The Vegetarian Diet: Is it as good as everyone says it is?
There are a multitude of reasons why people choose the Vegetarian Diet. A vegetarian diet is one that eliminates all forms of meat, fish, and poultry. People will choose to go vegetarian for health, environmental, economical, and ethical concerns as well as dislike of meat, non-violent beliefs, and compassion for animals (“Vegetarianism in a Nutshell”,1982). Most animals are injected with steroids, hormones and other drugs in order to make them bigger to produce more meat. Many people believe this leads to a higher risk of cancer, which is why they focus around eating so many fruits and vegetables due to their lower level of chemicals (Murphy, 2011). A vegetarian diet consists largely from plants. However, many people disagree with the fact that the vegetarian diet is healthy. They believe that without meat, your body will not be given enough nutrients. They are not wrong. The “traditional diet” now a days consists largely of meat otherwise known as protein. To take this out of ones everyday meal is a large hole to fill in their diet. However, even without meat as a main component of ones meal, there are several benefits that play into the vegetarian diet that often go overlooked. The main issues that people advocate for when it comes to promoting the vegetarian diet include health issues, animal rights, animal killings, religious issues, and the environment. According to The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the vegetarian diet can fulfill all of our nutrients needed to sustain a normal and healthy diet (“Vegetarianism in a nutshell”,1982). Eating foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and other healthy food groups is the key to a healthy diet. Along with these foods there are many other meat supplements that can replace the nutrients needed for a healthy diet. Although many people may argue that the vegetarian diet does not provide a healthy diet, there are several facts to prove that it does, in fact, provide a more than plentiful diet along with several other health benefits.
Vegetarianism in America received a lot of interest during the last half of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, during periods of experimentation with diets and health practices. Vegetarianism has also been a religious practice for some Americans, including the Seventh-day Adventists. This diet has been gaining acceptance as an alternative to the traditional American diet. In 1997, Vegetarian Resource Group performed a Roper poll that showed that 13 million Americans, or 5% of the population, identified themselves as vegetarians (Dupler, 2004). Overall, the benefits of a vegetarian diet outweigh the negatives. This particular diet is promised to show a higher consumption of fiber, folic acid, vitamins C and E, unsaturated fats, and countless other phytochemicals, which almost always results in vegetarians having lower blood pressure, cholesterol, risk of obesity, and reduced risk of hear rate (Globalhealingcenter, 2013). All of these factors overall, lead to a healthier and happier lifestyle. The purpose of this essay is to describe the vegetarian diet in length including its benefits and disadvantages and why it has became such a popular topic in America in recent years.
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“Vegetarianism in a Nutshell.” Vegetarianism in a Nutshell. VegetarianResourceGroup, n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2016.