Adopting a vegetarian diet does contribute to the environment. Moreover, this diet has also been shown to provide many health benefits.
However, errors in its application still occur, and make the benefits cannot be obtained optimally. The following are some mistakes to avoid when switching to vegetarianism.
Deficiency of Vitamin B12 Intake
It is common, vegetarians to lack vitamin B12 intake. This is because the source of this vitamin comes from animals.
Meeting the intake of vitamin B12 is very important because it plays a role in the formation of red blood cells. Lack of it will cause the body to drain easily, as well as cause memory problems, numbness, and anemia.
Therefore, vegetarians or those who will soon become one must pay attention to vitamin B12 intake. You can take it from supplements or from plant-based food sources fortified with vitamin B12.
Consuming Too Few Calories
Limited food choices can make vegetarians deficient in calorie intake. Therefore, many of them are tired more often as calories function to produce energy in the body.
Lack of calories can also have an impact on slowing down metabolic processes which later will cause health problems. So, make sure you keep an eye on your calorie intake through the consumption of plant-based calorie sources, such as nuts, avocado, sweet potatoes, and rice.
Consider All Vegetarian Products Healthy
This assumption is still happening today, that anything labeled vegetarian is healthy. However, the reality is not always like that.
For example almond milk which is very popular among vegetarians. There are no medical facts that reveal that this type of milk is healthier than cow’s milk.
It does contain lots of vitamins and minerals, but the levels are still lower than cow’s milk. Moreover, when almond milk contains sugar which would be unhealthy if consumed every day.
Another example is when you want to eat a burger and then choose a veggie burger in which the patty is made of tempeh or other meat-substitute ingredients. Even though it is made from vegetable sources, doesn’t mean it wasn’t going through a healthy process.
Such food usually remains through various stages of processing and possibly using artificial ingredients. So, it’s not necessarily healthier than a non-vegetarian burger.
Vegetarians do get a lot of fiber intake thanks to the food choices they eat. However, it must also be accompanied by drinking more mineral water than non-vegetarians.
This is because fiber really needs water to move properly in the digestive tract. That way, you will avoid problems, such as bloating, stomach acid, and constipation.
Forgetting Iron Intake
Meat is the best source of iron. Consuming 3 ounces of meat has even met 14 percent of the iron needs in the body. Moreover, this food source also contains heme iron which is easily absorbed by our body.
Because meat is not consumed by vegetarians, iron intake is often forgotten. In fact, a lack of this substance can cause shortness of breath and dizziness due to a lack of red blood cells.
If you are a vegetarian, meet your iron intake from lentils, beans, whole grains, wheat, and green vegetables. To be more optimal, also pair the iron source with foods that are high in vitamin C, such as fruits. This will help the absorption of iron in the body.