Simply eliminating the meat from your diet doesn't guarantee that you will be healthier. You need to replace the meat with vegetable-based foods that are rich in all the nutrition types that you need. You also need to be careful about unhealthy vegetarian foods – like too much fat. The key term to pay attention to in any switch to a vegetarian diet is staying balanced. Lose the balance, and your vegetarian diet could be just as unhealthy as any omnivorous diet.
You eat too many vegetarian snacks
Many vegetarian converts do very little homework on how to fill out their meals. They know of little other than salads and steamed rice. They are so hungry the rest of the time that they gorge on cookies and chips – foods that are laced with sugar, salt and fat. If you find yourself snacking more than necessary, you should pay attention to building a diet that leaves you feeling filled at the end of each meal. If you do need to snack, choose foods that are healthy and natural – whole-grain crackers, roasted nuts and so on.
You have a very restricted diet
Traditional vegetarian cuisine has a vast range of recipes to help keep adherents interested. When you only know a couple of vegetarian recipes, chances are that you will miss out on many of the vitamins, fats and minerals that you need to stay healthy and curb sugar cravings. You need a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, legumes, cereals, nuts, seeds and spices in your diet. If you shortchange yourself on variety, you can quickly fall ill.
You obsess over your protein intake
When you bring up switching to a vegetarian diet with most people, usually, their first reaction is to worry about what you are supposed to do about your proteins. New vegetarians buy into this fear and begin packing their diet with every manner of vegetarian protein source – beans, peanuts, soy and so on.
While keeping yourself supplied with enough proteins is important, you do need to make sure that you don’t overdo it. The average person needs around 70 g of protein each day. Filling up on protein-rich foods can mean having no room for the other nutrients that you need.
You become careless about food-borne diseases
Many people who switch to vegetarian food are somehow of the impression that vegetarian foods grant them immunity from food-borne diseases.
While it is certainly is true that fruits and vegetables are far less contaminated with disease-causing organisms than meat, they aren't completely immune. Almost every week, the CDC releases a warning about a serious outbreak from stocks of contaminated fruits or vegetables somewhere.
The bottom line is that you should always practice food hygiene, choose from a variety of food options, and maintain your protein – whether you eat meat or not.
As always – enjoy your life.
John Aaron Villarreal
Bio: I am a Houston based, male massage therapist and wellness coach specializing in pain management and health programs for individuals over the age of forty. I laugh - a lot. I'm quirky but sincere. And, while I'm not a counselor, I do listen and I do care: Except for the times that I don't. That’s a joke - Did I mention that I like to laugh? Anyway, visit my website, call or email me and let's get together to talk about you, and the many ways to live life better!
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The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise, diet or wellness program.