By Abigail Carroll. Vegetarian Lifestyle. At Saturday, May 04th 2019, 22:15:07 PM.
How does a vegetarian diet work to promote heart health, weight loss and health benefits? And are there any risks involved in cutting out the majority of animal-based foods in your diet? Because plants are low in calories but high in essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, vegetarian diets can be very nutrient-dense. Research published in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society found that “vegetarian diets are usually rich in carbohydrates, omega-6 fatty acids, dietary fiber, carotenes, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E and magnesium, and relatively low in protein, saturated fat, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, retinol, vitamin B12 and zinc.” However, there’s no guarantee that a vegetarian diet will result in health improvements. Ultimately it all depends on the specific foods someone chooses to eat, plus his or her individual reaction to cutting out most, or all, animal products.
Including more vegetables and other plant foods in your diet is definitely a great idea. But there are also some disadvantages to vegetarian and vegan diets that you should be aware of. Below are the downsides to having a completely plant-based diet or one that includes only little amounts of animal proteins: Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. They help form muscle and are important for cellular health and proper metabolism. Low protein diets might cause a lack in certain amino acids, although it depends on the specific diet.
A vegetarian diet that includes dairy products and eggs (lacto-ovo) is the best choice for growing teens. A more strict vegetarian diet may fail to meet a teen's need for certain nutrients, such as iron, zinc, calcium, and vitamins D and B12. If you are concerned that your child is not getting enough of these important nutrients, talk to your doctor, who may recommend a vitamin and mineral supplement. The good news for young vegetarians — and their parents — is that many schools are offering vegetarian fare, including salad bars and other healthy vegetarian choices. Schools publish lists of upcoming lunch menus; be sure to scan them to see if your child will have a vegetarian choice. If not, you can pack lunch.