Are you thinking about going vegetarian or vegan? According to a Gallop poll in 2018, 5 percent of Americans say that they are vegetarian, while 3 percent claim to be vegan.
As per experts, some of the most significant advantages of following these plant-based diets are a lower risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes, as per careful health risks assessment.
The benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle do happen for real. Some even decide to stick with it for life after seeing these advantages for themselves. But before you decide to pursue this diet, you should also consider the equally real risks of strictly following healthy vegetarian recipes. And these risks are bound to grow even bigger if you don’t observe vegetarian diet safety measures.
Conduct a health risks assessment yourself and know how to mitigate the risks so they will not be all that threatening to your health. This guide should help.
Evaluating The Benefits After Health Risks Assessment
Maintaining a plant-based diet, provided it is a nutritionally balanced one with healthy food options, you can reap the benefits of your effort and discipline. You need to vary your menu so you can get as many vitamins and nutrients as you can from fruits and vegetables.
It also requires diligent menu planning since you have to ensure that your daily food consumption includes plant sources of vitamins, fiber, minerals, and micronutrients. Think about how much you have saved yourself from the harm of cholesterol and saturated fat obtained from meat if you go vegetarian.
Even vegetarian diets vary, according to experts. But planning a well-balanced one is rich in complex carbohydrates and nutrients such as magnesium, vitamins C and E, folic acid, and phytonutrients. These nutrients get to work in lowering your risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and some cancers.
Aside from the health-related benefits of eating only food from plant sources, doing so will also save you money. That’s because proteins from fish, chicken, and beef cost more than proteins from vegetables, such as quinoa, beans, tofu, seeds, and nuts. You can compare your grocery bill before and after you go veg.
Risks Vegetarians Have To Deal With
The most common risks that vegetarians face often involve not finding enough plant-based sources for nutrients derived from animal products and lack of proper grocery plans.
Nonetheless, this is why you need careful meal planning because only then will you see what other nutrients you are missing out on. This is also an excellent way to counter the risks of being deficient in B12, protein, vitamin D, calcium, and more.
You don’t have to suffer from these deficiencies if you know where to look for plant-based sources. The same thing goes for your grocery list. Plan it well before hitting the local grocery store.
More Tips To Get Enjoy A Balanced Vegetarian Diet
Follow these pointers to get a good outcome from your health risks assessment:
- Don’t include refined carbohydrates and processed foods, especially those that are loaded with sugar. You might have avoided the calories and saturated fat from meat, but you might overload on calories and sugar from carbs.
- Take DHA supplements from algae sources or fish oil supplements. Get enough omega-3 fatty acids by eating more chia seeds, whole soy foods, canola oil, flaxseeds, wheat germ, hemp seeds, walnuts, and dark leafy green veggies.
- Take multivitamins with 100% of the recommended daily value (DV) for vitamin B12 and around 70% of the DV for zinc.
- Eat more quinoa, whole soy foods, seeds, and nuts to reach the recommended daily intake of protein.
- Control your appetite better by increasing your intake of fresh fruits and veggies, or even frozen ones.
- Consult your doctor first before deciding to take any supplements if you have a chronic disease, pregnant, or breastfeeding.
You can truly enjoy the benefits of a vegetarian diet and get a positive result from a health risk assessment if you follow these tips. It’s important to remember that being a vegetarian is more than just excluding meat from your diet.
It’s also about the diligence of looking for alternative sources of nutrients you used to get from meat.