Effects of Vegetarian Diets

Updated at: Sep 07, 2012
Effects of Vegetarian Diets

Are you aware of pros and cons of vegetarian diets?

Himanshu Sharma
Exercise & FitnessWritten by: Himanshu SharmaPublished at: Sep 07, 2012

Effects of Vegetarian Diets

A well-rounded vegetarian diet is full of health benefits and helps to prevent or treat various chronic diseases. Sometimes, a vegan diet may leave you deficient in nutrients such as vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D, zinc, iron and fatty acids. Therefore, it is important for vegetarians to incorporate nutrients in their diet chart to fulfil the adequate levels of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids.

Negative Effects of a Vegetarian Diet

Vegans that avoid animal and poultry products may encounter dietary deficiencies mentioned below:

  1. Vitamin B12 Deficiency – If you’re a vegetarian and do not have dairy products, eggs, your diet may get deficient in vitamin B12. Lack of vitamin B12 may lead to several medical conditions  such as anaemia, weakness, poor balance and tingling in limbs. Therefore, vegetarians are advised to add plenty of vitamin B12 to enhance metabolism, maintenance of the central nervous system and the formation of red blood cells.
  2. Iron Deficiency – Iron is naturally found in red meat, poultry and fish. If you’re depriving your body of  iron you may develop some conditions such as  anaemia, slow cognitive development, chills and increased susceptibility to infection. Pregnant women with iron deficiency are more likely to give birth to preemies or low-birth-weight babies. According to National Institutes for Health, vegetarians should get twice as much iron as non-vegetarians as vegetarian sources of iron are more difficult to absorb.
  3. Zinc Deficiency – Vegetarian diet may affect immune system or the healing process. Zinc deficiency results in frequent infections, hair loss and several other medical conditions. A vegetarian diet should include legumes, peanuts and peanut butter, to fulfil the requirement of zinc.

Read How Vegan Diet Harms your Health

Positive Effects of a Vegetarian Diet

Besides negative effects of a vegetarian diet, vegetarian diets render several benefits.

  1. Lowering Risk of Diseases – Plenty of vegetarian food options in your diet chart cuts the risk of contracting coronary heart disease, strokes, blood clots, bone loss, osteoporosis and cancer. It is due to the reason that vegetarian diets are low in saturated fats, high in healthy fats and high in antioxidants.
  2. Lowers Cholesterol – Vegetarian diets are beneficial for high cholesterol patients, as they eat more soya protein containing iso flavones, an essential to lower cholesterol.
  3. Weight Loss –It is easier for vegetarians to lose weight than meat eaters owing to the fact that vegetarian food options provide less saturated fats and calories.


Read Go Veg to be Happy

A vegetarian diet is a healthy choice, when all nutritional requirements are accounted. If nutritional requirements are not fulfilled, one can encounter unpleasant and unhealthy medical risks.


Read more articles on Healthy Eating


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