Pros and cons of becoming a vegetarian? Tips as well?

I've been a "vegetarian" for about two weeks and now that my parents know I'm serious about it, they're all concerned and worried its not a good diet. I mean, I get why they would think that but they're only looking at the short negative side of the whole thing while I'm trying to tell them both. They're very hard people to get through to. I'm a 15 and 1/2 year old girl 5'6 and 105 so im not doing it for the health reasons but more for rights/environment. (even tho it is still a healthy diet). I just need legitimate pros and cons (preferably from actual vegetarians or people who are close with any) Also some tips for recipes and good replacements of meat as well. (im not to big on soy cause its not very good for you but oh well:)

Thank you!!!

Update:

good tips/foods for a HEALTHY vegetarian diet please:)

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  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Make sure you get your protein, iron, and B12, and don't overdo the cheese and eggs (they're both full of the unhealthy kind of cholesterol). Nutritional yeast (also known as savory yeast, vegetarian support formula, and/or "nooch") is a good veg*an source of B12. Try sprinkling it on popcorn, using it like parmesan cheese, that sort of thing. Here are some info sheets on vegetarian sources of protein and iron:

    http://www.vegsoc.org/info/protein.html

    http://www.vegsoc.org/info/iron.html

    As for recipe suggestions, my personal favorites include adding garbanzo or kidney beans to salads, using small red beans in marinara sauce instead of meat, and three-bean salads (garbanzo beans + kidney beans + a little olive oil + a little finely chopped onion + whatever else -- e.g. parsley, rosemary, olives, capers, tomatoes, pasta, avocado). I also really love lentil soup with lots of veggies and bite-sized pieces of bread toasted in olive oil, vegan gumbo (okra and tomatoes are essential, but other than that you can pretty much throw in whatever you have that you want to use up), and bean burritos. All of those are healthy, and most of them have plenty of protein and carbs, so they're filling, too.

    ETA @ Gravitar: As a former biochemistry major, I have to disagree. Yeasts are fungi. Should I avoid mushrooms, too? And veganism isn't necessarily about a moratorium on harming every animal ever. It's about minimizing our support of producers of animal products and hence animal exploitation and avoidable animal cruelty.

    Source(s): I'm vegan.
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  • 10 years ago

    Pros are basically that it is very healthy if done right, and that it's socially responsible (though the same could be said of eating organic meats) since you aren't eating animals that have been fed antibiotics, growth hormone and other animals. It can also be much cheaper than eating meat assuming you don't buy processed meat substitutes. Cons are if you do not know what to eat it's very easy to become malnourished.

    First question: Are you still consuming dairy and/or eggs? If so these are a great substitute for meats, high in protein and other nutrients. Yogurt is an especially good choice as it's high in calcium, comes in low fat varieties, and has good bacteria called probiotics. Beans are also great (mix legumes or nuts with grains for a complete protein source). Soy is actually not bad for you assuming you're not eating processed stuff like soy burgers and soy nuggets: try tofu or tempeh instead. Tempeh is actually healthier as it is fermented and therefore does not leech zinc from the body. Seitan is another common substitute, its made from gluten.

    Also, if you are not eating any animal products, you will probably need a B12 supplement.

    As for recipes, there are tons! Veggie quesadillas, veggie pizzas, grilled cheese and tomato, lentil soup, minestrone soup, veggie sandwiches, hummus, rice and beans, tofu stir fries, salads...I could go on and on. Also most Indian cooking is vegetarian.

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  • Abby
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Pro's The health benefits are countless Lower rates of heart disease Lower high blood pressure Lowers chances of having Type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer. Vegetarians also have lower body mass indexes and cholesterol levels Less likely to be obese However having meat in your diet is very beneficial Vegetable Don't provide the animal proteins that are needed by the body to help our muscle and some of these cannot be obtained from eating soy beans an eggs Despite popular belief oils present in animal meat is crucial to a healthy diet Dining out becomes a lot harder, limiting your options You don't need to go vegetarian to eat healthy, Moderation is the key, every meal should be balanced with a protein, starches, and veggies

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  • 10 years ago

    i think it's amazingg that you're a vegetarian.

    it is NOT unhealthy to be a vegetarian.

    i'm twenty and have been a vegetarian since i was four and i am completely healthy.

    people say it's unhealthy because of the lack of protein, but if anyone did any research on it they'd find out that NO one has ever died or gotten sick from being a vegetarian.

    i'm not into the whole fake meat either, but i do like veggie burgers. try those out.

    eat alot of pasta's and rice.

    honestly, you still will have a variety of food to eat without meat.

    =] good luck.

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  • 10 years ago

    I've been a vegetarian for a long time. I'm an Army Officer and in very good shape. The biggest myth people believe is that you don't get good protein but it's a myth.

    A great place to start is http://garynull.com & find the recipes there. That's where I started.

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  • 10 years ago

    Pros:

    -No meat. Seriously, meat consumption is behind most of the health problems plaguing the United States (assuming you're American) today--heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, the list goes on.

    -Less processed and fast food.

    -More vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and other foods that are actually good for you.

