The Vegetarian Diet: Pros and Cons, a Beginner’s Guide and Meal Plan
A vegetarian diet has many supporters and opponents, and everyone has the right for own point of view.
There are various reasons why people choose vegetarianism. Someone follows the “don’t kill!” commandment, someone tries to lose weight, for others, vegetarianism is a conscious choice, a way to change the life.
We tried to find out the pros and cons of this diet and even prepared a small dit-plan.
But first of all, vegetarianism has several types.
Lacto-ovo vegetarian diet is the most innocuous. It excludes meat, seafood, and fish, but allows all dairy products, eggs, and honey.
Lacto-vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, poultry eggs, as they contain an embryo.
In ovo-vegetarian diet eggs and honey are permitted, but all dairy products are prohibited.
The vegan diet is considered the toughest type of vegetarianism. According to this system, all animal and dairy products are strictly prohibited – you cannot eat meat, fish, seafood, milk products, eggs, and honey.
Vegetarianism: cons of diet
Some vegetarians believe that in addition to food, it’s needed to follow certain rules of behavior. Do not wear clothes and accessories, made from the fur and skin of animate creatures. Also, it’s prohibited to use products and preparations that include substances of animal origin, such as glycerin and gelatin.
Protein deficiency is one of the most common problems in a vegetarian diet.
The plant protein is inferior in its composition and poorly absorbed by the body. A lack of protein can lead to deterioration of the immune and reproductive systems, circulatory disorders, and endocrine disruptions.
Iron deficiency and anemia are another problems.
That’s no matter how the plant product is rich in iron mineral, it is poorly digested since it has a different, less accessible form than the same one from animal products.
In addition to protein and iron, many vitamins are lacking in vegetarian nutrition: B2, B12, A, D, as well as calcium, zinc, copper, selenium minerals.
Vegetarianism has also many advantages. Here are the most common of them.
1. Invaluable benefits to your health.
After switching to vegetarian food, the human body is automatically cleared of various accumulated toxins, slags, etc. As a result, general health promotion occurs. Also, the risk of poisoning and infection with parasites reduces.
2. Improving body appearance.
The skin becomes more elastic, acne disappears, the teeth turn white, and those extra pounds disappear quickly. By the way, vegetarians have a stronger heart and relatively low levels of cholesterol in the blood.
3. Vegetarianism is the best cancer prevention.
According to statistics, vegetarians are less likely to get sick with this terrible disease. Maybe it’s just because their body is actively cleaned when switching to a new diet.
4. Increasing the level of awareness and energy, intellectual and mental abilities.
After giving up meat, a person becomes more tolerant and kind to others. All perception of the world changes, awareness increases, an intuitive feeling develops.
5. Invaluable care for the environment.
Spending a lot of natural resources is needed to grow a cow. Forests are cut down for livestock pastures, and most of the harvest from the sown fields is spent on animal feed. Vegetarianism is a way to preserve nature, to protect humanity from self-destruction.
6. The ethical side of life.
Meat is the product of murder and not everyone wants to feel guilty for the death of another living thing.
If you decide to become a vegetarian, here is a rough menu for the week.
Stick to it for several weeks and watch how your body will react.
- Breakfast: 1 boiled egg, mozzarella (100 g), bread (50 g);
- Lunch: cuscus (300 g), vegetable salad (150 g);
- Snack: sweet fruits (300 g);
- Dinner: baked vegetables – carrots, potatoes, eggplant (300 g) with vegetable oil (3 teaspoons), and a slice of cheese (50 g).
- Breakfast: sour and sweet fresh fruits and berries (300 g), cottage cheese (75 g);
- Lunch: potatoes stewed with mushrooms and onions (300 g), vegetable oil (3 teaspoons), fresh vegetable salad with celery, bread (50 g);
- Snack: jelly from berries (200 g), oatmeal bars (50 g);
- Dinner: milk porridge with rice (200 g).
- Breakfast: warm salad of fresh and baked vegetables (200 g) with vegetable oil (2 teaspoons), lemon juice, 1/2 boiled egg;
- Lunch: vegetarian soup with tomatoes (400 g), bread (50 g);
- Snack: nut mix (50 g);
- Dinner: cottage cheese (75 g) and yogurt (1 cup).
- Breakfast: low-fat yogurt (200 g) and sweet fruit (150 g);
- Lunch: pumpkin cream soup (300 g / 20 g), salad of fresh or fermented vegetables (150 g), bread (50 g);
- Snack: 1 cup of yogurt with honey;
- Dinner: oatmeal (150 g), olive oil 1 tbsp., steamed raisins (20 g).
- Breakfast: vegetable salad with beans, vegetable oil (3 teaspoons), ½ boiled eggs;
- Lunch: rice with vegetables (300 g), bread (50 g), nuts (20 g);
- Snack: sweet fruit with yogurt (200 g / 100 g);
- Dinner: vinaigrette (200 g) with vegetable oil (2 teaspoons).
- Breakfast: sour fruits and berries (100 g), cottage cheese (75 g);
- Lunch: pepper stuffed with vegetables (300 g / 20 g), bread (50 g);
- Afternoon snack: nut mix with honey (50 g);
- Dinner: a side dish of boiled vegetables with curry spices (300 g) and vegetable oil (3 teaspoons).
- Breakfast: 1 boiled egg, mozzarella (100 g), salad from leafy vegetables and greens (150 g), vegetable oil (2 teaspoons);
- Lunch: vegetarian soup (400 g), bread (50 g);
- Snack: sweet fruit (200 g);
- Dinner: mashed potatoes with added milk (150 g).
And what is your opinion about vegetarianism?