Going Vegetarian? Be Aware of Some Possible Side Effects

While a vegetarian diet offers a myriad of health benefits and can aid in weight loss, there are side effects you need to know. Read on to learn more.

Choosing a vegetarian diet is a superb way to experience more energy and better overall health. With a plethora of healthy nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants, and healthy fats, you can enjoy lower blood pressure, a leaner physique, and a reduced risk of heart attack and other ailments. However, going vegetarian can also have some side effects. While these shouldn’t deter you from starting your vegetarian quest, it’s something you should note for your own well-being.

Depression and Anxiety

According to a study on vegetarian diets and mental health, researchers found that vegetarians are 18 percent more likely to suffer from depression, 28 percent more prone to anxiety attacks and disorders, and 15 percent more likely to have depressive moods. Unfortunately, no reason was accurately ascertained for these mental conditions.

Theories include a vitamin deficiency and reverse causation as possible reasons for these findings. Without a strong reasoning for these issues, vegetarian is still one of many healthy meal plans until more research is conducted on the matter.

Perceived Social Awkwardness

While vegans may feel threatened in social situations more so than other types of dieters, vegetarians can still catch grief or feel awkward in social situations. Between people eating meat, finding something on the menu that fits your vegetarian requirements, and little jokes from friends, acquaintances, and peers, being vegetarian isn’t always easy. However, being tactfully upfront with meat eaters and others that don’t understand your choice is a solid remedy for the situation. It lets others know where you stand without being “in their face” about it.

Vitamin Deficiencies

Veggies, nuts, and other foods of a vegetarian diet come with plenty of micronutrients that your body needs to function at the highest level. However, iodine, zinc, and vitamin B12 are hard to come by when you leave meat, seafood, and dairy products out of your meals. Without these nutrients, you can suffer from goiters, fatigue, diarrhea, loss of taste and smell, and even neurological damage.

The important factor here is to take supplements and standalone vitamins that will give you these necessary vitamins if they’re only in foods that you’ve banished from your diet. Finding foods that can replace these micronutrients and adding them to your diet can help keep it balanced.

Heavy Gas

Excess gas is one of the worst side effects of switching to a vegetarian diet. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can also lead to awkwardness in public. The reason for the extra gas is due to the higher levels of fiber in plants. While beans have the awful, yet sometimes hilarious notoriety for causing gas, cauliflower, broccoli, peaches, and wheat products can all cause the same affliction.

To reduce this unsavory situation, take note of how your body reacts to each type of food. You may not have to eliminate them from your diet altogether, but lowering your intake will avoid some sticky situations.

Cutting meat out of your diet has been linked to better health and raised energy levels, and although there are some slight side effects, these conditions certainly don’t outweigh the benefits. So grab your nuts, veggies, and eggs, and start your journey to a healthier lifestyle.

To make sure you get all the nutrients you need, log your food in Lifesum’s diet app!

All of the content and media on Lifesum is created and published for information purposes only. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Users should always consult with a doctor or other health care professional for medical advice. If you have or think you are at risk of developing an eating disorder, do not use the Lifesum app and seek immediate medical help.

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