Vegeterians- Who says they're lacking nutrition? | Teen Ink

Vegeterians- Who says they're lacking nutrition?

July 30, 2008
By Anonymous

What do you eat? What about nutrition? You need your protein. The former question is asked by individuals who just don't know. The later question and following statement is made by those who think they know. To me, both questions sound absurd. What are these people talking about? Now that's the question that pops into my mind. Vegetarianism does not starve people. Yes, it may eliminate a number of food options, but there are hundreds and hundreds of options left. This is way more than adequate! In addition to this, the nutritional content of meals does not diminish. With just a tiny bit of extra effort, enough protein can be consumed. Plus, there are many nutritional benefits not side effects of being a vegetarian.
The biggest myth surrounding vegetarianism is not getting enough protein. In actuality, it is extremely easy to get enough protein. Protein is found in many foods, even in bread and peanut butter. They are incomplete, but these two combined make a complete protein. This goes to prove that protein is not found in only meats. Other sources of protein include beans, cereals, nuts, and tofu. If someone were to just eat merely fruits and fat, then there would be a problem. As a matter of fact, a varied diet of beans, lentils, grains, and vegetables contains all of the essential amino acids. On average, Americans tend to eat twice the recommended amount of protein daily. This can be a problem, for too much protein may lead to increasing cancer risk, or kidney disease; therefore, vegetarians actually decrease there risk for these predicaments by not getting too much protein.
Hand in hand with the protein myth is the one with vitamin B12. Those who think they know a lot bring this one up often. However, it is only the vegans who need to add this to their diet. Many cereals contain B12. There is a Vegetarian Support Formula that is Red Star T-6635 nutritional yeast flakes and it can supply B12 to those who are not getting enough. This goes to show that even if the diet is lacking some of the nutrient, there are supplements that can help make up for this. Likewise, iron is another nutrient that may be lacking in a vegetarian diet, especially for teenagers, who have high iron requirements. Dried beans and leafy vegetables are also great sources for iron. In fact, the rate for iron deficiency in meat eaters is about the same as vegetarians, who in turn have a lower intake of calories and artery clogging entities like cholesterol.
To continue on, contrary to popular belief, the nutrient requirement for vegetarians is easily met, and in addition to that, there are numerous benefits. To begin with, vegetarian diets contain little or no cholesterol, since this product is usually found in meat, diary, and eggs. Moreover, studies have shown that by replacing animal protein with plant protein, blood cholesterol lowers. Consequently, a vegetarian diet helps maintain a healthy heart. Likewise, vegetarian diets have lower blood pressure than meat eaters and it can control diabetes. A diet high in complex carbohydrates and fiber but low in fat can lower blood sugar levels. In fact, those who do have diabetes may even eliminate the need for medication altogether. Plants contain phytochemicals, cancer-fighting substances. Vegetarians tend to eat more of the plant pigments betacarotene and lycopene. This explains why vegetarians have less lung and prostate cancer.
Furthermore, prostate and ovarian cancer can be linked to a diet high in dairy products. This leads to the next advantageous point for a vegetarian diet, for vegetarians are less prone to osteoporosis. Studies have recognized that a high intake of animal protein actually encourages calcium loss form the bones.
In conclusion, vegetarian diets are often misconceived. Vegetarians do not lack nutrients. On the contrary, there are many, many benefits of consuming a vegetarian diet.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Oct. 27 2008 at 11:13 pm
I am a vegan and love being one. This is a great article!!!