Are Vegetarian Diets Beneficial

The article “Nutrition Concerns and Health Effects of Vegetarian Diets” by W. J. Craig deals with a popular mode of nutrition. The author tries to define the potential health threats and favorable impact of this diet and to compare two most commonplace forms of it.

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The first component considered by the nutritionist is vitamin D. This element is insufficiently generated in most of the North American residents, and the lack of it can decrease bone mass, especially for vegans. The latter group also suffers because vitamin B12 is not contained in non-lacto-ovo food in sufficient quantities. Craig emphasizes the importance of ω-3 for normal work of blood vessels. Intake of calcium and iron is mentioned to be even higher for people adhering to vegetarian diets. Regarding iron and zinc, the larger concern implies bioavailability than intake figures. The author also offers alternative sources of these elements for all vegetarian groups.

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Positive impact on health for vegetarians is exerted by low fat consumption preventing from cardiovascular diseases and obesity. Craig states that type 2 diabetes is also less typical among people not eating animal food. Various studies quoted by the nutritionist reveal decreased likeliness of different types of cancer for vegetarians. Bone health is also promoted by vegetable food.

Comparing lacto-ovo and vegan diets, the scholar mentions beneficial impact of the first group on child growth, although total refusal to consume any animal food produces smaller allergy likeliness. However, data on bone health of vegans seems to be insufficient.

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Craig concludes that a balanced vegetarian diet can actually be health-promoting. The most important nutrition concern of such diets implies lack of essential substances (vitamins and microelements) experienced by vegetarians. I agree with the author that opponents of animal food can prevent the development of chronic diseases only if they find an adequate substitution for these components.

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