    Cons:

    -Need to eat foods fortified with D2 and B12 vitamins (very commonly found in grocery stores).

    -Undue stress due to people constantly asking about your vegetarianism? Haha. There really isn't anything else.

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  • 10 years ago

    pros-

    its feels good to have a "violence free" meal

    cons-

    some body types have trouble with a diet that supplies a smaller amount of protein. just see how your health goes and if you start to lose or gain large amounts of weight, try eating more protein or switching back to a meat diet.

    healthy protein foods-

    beans, tofu

    an easy breakfast is eggs on toast and orange juice

    An easy lunch is a almond/peanut/cashew butter sandwich, and some veggie or fruit.

    an easy dinner is tofu vegetable rice stir fry with a bit of soy sauce thrown on.

    good luck!

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  • 3 years ago

    dont like fruits and vegetables or vegetables either. Every my menu involves is hamburgers, pizza, chips, and poultry.

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  • 10 years ago

    By vegetarian do you mean vegan-no animal products at all, or lacto-ovo, who still eat dairy and eggs? Edit: why do think soy is not good for you? But if you're allergic or something then lentils and other beans are also very high in protein, as are some vegetables and nuts.

    If vegan, then beans such as soy, peanuts, kidney etc. will be most likely be essential to add to the diet in order to ensure a complete amino acid complex every day, though some grains such as quinoa [pronounced keenwa] are almost perfectly complete themselves. Generally boiled beans don't go well with fruit, but roasted beans do ok, but fresh off the vine or bush is best. At least 3 oz. a day is recommended by the FDA at the current time. Grains, tubers, nuts, and fruit tend to have the same types of amino acids, and beans add the others.

    Vitamin B12 is produced by intestinal bacteria and most people don't eat enough prebiotics, and eat too much other food to have a chance to absorb a significant quantity of it, so the stores from eating animal products or supplements is the only way people can get what's considered enough, however, people who get enough folate/folic acid never show any symptoms of B12 deficiency such B12 related anemia, as B12 and folate/folic acid act on the same receptor cells in the body.

    Advantages are:

    Vegetarians live on average 7 years longer than meat eaters, largely due to reduced calorie and toxins in the fat intake - the same difference as not smoking vs average smoker, BTW eliminating white cane sugar also tends to add about 7 years of life, again from reduced calorie vs micro nutrient density... Eating what's called a restricted calorie or RC diet can up to double life span, but calories should never be reduced lower than half the RDA or malnutrition is guaranteed, and it MUST be a micro nutrient dense diet with lots of whole, fresh foods. Eat for maximum vitality of mind and body. Calorie for calorie many vegetables have more protein than animal products.

    Also growing plants for our food takes between 1/10 and 1/50 of the land mass compared to getting the same nutrient value from animal products, causing far less need for clear cutting, overgrazing and other destructive land practices.

    Another reason is that current farm animal practices would be considered animal cruelty if they were pets... Farms and experiment labs do not have to adhere to the same laws of animal cruelty as pet owners.

    Finally animal farming also causes more green house gases than cars, only building's energy use is more severe in green house gas production of all mankind's activities... Volcanoes and other natural phenomenon still out do human activity though.

    I hope that helps.

    Blessings.

    Edit: @Rose if you eat yeast you're not vegan IMO, yeast are animals just small ones. Actually it's impossible to be truly vegan as there are animals in the air you breath [which is why Jain priests wear mask to prevent harming those animals as much as possible] and living on and in just about everything. PSS: I was unaware of that taxonomic distinction as fungi as I thought yeast was a pseudo separate kingdom due to its inexact taxonomy, but my biology knowledge is most likely less than yours... But I do know plenty of people who avoid mushrooms because they're fungi, maybe I should start ribbing them about their eating of yeast leavened bread... ;)

    Edit : @Ross Vitamin D, which is more technically a hormone, is produced naturally in the body provided you get enough UV, preferably from natural day light (in some regions only summer time will give you enough UV exposure) the average supplement is not nearly enough to replace what's needed for optimum use in the body up to 8000IUs. So what's added to milk and milk substitutes per serving is very paltry by comparison at 100IUs, 80x less than optimal.

    Melanin, the dark skin tone of tans and peoples from high UV areas, determines how much sun you need each day along with the latitude on earth and cloud cover etc in your area. for example in Oregon US you can't get enough sunshine between the months of October and March to produce Vitamin D in the body. The higher the UV levels of the day and the lighter your skin the less time you need to spend in the sun to produce enough vitamin D, and conversely the darker your skin and lower the UV levels the more sun time you need to expose yourself to.

    You can get vitamin D2 or D3 (type doesn't matter as far as correcting deficiencies go recent research has found) in supplements, but seeing as how full spectrum light is required for proper brain activity, skin health (part of the spectrum kills harmful bacteria on the skin) and function of the circadian rhythm [your sleep/wake cycle], then it is highly suggested to get your vitamin D from the sun unless your have a rare sun allergy or something.

    Source(s): Lacto-ovo vegetarian.
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  • 10 years ago

    Loss of muscle mass, dull hair, dry skin. But you will save money by not buying meat.

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