The pros and cons of meat-free diets
Vegetarianism is gaining popularity today because giving up meat has several health benefits, ranging from reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease to preventing type 2 diabetes. Moreover, the benefits of reducing or eliminating this product’s consumption are physical and psychological.
At the same time, it should be taken into account that a complete rejection of meat can lead to a deficiency of iodine, iron, vitamin D and B12, so before making such a decision, you should consult a doctor or nutritionist and discuss supplements. But the fact remains that if you choose the best snack before your favourite aviator game in india or other online casino entertainment, a snack of vegetable sweetness will be much healthier than dried meat.
Benefits of living a life without eating meat
- Reduced acidity. According to studies, meat and meat-based dishes can stimulate acid production in the stomach, which threatens to increase acidity, heartburn, headaches, stomach aches, etc. Meat can stimulate the production of acids in the stomach
- Weight loss. Scientists have proven that meat-eaters switch entirely to a plant-based diet, promoting easy and healthy weight loss. In addition, people who follow a plant-based diet tend to consume fewer calories and fats.
- Healthy gut. The study found that vegetarians have a cleaner digestive tract than meat eaters. A plant-based diet promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria that line the intestines and prevent certain digestive disorders.
- Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. According to studies, the risk of type 2 diabetes is much higher in meat eaters compared to vegetarians due to hormones, iron and nitrates in meat.
- Lowered blood cholesterol levels. Meat-based foods are very rich in saturated fats that increase blood cholesterol levels. It, in turn, can lead to severe diseases like obesity, stroke, heart disease, etc.
- Reduced risk of infections. According to experts, avoiding non-vegetarian food can reduce the conditions and inflammation in our bodies. If an animal is infected, this infection can be transmitted directly to humans after eating its meat. In addition, vegetarianism has a positive effect on wound healing.
- Improvement of skin condition. The hormones administered to the animal before eating it can affect the human skin, causing diseases such as acne, rosacea, eczema, etc. Switching to a vegetarian diet can help make your skin healthier.
- More energy. When people stop eating meat, they notice less fatigue throughout the day. A meatless diet eliminates excess weight and toxins, making you feel lighter and more energized.
- Reduced risk of heart disease. Many studies that have looked into this issue have proven that consuming saturated fats, mainly in meat and animal products, increases the risk of heart disease.
The disadvantages of giving up meat
But there is a flip side to the coin.
- Commonly recognized disadvantages of a vegetarian diet are deficiencies in zinc, amino acids, iron, calcium, vitamins D and B12, polyunsaturated, dietary fibre and omega-3.
- In addition, vegetable protein has a small amino acid composition and is worse digested by the body. Over time, a severe lack of protein can affect the immune and reproductive systems.
- Animal products contain so-called heme iron, which is better absorbed than iron from plant products (15-35% vs. 2-20%). However, absorption depends on associated factors: for example, tannin in tea and coffee impairs iron absorption, as does phytic acid in legumes, nuts, seeds and cereals. In addition, soy protein can create an insoluble compound with iron.
- You should know that milk and eggs are not an adequate source of iron, so lactovegetarians are just as susceptible to iron deficiency as vegetarians and vegans.
- Animal products contain all essential amino acids, while plant products may lack one or more. In this case, adding dairy products, soy and using food artificially enriched with the essential amino acid composition is necessary.
- Zinc is found in animal products (oysters, shellfish, liver, poultry meat and dairy products) and plant products (legumes, nuts, soy products). However, phytic acid in legumes, nuts, seeds, and cereals reduces the bioavailability of zinc. Unique food preparation methods – soaking, use of sprouted grains, beans and seeds, and bread leavening agents – reduce phytic acid content and increase zinc bioavailability.
- The problem of calcium deficiency in vegetarians is caused by consuming foods rich in substances that minimise calcium absorption (oxalates and phytic acid) and plant proteins that promote increased urinary excretion of calcium. This problem is more pronounced in vegans, as lactovegetarians can get enough calcium from milk and dairy products.
In the long run, vegetarianism will not harm your health if you eat a balanced diet. The harm of vegetarianism will manifest itself if the diet without meat is harmful and scarce on vitamins.
For people who want to give up meat, asking a nutritionist what can be replaced by trace elements and vitamins from the heart will be manageable. Also, doctors advise giving up meat gradually to avoid stress for the body.
It is also worth warning parents that vegetarianism for children is not characteristic and can be harmful. The fact is that from meat, the child receives vital trace elements and vitamins. If parents introduce such a diet to a child, they need to consult with a nutritionist. Also, the child should regularly take tests for hemoglobin levels.
It is worth noting that giving up meat is an individual choice for each person. It is essential to be aware of your needs and understand how to ensure a diet that contains all the necessary nutrients. A compromise may be to go part-time vegetarian or reduce meat consumption to a minimum, which can help reduce the negative impact on health and the environment.
Ultimately, it’s essential to consider all aspects and weigh your individual needs and beliefs when deciding whether to give up or maintain meat consumption in your diet.