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   Today, some people in different countries of the world consciously come to vegetarianism, refusal to use animal products, for various reasons. Some of the ethical views of involvement in killing animals for human needs. Others believe that eliminating animal protein from the daily diet will help cleanse the body of toxins and achieve a feeling of lightness. And some because of fear of developing gastrointestinal cancer or cardiovascular disease.

   But before defining what a vegetarian diet is, what its pros and cons are, it is necessary to consider in more detail the types of vegetarianism, there are only four:

  1. Lacto-ovo-vegetarians completely exclude the consumption of meat (including fish), but consume eggs, dairy products and honey;

  2. Lacto-vegetarians exclude meat and fish, eggs, but include in the diet only milk and dairy products;

  3. Ovo-vegetarians refuse meat and dairy dishes, but eat eggs;

  4. Veganism completely denies the use of meat, milk, eggs and even honey. Only food of plant origin is used.


     And so, a vegetarian diet has a number of absolutely positive effects:

  1. Complete abstinence from meat helps to reduce the level of subcutaneous fat and, therefore, cope with excess weight. Scientists have found that with unlimited amounts and calories of vegetarian food, weight loss occurs without additional effort. But if you rely on "junk food" in vegetarianism, you can easily achieve the opposite effect. Pasta, white bread, sweets and refined oils fit into the framework of vegetarian food, but clearly do not benefit the body.

  2. Exclusion of meat products from the diet is excellent for cleansing the body . Many vegetarians report the appearance of lightness and reduced fatigue during the day. In addition, the removal of toxins and toxins will be accompanied by improved skin condition: acne, blackheads and blackheads will disappear.

  3. The gut microflora in meat and vegetarians is markedly different. When switching to plant products , more protective bacteria are produced in the gut . Thus, the body receives a sufficient amount of indigestible fiber from plant foods, which serves to prevent malignant tumors of the intestine. In addition, foods that the WHO believes could potentially contribute to cancer are excluded in advance: red meat, bacon, salami and other smoked foods.

  4. Abstinence from animal products helps prevent a number of cardiovascular diseases : coronary heart disease, hypertension and atherosclerosis. Carnitine contained in meat triggers chemical reactions in the intestines that adversely affect the heart muscle. However, refined foods, sugar, and the abuse of vegetable oils, not just meat, can lead to cardiovascular disease.

  5. Professor Anastasios Tumpanakis of the University of London School of Medicine and his colleagues have shown that vegetarianism lowers blood cholesterol and triglycerides and stabilizes glycated hemoglobin levels. Moreover, scientists have identified an improvement in the psychological state of patients with diabetes. By giving up meat, patients experienced a reduction in symptoms of depression.


  Despite the convincing list of benefits of vegetarianism, the rejection of meat has a number of disadvantages.   

     They prove once again that everything needs balance and a conscious approach. Among the negative effects are:

  1. Vegetable protein has a low amino acid composition and is much worse absorbed by the body. Animal products, including meat, contain all the essential amino acids, and plant products may be significantly deficient in amino acids. Lack of protein over time leads to disorders of the immune and reproductive systems.

  2. Iron deficiency in the body of a vegetarian is caused by the fact that meat contains heme iron, the digestibility of which is 15-35%. At the same time, iron from plant products is absorbed worse: from 2 to 20%. Even milk and eggs are not a sufficient source of this substance.

  3. Insufficient levels of zinc in the body are due to the content of phytic acid in legumes, nuts, seeds and grains. It reduces the bioavailability of this element. However, if you still have dairy and seafood in your diet, zinc deficiency can be avoided.

  4. Calcium deficiency is provoked by two factors. First, the same phytic acid and oxalates reduce its absorption. Second, plant proteins promote increased urinary calcium excretion.

  5. Vitamin D and B12 deficiency is very noticeable in vegetarianism. Even if a vegetarian, not a vegan, eats dairy products and eggs, his body will still lack vitamins D and B12. Vitamin D deficiency occurs not only in vegetarians but also in other people, especially in winter. And vitamin B12 is useful in small doses. An average adult needs to get only 3 micrograms of this vitamin per day.

  6. Omega-3 has a great effect on the cardiovascular system, eyes and brain, so it is very important to maintain the level of this acid. However, the rejection of animal products in general will lead to a lack of Omega-3 in the body. Accordingly, the skin, hair and immunity will begin to deteriorate.

  7. The risk of developing gastritis in vegetarians is very high. Plant foods, unlike meat, do not contain buffer proteins. They neutralize the effects of acids that can provoke gastritis on the mucous membranes. In the worst case, persistent gastritis can lead to stomach cancer.


   Therefore, vegetarians need to use alternative sources to make up for the deficiency of the above vital elements in the body. And it is important to always consider the amount of useful element in the product and the degree of its assimilation.

   To switch from an "omnivorous" lifestyle to vegetarianism or to improve the health of the pancreas, intestines, cardiovascular system will take some time to gradually exclude from the diet of animal products. Due to the lack of enzymes contained in meat, bloating and flatulence are initially possible.

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