There are many reasons for determining more of a balanced diet than simply cutting calories or fat. Questions exist as to the ability to keep a healthy and balanced diet without the inclusion of meat. Plenty of healthy proteins are available from dairy and other dietary items, but there is still the complete removal of meat in general. The question then remains as to how much of meat intake is needed in order to have a quality protein level to help maintain certain overall balances.
Many hormones and additional nutrients are available at greater levels in red meat and poultry that help keep balances of nutrients, fats, proteins, and more all at once. Meats are a good item to have balanced with vegetables and carbohydrates to help start and maintain an overall daily balance. Sometimes there is much to be said for the limitations of the vegetarian and vegan diet that do not allow as many choices to help keep that balance going.
Lack of Balance in the Vegetarian and Vegan Diets
A meatless diet can be healthy, but vegetarians — especially vegans — need to make sure they’re getting enough vitamin B12, calcium, iron, and zinc. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics warns that vitamin B12 deficiencies in vegetarians and vegans occurs because this vitamin occurs most naturally in animal products. A lack of vitamin B12 can also lead to anemia and blindness. Additional results can be muscle weakness, tingling, and numbness. Therefore, to counteract the increased risk, vegans should take B12 supplements, or eat fortified cereals and veggie burgers. Information is growing on this topic, but B12 has also been found in varying amounts in mushrooms, particularly in the outer peel, but it’s too soon to consider it a food source of the vitamin.
There are also vegans and ovo-vegetarians, who eat eggs but not dairy, who need to find foods that make up for the calcium missing in their natural diets. Some of these include dark green vegetables, tofu, edamame, soy nuts, butternut squash, calcium-fortified non-dairy beverages. Absorbable calcium is critical to protecting against osteoporosis or thinning bones, and if this step is ignored it can become gradually dangerous throughout life.
Although There are Benefits…
While there are many positive effects of the many fruits and vegetables that are eaten with different vegetarian diets, these risks require a great deal of caution. With the increase of nutrients that comes with eating so many vegetables and fruits, there is increased disease prevention on many levels along with much other protection. However, with the concerns for bone health and other strength needed to keep a longer period of life, there is much to consider in order to keep an overall daily balance.
Among all of this, there is much to consider between the benefits and the risks, with the need to make sure that all aspects of health are managed well. Basically, there would be no reason to take on any diet that doesn’t have the proper vitamins to help keep our systems healthy, just like there is no reason to eliminate proteins and fat completely because they are needed to help with muscle health and others.