A lot of people are going for healthy living nowadays and some have even given up on eating meat. There are many reasons why people choose the latter, may it be because of the negative impacts meat pose on the health, its damage to the environment, respect and protection of animals, and some because of religious beliefs. Although there are also a number of people expressing their interest to start practicing a vegetarian diet, they hesitate because they are unsure on how they can do it properly or they can’t give up eating meat entirely.
The good thing is, there are many options available when going vegan or vegetarian and the information we can get from the internet is enough to help you understand how it works. To make this kind of diet effective, you may want to learn first the nutrients you may compromise for a limited choice of foods, and how you can make up with it with alternative choices.
Are there potential dangers for practicing such diets?
Following a vegetarian or vegan diet isn’t entirely about giving up on meat. It’s also about knowing the potential nutrients you’re going to miss for every food group that you omit from your diet. Although there are ways to keep your diet nutritionally balanced, you need to plan it out well so you won’t have to miss on anything essential for your body.
There are in fact studies showing that nutritional deficiencies or malnutrition in most vegetarian diets is because of poor meal planning and not because of giving up on meat. Regardless of your stage in life, whether you’re pregnant or lactating, still in the adolescent period, a member of the elderly population, or even a competitive athlete, vegetarian diets can still be practiced as long as you can keep it well – balanced and healthy.
Omega – 3 fatty acids
One of the most common nutrients that may be omitted on a vegetarian diet is omega – 3 fatty acids. Fish can provide the required amount of this nutrient in the body and removing it from your diet can pose a problem.
Omega – 3 is essential in slowing down atherosclerosis progression, keep the triglyceride at healthy levels, act as a natural anti – inflammatory agent, and even help people with depression or personality disorders deal with their condition. Since this is the case, you can either take supplements or exchange fish with alternative options for your omega – 3 fatty acids source, such as flaxseeds, walnuts, canola oil, and tofu.
It is also important to consider the amount of omega – 6 fatty acids that you consume, as this should be in equal or lesser levels with omega – 3 fatty acids. Since they are more commonly found in sources such as vegetable oil, corn oil, and soybean oil to name a few, remember to cut back on it to avoid health complications. To reduce the risk, you can replace the plant oils you use for cooking or preparing your food with natural oils like grapeseed or olive oil, to control your intake of omega – 6 fatty acids.