In the last few months, the number of plant-based eaters has increased significantly. Some individuals have embraced the plant-based lifestyle for ethical reasons and others have done it to lose weight. But why are so many people making the change now?
In the last few years, popular culture has played a significant role in why people have made the dietary shift. Numerous documentaries have been released that suggest that being a vegetarian or vegan is healthier. Some will say it’s the best way to naturally lose weight, make gains, and boost performance. These documentaries also suggest that the vegetarian diet and lifestyle are better for the environment. However, there are other documentaries that suggest that we need meat and that our body is not meant to function without it.
Is there a right or wrong answer here?
Is A Plant-based Diet Really Better?
Before jumping too far into the subject, it’s important to make a clear distinction. Being vegetarian and being vegan are not the same. Vegetarians do not consume meat from animals, including fish. Vegans do not eat meat and they also do not eat eggs, dairy products, or honey. The latter can be very restrictive and it is the restrictive aspect of the vegan diet that raises concern about its being healthy and safe for everyone.
Your Body Needs Nutrients
As you probably already know, meat is a primary source of many good nutrients that our body needs. For example, many meats are rich in iron. In addition, meat-based products provide us with high levels of Vitamin B12, zinc, and protein. We absolutely need protein if we’re looking to build muscle and improve our workout. There are plant-based options that include protein, but it is simply not as plentiful.
Many vegetarians and vegans are at risk of nutritional defencifiences, which could lead to a number of health problems. Skin issues, problems with digestion, and even poor bone growth are a few examples of what could occur if you don’t consume the necessary amount of nutrients.
Although these nutrient deficiencies can be addressed via dietary supplements, sometimes these supplements may not be enough.
You Can Be An Unhealthy Vegetarian, Too
There are definitely benefits associated with following a plant-based diet. It naturally encourages people to eat more fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods. Many people swear by the diet and claim that it’s helped them lose weight, but individuals should be careful before making the leap. Some vegetarian and vegan health food choices are not healthy. Commercially processed vegan and vegetarian foods can be extremely high in fat and sodium. This impacts the health benefit of choosing this lifestyle.
Make An Informed Decision
If you’re looking to lose weight, then a plant-based diet may offer that to you. However, if you’re wanting to make gains, then you’ll likely have to try a little harder. It’s so important that you get enough protein and other nutrients in your diet so that you can achieve your maximum level of fitness.
Overall, people should be encouraged to eat healthy and varied diets with both animal products and fruits and vegetables. Don’t fall for the plant-based fad in an attempt to lose weight fast. Losing weight fast doesn’t always equate to healthiness.