Thinking About Going Vegetarian? Here’s Some Facts (cont.)
Myth: A vegetarian diet is not suitable for children or pregnant women. The truth is that a vegetarian diet can be healthy for everyone, including during pregnancy. Protein is protein whether you get it from plants or from animal foods. Remember to take vitamin supplements and consult with your doctor to ensure that you’re getting the right levels of nutrition.
Myth: If you become a vegetarian you will never have to worry about cancer and heart disease. While it’s true that a vegetarian diet can reduce your risk of certain types of heart disease and cancer there are other contributing factors that are equally, if not more, important. A sedentary lifestyle, smoking, excessive drinking, obesity, high blood pressure and heredity play an enormous role in your overall health and can’t be offset by simply avoiding meat.
Myth: Eating meat is just a lot easier than eating a vegetarian diet. The truth is that it’s very easy to find vegetarian choices at restaurants these days. Even fast food places are now offering vegetarian dishes on the menu due to the great demand for them and these dishes are also generally lower in cost. Cooking delicious vegetarian meals at home also takes about the same amount of preparation time as meat-based dishes and often takes less.
Myth: A vegetarian diet can provide you with all of the vitamins you need to be healthy. The truth is that while you can get most of the nutrition you need from a vegetarian diet, there are still some that you will need to supplement to stay healthy. Two vitamins that should be supplemented are vitamin D and vitamin B12. Vitamin D is created in our bodies through the action of sunlight on our skin but it’s very difficult to get enough vitamin D this way to stay healthy. This is especially true for those who live further from the equator and for those who have fair skin and tend to use sunblock on a regular basis. The only completely reliable sources of vitamin B12 are animal products such as meat and eggs. If you are on a strict vegan diet, you should make sure you take B12 supplements to avoid the possibility of anemia.
There are many more myths and misunderstandings about vegetarianism. The truth is that a vegetarian diet won’t solve all of your health problems and concerns but can be a healthy, satisfying life choice.
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