You’ve heard about the numerous health benefits of going vegetarian, and are finally flirting with the idea yourself. But, the more you look into the matter the more you realise the subject is dramatically more complicated than first assumed. What exactly are the real health benefits of going vegetarian? Are there any dangers when eating a plant-based diet? Can I really get all my nutrients from just plants alone?
These are all important questions, and all questions that need to be thoroughly researched before you make the switch. But let’s take a quick look at common vegetarian myths now to get you started.
Vegetarian Diets Are Always Healthy
Switch to a plant-based diet, pat yourself on the back, and congratulations you’re healthy. Or are you? Going vegetarian and being healthy is about much more than just switching the vegetables. Potatoes are, after all, plants, but eating greasy French fries daily is never going to be healthy.
With that in mind, you should seriously consider what you think the benefits of being vegetarian are and consider that perhaps you should just eat healthier rather than switch to being vegetarian.
Eating Enough Protein Is Easy
If you’re going to be vegetarian you better start understanding what protein is, because you’re going to need a lot of it living off a plant-based diet. You can otherwise get protein from eggs, fish, and meat. If you’re vegetarian and not vegan you can also look into getting protein from milk.
As far as getting protein from plants alone is concerned, you’re going to struggle. Legumes and grain are your best bet, so better start getting familiar with recipes that focus on the food groups. Also be sure you’re getting enough iron, calcium and vitamin B-12.
Being a Vegetarian Is Expensive
Once you go vegetarian you’re going to have to start hitting the NZ pokies and hope for a jackpot, right? Because being vegetarian costs an arm and a leg. Not at all. Rice and beans, a staple of vegetarians, are rather cheap. It’s only if you want to start getting fancy and eat actual fresh vegetables that being vegetarian starts to get expensive. Otherwise, go nuts on rice and beans and rest assured you’re not breaking the diet commitment.
Vegetarian Food Is Bland
Perhaps the biggest roadblock you’re facing is that vegetarian food is bland, uninteresting, not particularly appetising, and nothing short of dreary. Right? Hardly. Add enough spice to anything and it quickly gets more appetising, even plant-based dishes. It’s all just a matter of preparing the dishes smartly, adding zing where it’s needed, and finding vegetarian recipes that are worthwhile.
Give It A Go
Now that you’re clearer about what a vegetarian lifestyle entails, you can jump in and try it out for yourself. Just keep in mind that, above all else, going vegetarian is a big commitment. If you’re having second thoughts about giving up meat entirely, remember that if it’s a healthier lifestyle you’re after you can eat better without giving up an entire food group.