Is a vegetarian diet healthier than eating meat? What should vegan women eat when pregnant? Read more about vegans and vitamins that may benefit you
Is vegetarian food more healthy than eating meat?
The short definition of vegetarianism is the consumption of vegetarian food that is nutrition without meat, fish, and poultry.
How is a vegetarian diet different from others?
Vegetarians refrain from eating animal meat, but they eat eggs and milk products. As for vegetarians, they abstain from all food of animal origin, including eggs, milk products, and honey, and their diet includes fruits, vegetables, legumes, roots, tofu products, and nuts.
Those who decide to switch to vegetarian feeding usually have ethical, environmental, or health considerations. Health considerations depend on the fact that a vegetarian diet contains a low amount of fat, especially saturated fat, and completely free of cholesterol.
Benefits of a vegetarian diet
Following a vegetarian diet is associated with health benefits such as lowering cholesterol levels in the blood, lowering death rates from heart disease, and lowering rates of prostate cancer, colon cancer, and diabetes, here are the details:
1- Lower mass index: Vegetarians tend to have a lower BMI and therefore have a lower risk of cancer.
2- Lowering blood pressure: The blood pressure of vegetarians is lower because the vegetarian diet contains less salt. Potassium – found in fruits and vegetables such as bananas, eggplant, avocados, oranges, broccoli, and spinach helps lower blood pressure.
3- Fewer vegetable problems: they suffer from less vegetative problems because meat and fish are the foods that are more difficult for the body to digest, and they need more energy to do so.
4- Waste disposal: Eating fruits and vegetables helps the body get rid of waste products.
5- Less likely to clouding the lens: Vegetarians are 30-40 percent less likely to develop cataracts than people who regularly eat meat.
Vegetarian and diabetic
Many physicians advise diabetics to consume vegetables, fruits, and whole grains in order to balance sugar indicators. Studies have shown that a vegan diet can improve the health of people with type 2 diabetes.
A study conducted in 2004 and 2005 showed that diabetics who followed a low-fat, vegetarian diet needed less diabetes medication, as they lost insulin sensitivity and decreased weight, and both glycemic index and lipid levels improved.
Vegetarianism and cancer risk
Studies show that people who eat meat have a lower risk of prostate cancer and gastrointestinal cancer, for the following reasons:
Eating a diet rich in fiber, carotenoids (found in carrots, sweet potatoes, and spinach), vitamins, minerals, and isoflavones (found in soy and legumes) protect against several, including cancer.
There is a close relationship found between daily fruit consumption and the more than 20% reduction in deaths due to heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, stomach, lung, pancreatic, colon, and rectal cancer.
Vegetarian foods contain less fat, especially saturated fats.
Another feature of the vegetation
Vegetarians don’t eat dairy, which might be an advantage. Milk and dairy products are known to cause phlegm, are difficult to digest, leading to bloating, abdominal pain, and are associated with an increased risk of cancer. Also, despite the linkage followed, consumption of milk does not prevent osteoporosis due to the high amount of phosphorous in milk which prevents better absorption of calcium.
The element that is lacking in the vegetarian and vegetarian system
Eating a vegetarian diet is about having a healthy diet, but vegetarians, in particular, need to make sure that they are getting adequate vitamin B12, calcium, and iron. A vegetarian diet, in particular, may increase the risk of deficiency of vitamin B12, vitamin B2, calcium, iron, and zinc. Therefore, a vegetarian diet should include B12 supplements or fortified cereals and vegan burgers in order to get enough vitamins.
Is a vegetarian diet safe during pregnancy?
Plant-based diets are suitable for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy and lactation, childhood, adolescence, and also for athletes. The concern with the vegetarian menu is actually the restriction on the type of foods. Especially important are the warnings for pregnant and breastfeeding women who are vegetarians, as it has been shown that the neurological development of infants is weak in women who suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency.
To prevent a deficiency, a blood test should be performed, not only for the hemoglobin level but also for iron stores (ferritin). If the values are low – supplementation is the solution. Usually, it is impossible to improve values just with the food itself. Incidentally, other minerals such as zinc and calcium are important for bone health.
Nutrition advise for vegetarians and vegans
Vegetarians need to get enough protein, iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B12 through a vegetarian diet. They also need riboflavin, linoleic acid, and vitamin D. Here are some good food sources for incorporating vitamins into the diets of vegetarians and vegans:
1- Protein: tofu, vegetable muffins, beans, nuts, and eggs.
2-Iron: eggs, fortified cereals, foods including soybeans, prunes, dried apricots, beans, nuts, legumes, whole grains, bread, and baked potatoes rich in iron.
3-Calcium: which builds bones, is abundant in soy products, legumes, almonds, sesame seeds, tahini, orange juice, green leafy vegetables like green cabbage, and more.
4-Zinc: which strengthens the immune system, is found in soybeans, soy milk, fortified cereals, nuts, bread, mushrooms, and peas.
5-Vitamin B12: It is found in soy drinks, some breakfast cereals, and some meat alternatives.
6-Riboflavin: Almonds, fortified cereals, mushrooms, and soy milk are foods rich in riboflavin.
7-Linolenic acid (omega-6): Canola oil, flaxseed, and flaxseed oil contain linolenic acid, along with soy, tofu, walnut, and walnut oil.
8-Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3s are good sources of soy, flaxseed, walnut, and canola oil.
Dietary supplements are also recommended. It is advised that you consult a doctor or nutritionist before deciding to take them.