Being vegetarian, vegan, or any-“an” has it’s downfalls, from worrying about food selection or craving the biggest steak in town, to fainting, feeling exhausted and losing appetite.
I have been a vegetarian for three years and 10 months, yet the serious health risks that come with being a vegetarian has never came up in any of my conversations on the topic.
As a vegetarian, I’ve found that people usually think herbivores only eat lettuce, but unhealthy vegetarians do exist if they have poor dieting habits. We control our own body and health so we should know what our bodies are consuming.
Though I have lost 30 pounds from living a vegetarian lifestyle, I have felt sluggishly slow for years.
Although a balanced vegetarian diet offers most of the vitamins necessary for proper functioning of the body, most vegetarians are be at risk for vitamin deficiencies, according to the Thagard Student Health Center.
There is an argument that since the human body was made to digest meat, and that going for a long time without it may cause bacteria in the digestive system to become idle.
Theoretically, this makes it easier for vegetarians to get sick according to an article on “Essortment.com.”
“Vegetarians must pay particular attention to eating enough protein, iron, calcium, Omega 3 fatty acids, and Vitamin B12. Vegans need B12 supplements or B12-fortified plant foods to maintain their health” according to the Vegetarian Resource Group.
Vegetarians who do not take supplements or any medication for iron or protein deficiencies are the most at risk for health problems.
I have taken B12, iron and protein pills for years, but a recent check up with my doctor revealed I have a low protein count and enzyme count.
As a result, it was suggested by my doctor that I start eating meat again to regain my health.
After starting a meat-free diet, it took me two years to finally catch a cold but then the recovery process took longer than other colds, complicated by a virus that lasted from two weeks to a month.
I had been sick for two weeks while constantly drinking green supplements to help fight the virus, but there’s always the sinking feeling that your body isn’t rebounding.
Don’t get me wrong, eating meat-free can help with your health as well with weight loss, but it is not for everyone.
Vegetarianism is a huge trend that has been around for years but check with your doctor before you make this choice.
Do your research on vegan versus vegetarian to see what might work best for you. Start slow and make sure you follow your doctor’s advice, but more importantly, always listen to your body.