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Plant Based Pros and Cons

Written by: Hope Molnar | Program Manager at Pivot Fitness Center | AdvantageHealth Corporation

October is National Vegetarian month! There are a lot of reasons people choose to become vegetarians, according to a Harvard study, some reasons include: Religion, animal rights, health concerns, and to help the environment. The National Library of Medicine states a vegetarian diet can reduce inflammation, prevent chronic disease, lower blood pressure and aid in weight control if done properly. Being a vegetarian does not necessarily mean “healthy”; vegetarians are at risk for nutrient deficiencies such as calcium, vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, protein, and more.

According to Mayo clinic, vegetarians can still get the nutrients they need, but must eat more fruits and vegetables than a nonvegetarian does. The Mayo clinic recommends that the intake of iron for vegetarians be almost double that recommended for nonvegetarians. A quote from their study says, “To help your body absorb iron from plants, eat foods rich in vitamin C at the same time as you're eating iron-containing foods Vitamin C-rich foods” Some examples of vitamin C rich foods include peppers, strawberries, and citrus fruits.

When people think about vegetarians, they assume the person does not eat meat. However, that is not always the case, as there are many different vegetarian diets that include fish, poultry, and dairy products. For example, if you are looking to become a vegetarian or want to limit your meat intake, you could start off as a pollotarian. A pollotarian is someone who does not eat red meat but will eat white meat and dairy. Check out the many types of vegetarian diets listed below to find what is right for you:

  • Lacto- vegetarian: Does not eat meat but will eat dairy.

  • Ovo- vegetarian: Does not eat meat or dairy but will eat eggs.

  • Lacto-ovo vegetarian: Does not eat meat but will eat eggs and dairy.

  • Pescatarian: Does not eat meat, dairy or eggs, but will eat fish.

  • Vegan: Does not eat meat, fish, eggs or dairy.

  • Pollotarian: Does not eat red meat but will eat white meat and sometimes dairy.

This October, challenge yourself to eat more fruits in vegetables in honor of vegetarian month, click below for a great resource and tasty recipes!

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Since 2001, Minnesota-based AdvantageHealth has been delivering award-winning employee wellbeing programs and fitness center design & management throughout the U.S.

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