct sun as it doesn’t take much to get your vitamin D. For those people with less outdoor time, such as people living through winter in northern climates, supplementation is also readily available.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These essential fatty acid is very important for making sure that you maintain heart health. While fish and eggs are commonly thought of as rich sources, you are also able to find omega-3 in chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts, and hempseeds.
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