Is the Vegetarian Diet Healthy Long Term? Can It Be Sustainable?
It seems that more and more people are switching to the vegetarian diet, however when we look of the statistics we see that really only about 3% of the overall population adheres to this type of diet. This is because being a vegetarian requires that you remove all sources of meat from your diet, which many of us are not willing to do.
A true vegetarian diet requires that you revolve your meals mainly around plant base foods, to with the occasional animal product such as dairy thrown in from time to time. The vegetarian diet revolves around staples such as legumes and beans, which are very nutrient dense foods.
Many of these planned base foods tend to be low in calories while being high and other nutrients which we need in our diet, making them some of the healthiest foods we can possibly eat.
All things considered, just because you are a vegetarian doesn’t automatically mean that you’re going to be healthy, as there are plenty foods in this category which you don’t want to be eating too much of.
Pitfalls to Avoid When Transitioning to a Vegetarian Diet
1-Low in Protein
When it comes to a vegetarian diet, the biggest negative is that many of these foods are really lacking when it comes to protein. Proteins are essential in carrying out many functions throughout the body, and as many people know are extremely important in skeletal muscle repair and regrowth.
This is why a vegetarian diet should revolve mainly around foods such as beans, while including some type of animal products, as these tend to be extremely high in protein. A good example of this would be Greek yogurt, as this food has 23 grams protein per serving.
Another problem that comes along with the vegetarian diet is that it is almost completely devoid of the nutrient vitamin B-12, which is abundant and food such as fish and other meats. Not getting enough of this vitamin can cause symptoms such as fatigue and weakness, making taking a supplement here essential.
Taking a multivitamin in general may be a good idea, is specially if you’re new to this type of diet. If you don’t get the proper variety year you can be deficient and not just vitamin B-12 but other essential nutrients as well.
Ultimate Man by Men’s Healthy Lifestyle is an excellent choice here as it will provide you with all of the necessary nutrients which you are lacking your diet.
A common issue that many people run into when switching to a vegetarian diet, is that they consume way too many carbohydrates which leads to weight gain and being deficient in many nutrients that we need.
This is due to people focusing on eating the wrong types of foods, not the nutrient dense ones like nuts, seeds, berries, dark leafy greens, and other similar types of foods. Limit your intake of foods such as corn, wheat, and other grain based foods as these tend to be extremely high in carbohydrates.
4-Difficulty Putting on Muscle
While lack of protein is definitely a major contributing factor to a person’s inability to put on muscle, there are other factors which you need to consider in that regard as well.
One of these being the fact that testosterone plays an extremely important role in muscle growth, and that we get the nutrients to build this important hormone from our diet. Testosterone is produced in the body with ingredients such as zinc in certain types of cholesterols, which many foods within the vegetarian diet lack.
For these reasons and of course that the vegetarian diet is generally low in protein, it can be difficult for somebody to even maintain their muscle mass, let alone to gain more muscle mass. Doing so requires a very delicate balance and a lot of knowledge when it comes to one’s diet, and generally also requires more effort as well.
This is one major reason why you don’t see many bodybuilders, power lifters and other people who spend a lot of time lifting weights at a adhering to a strict vegetarian diet. If you want to put on muscle you’re better off having a diet that consists mainly of plant based foods.
With that being said, you should also include a good mix of animal products in there as well to make sure you’re getting the adequate nutrients to do so.