It is believed that plant foods are easier to digest, help maintain weight, give lightness, energy, good mood, and improve the condition of skin, hair and nails. In fact, there are downsides to vegetarianism.
How to replace meat?
More than 55% of the Russian population approves of a vegetarian diet, 60% of them are women. According to statistics, 78% switch to plant foods to stay healthy. Vegetarianism means avoiding meat and fish products. Its most radical branch is veganism, which provides for the complete exclusion of meat, fish, seafood, eggs, milk from the diet. In addition, vegans often refuse to heat-treat foods – a raw food diet or eat only fruits – fruitarianism.
What is the threat of giving up meat and why vegetable protein cannot compensate for animal protein? In fact, vegetarianism is nutritional fasting, leading to a lack of vital elements, the main of which are proteins. It is completely impossible to make up for their deficiency with the help of food rich in vegetable proteins (beans, lentils, beans, etc.).
This is due to the fact that in the intestine of a healthy person, the normal number of bacteria that produce enzymes that break down cellulose (it consists of the cell wall of all plants) is minimal and should not exceed 10 4 CFU / g. That is why plant food remains undigested, and the body does not receive the amino acids necessary for protein biosynthesis.
These bacteria include Clostridia – opportunistic intestinal dwellers. If their number exceeds 10 5 CFU / g, these microorganisms have a negative effect: they destroy erythrocytes, have neuro-, leukotoxic effects, damage the intestinal wall and can lead to the development of life-threatening clostridiosis. The disease requires mandatory emergency treatment.
For or against?
If we talk about the main problems that arise when giving up meat, then in addition to protein deficiency, when eating only plant foods, a person does not receive additional elements such as iron, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B 12 , vitamins A and D, calcium, phosphorus …
After about six months, the first signs of disturbances in the functioning of the body appear on a plant diet. Hair loss begins, the skin becomes dry or, on the contrary, inflamed and irritated, brittle nails. A feeling of lightness and pleasant euphoria, which often occur, is nothing more than the first symptom of anemia.
In addition, due to the low calorie content of the diet, weight loss is possible, primarily the body fat. For women who are planning a pregnancy, this can be a hindrance to the desired pregnancy.
As for toddlers and adolescents whose parents have chosen this nutritional option for their children, it is important to strictly control the protein / amino acid supply of children in order to prevent lag in physical development and neurological dysfunction.
Doctors do not recommend a complete rejection of meat. But a reasonable restriction of meat products in the diet, up to 1-2 times a week, is quite acceptable. Some studies show that such nutrition helps to reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, the development of inflammatory and cancer diseases, and Alzheimer’s disease.