Should I become a vegetarian?

Vandana  R. Sheth
Nutrition & Dietetics
Becoming a vegetarian is a very personal decision. There are many reasons for following a vegetarian diet. There are significant positive health and environmental benefits. However, the key is to ensure that the vegetarian diet is well-planned and nutritionally varied to adequately meet your nutritional needs. A registered dietitian specializing in vegetarian diets can be very helpful.
Becoming a vegetarian is your choice. I do believe it is healthier for you as I have been a vegetarian for over 15 years now and will never go back. You can still get your protein from other sources as I do like meal replacements, etc. which I do enjoy. People become vegetarians for many reasons such as to lose weight, lower cholesterol, get healthy, ethical reasons, etc. It is up to you.
Yogi Cameron Alborzian
Alternative & Complementary Medicine
Though different people follow a vegetarian diet for different reasons, all who endeavor to do so will enjoy significant health benefits. Animal proteins like beef, pork, and poultry are particularly dense foodstuffs with very little water content. To process such density, the body must tap into significant digestive power.  

To rally this power, the body must tap into resources it would otherwise commit to sustaining other systems of the body like the immune and nervous systems. As a result of this reallocation of resources, those other systems become compromised in their functionality and may cause the onset of illness or disease. This is why heavy meat-eaters will often find themselves getting sick.

In contrast, a proper vegetarian diet consisting of the natural food groups (vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, etc.) is far easier to digest and therefore protect's the body's overall health and vitality.
People decide to be vegetarian for a wide number of reasons -- for health reasons, animal welfare, and environmental concerns among others. Research shows that vegetarian diets are generally lower in saturated fat -- the kind that is bad for your heart -- and for this reason may be healthier. For those concerned about the treatment of animals, animal handling by the food industry may be troublesome. Lately, there has been a lot if information about the environmental “cost” of producing animal foods which leaves some people concerned. Vegetarianism is usually a very personal choice. 

Continue Learning about Vegetarian Diets

Vegetarian Diets

When you look at vegetarian diets, it's hard to do so without understanding that many of the practitioners believe that it is not only healthful, but more to practice vegetarianism. This is true even if the diet may include occasi...

onal meats or fish as in the Macrobiotic diet with it's Zen beliefs, or the Indian Ayurvedic diet, which finds milk and dairy central to good health along with plants. Anyone considering a vegetarian diet should learn about the food values of different vegetables, and consider getting advice on whether or not to supplement the diet with vitamins and minerals, particularly if you have special nutritional needs like growing children or pregnant or lactating women.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.