Pros and cons of vegetarianism

Advantages and disadvantages of vegetarianism

Vegetarianism is synonymous of healthy

The word vegetarian often carries the meaning of healthy. This is true as long as the the vegetarian person’s diet is varied, balanced, well combined and able to provide all necessary nutrients.

When vegetarianism is not healthy?

We should note that it is possible for a vegetarian to follow an unhealthy diet. This occurs when someone does not take into account the above features.

For example, this takes place when vegetarian, instead of eating meat or fish, bases his/her diet on cakes, cookies, pastries, chocolate, sweets, soft drinks,… and the like.

All these products are made from plants, but they should be taken occasionally . Although this person does not take any animal food, his/her diet is not healthy.

River landscape

Vegetarianism is very healthy when done in a balanced manner, taking into account that the person should get all the nutrients needed

Responsible consumption of eggs and dairy

One should keep in mind that, if case of consuming eggs, milk and derivatives, although they are a very nutritious and good food to supplement our diet, they contain cholesterol because they are products that come from animals, so that, if consumed abusively, they can increase cholesterol in the blood.

However, eating eggs in moderation (3-4 a week) does not increase blood cholesterol. In addition, the egg white is pure protein and contains no fat or cholesterol. Referring to milk and its derivatives, if they are low fat, they neither increase cholesterol levels nor contribute to add saturated fats, but they are able to provide beneficial nutrients, instead.

Margarine is the vegetable version of butter

Another example is margarine. If the margarine is 100% vegetable (not all of them are) does not mean that its content is completely healthy.

The fat with which it is made comes from vegetable oils. There are several types of vegetable oils with different properties, not all are equally healthy.

Sometimes they are made with coconut oil (almost 90% is saturated), or palm oil (50% is saturated). Others are more healthy because they are made with olive oil (about 80% is monounsaturated). We should note that all are plant oils, but they have very different properties.

These vegetable oils, as a rule, are liquid at room temperature, which means that must be processed to physically take the solid texture of margarines and can therefore replace butter functionally.

The transformation that fat undergoes changes its chemical structure and converts monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats into trans fats, which act like saturated fats, so, they are not very healthy.

A plant-based diet is adequate

A vegetarian diet does not have to be unbalanced and create nutritional deficiencies, provided that, it is thoroughly combined and diverse enough to provide all necessary nutrients in the amounts required.

Covering all needs

The more restrictive the vegetarian diet is carried out, the harder it is to meet the personal needs, because there are fewer foods that can provide all the required nutrients.

For example, vegans and strict vegetarians, because they do not eat anything related to animals, do not get vitamin B12, since this vitamin is only found in animal foods. Therefore, they have to get it through foods fortified with vitamin B12 or directly in the form of supplements.

The problem arises when the only way to provide this essential nutrient is through a supplement, the source from which may not be vegetable, because it does exist in nature as such, so it is achieved either by extracting it from an animal food or it is chemically synthesized.

An organized diet is the clue of vegetarianism

Regardless of the type of diet or food you want to perform, a diet may be not adequate, because it is the poorly organized and not whether it is vegetarian or not.

That is, if there is not a balance between food, if it does not provide all the necessary nutrients or if it does not cover all the needs that the person requires and it is clearly based of occasional food, such as soft drinks, cakes, candies, cookies, it will not be a healthy diet.

  • Not only by excluding animal foods our diet becomes healthy.

* More information about vegetarianism:

Difficulties of a vegetarian diet to be balanced and cover all our needs.

Health and vegetarianism.

Toxic meat.

Benefits of a vegetarian diet.

Disadvantages of a vegetarian diet.

punto rojo More information about vegetarianism.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

2 May, 2020

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