Going meatless? Don’t forget these things

As more information comes out about animal farming and the effect it has on human as well as environmental health, many people are starting to consider going meatless. The good news is that whether you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian or vegan or simply reducing your consumption of animal products, there are still a number of benefits. “…Note that climate is only one reason to make the shift – eating more vegetables and less meat is beneficial to your health, too.”

Before you jump into changing your diet, it’s a good idea to educate yourself on the best ways to replace the nutrients and vitamins that you are currently getting from meat and/or dairy. In addition, going cold turkey by suddenly cutting animal products out of your diet can create digestive issues until your body gets used to the new diet. When you take a slower approach, you also give yourself time to figure out how to meet nutritional requirements.

What you didn’t know your body needed

It’s a common concern that one won’t be able to get enough protein from a plant-based diet. Plant proteins are actually quite plentiful in foods such as nuts, beans, lentils, whole grains, peas and chickpeas. There are nutrients, such as vitamin D, calcium and iron that can be lacking in a plant-only diet. 

In the case of iron, the type that comes from meat (heme iron) is a more bioavailable than plant-based iron (non-heme iron). “Heme iron is more readily absorbed than non-heme iron due to a protective structure called a porphyrin ring.”Iron is more easily absorbed when combined with vitamin C, so eating foods or supplements that contain high amounts of both can resolve the issue. Researching supplements and learning about plant based meals before making the switch in your diet can help you prevent deficiencies. 

One easy thing to remember

The take-away from this article should not discourage anyone from going vegetarian because we at Vibrant Nutraceuticals are keenly aware of the benefits that can be gained from cutting meat out of your diet. Instead, we encourage it whole-heartedly — for your own health, the environment and the reduction in animal cruelty. Our goal is to educate the public on how to successfully transition to a partial or full plant-based diet in the healthiest way. 

All of our products come from the purest, vegan sources and are designed to provide the nutrients you need for good health. We meet the vegan standard by ensuring we provide vitamins without gelatin, a meat byproduct commonly used in many supplements on the market. With a bit of research and planning ahead, you can cut meat out of your diet and enjoy improvements to your health and the well-being of the planet.

Ask the Diet Doctor: Are Plants or Meat Better Sources of Iron? www.shape.com