Is A Vegan or Vegetarian Diet A Healthy Diet?

How healthy is it to shun meat? Can becoming a vegetarian really improve the quality of your life? Read on to find out the pros and cons of following a veggie diet.

Pros of a Vegan or Vegetarian Diet

  • It’s good for your heart. Vegan diets contain no saturated fat, which can only be found in animal products. Vegetarian diets can be high or low in it, depending on how much dairy you consume.

  • Saturated fat increases your cholesterol and can lead to heart disease. Vegetarians also tend to have lower blood pressure, another risk factor for heart disease.

  • Might help with weight loss. Unless you eat a lot of dairy products, your fat and calorie intake will probably go down when you switch to a vegetarian diet.

  • Vegetarians usually eat more fruits and vegetables than meat-eaters. This means a higher fiber intake, which helps keep you full with fewer calories.

  • Will improve the health of your skin. Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which fight free radicals and slow down the aging of cells.

  • As a result, you’ll have more vibrant, clearer skin. Hair and nails will also look better and get stronger.

Cons of a Vegan or Vegetarian Diet

  • Might be lacking on some nutrients. Unless you make an effort to eat wholesome foods from all food groups, you might end up with a vitamin or mineral deficiency.

  • To replace meats and dairy products, you’ll have to increase the amount of soy products, beans and other sources of protein you eat. Vitamin B12 can be a problem for vegans, who might need a supplement.

  • Can be difficult to follow when you’re out. Trying to eat at a local restaurant when you’re a vegan can be a challenge. Butter, eggs and other animal products can sneak into salads, grilled vegetables and other foods that might seem vegetarian in the first place.

  • If you’re unsure about your nutritional needs, start by switching to a vegetarian diet, rather than choosing to go vegan.

  • You can always restrict you diet even more later on, once you’ve learned the right proportion and combination of foods your body needs to stay healthy and strong.