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The Good and Bad of the Vegetarian Life

By Genevieve Cunningham

It seems as though the vegetarian lifestyle comes around in waves. There are times when it seems like everyone is going green in their diet. And then there are other times when its popularity wanes. But whether it’s hitting a high mark or in a slump, the vegetarian lifestyle never completely goes away. Lots of people enjoy the meat-free life, and quite a few more consider it. If you’ve ever given this diet a try, you know that it’s not as easy as it seems. Before jumping on the green eating bandwagon, take a look at the good and bad of the vegetarian life so that you can make an informed decision.

Positives

There are definitely some positives to avoiding meat. A few of the most common include:

  • It’s good for animal lovers - If you have a moral hesitation to eating meat, the vegetarian lifestyle can be the perfect choice. You might have to make a few changes in your normal diet to ensure that you’re getting all of the proper nutrients, but choosing your personal ethics over your menu is a great choice when you’re prepared.

  • It can mean a really clean diet - A lot of vegetarian diets end up being really clean. Why? Because they’re full of vegetables and fruit and nuts and similar foods. There is little in the way of animal fats (a little if you consume dairy), and most of the food will be low calorie and nutritionally dense.

  • It’s challenging - Don’t be deceived. Going vegetarian can be difficult. And while this might seem like a bad thing, it can actually open your eyes to the world of nutrition. Changing your menu might force you to take a good, hard look at what goes into your mouth, which can help you clean it up and improve your health for good.

Negatives

While there are certainly some good reasons to go vegetarian, there are some negatives as well. A few might include:

  • You may miss important nutrients - Meat provides nutrients that your body needs. It’s possible to get these nutrients without consuming meat, but you’ll need to be proactive. Make sure that you’re getting enough protein, and ask your doctor about a B12 and iron supplement. If you’re lacking in these nutrients, it can wreak havoc on your ultimate health.

  • It’s tough to stay clean - For some people, going vegetarian forces them to eat super clean. They eat the veggies and fruit and other healthy foods. But if you’re not prepared, you may find yourself eating a lot of breads, pasta, and other unhealthy foods while you learn the ropes. This can cause weight gain, and you’ll need to alter your diet even more to get the weight off again.

  • It’s challenging - Sure, this can be a positive. But the difficulty level of relearning how to eat can cause some people to fail. If you’re not one who likes to be continually challenged, going vegetarian might not be for you.

Just like any other kind of diet or healthy lifestyle plan, the vegetarian life has its ups and downs. Weigh the pros and cons in your life, and make the choice that works best for you. Whether you go green or stick to eating meats, taking control of your health can prove beneficial for the rest of your life.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Clifton Park, N.Y.

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