Medically reviewed by Dr. Unsa Mohsin.
You may know someone who has chosen the veg life and wonder: Should I give up meat as well? Where will I get my protein? What are the benefits of a vegetarian diet? This article will answer those questions for you and hopefully give you the motivation you need to try a vegetarian diet.
As people are becoming aware of environmental damages caused by the meat industry and the health risks involved in consuming non-organic meat, vegetarian diets are becoming quite popular.
What will happen if I give up meat?
There are a variety of benefits of a vegetarian diet. Firstly, it’s great for your health. By giving up meat, you can:
- Reduce risk of obesity
- Reduce chances of heart disease
- Lower hypertension
- Lower body mass index
- Reduce risk of cancer
A vegetarian diet is also good for the environment. It requires two-and-a-half times less land space needed to grow food. Moreover, the production of vegetarian sources of protein such lead to less greenhouse gas emissions.
Where will I get protein from if I’m not eating meat?
There’s a great variety of vegetarian protein foods. By eating a balanced diet, it is fairly simple to meet all your nutrition needs. The following food products are great sources of protein:
- Legumes and beans such as chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans etc
- Lentils (all kinds of dal)
- Nuts and seeds
- Eggs and dairy products
Does this mean I have to give up on my favourite foods?
Transitioning from a meat-based diet to a vegetarian diet can be daunting. It is completely understandable if you have a hard time giving up things like tikka and biryani. However, one doesn’t have to give up the dishes they love. For example, if you are a big fan of spaghetti bolognese, you can replace the minced meat with brown lentils. This allows one to experience the foods they love in new and interesting ways! Similarly, for tikka, one can try using paneer or vegetables like cauliflower. It’s all about opening up your mind to the different possibilities!
We hope this article has been useful for you in understanding the benefits of a vegetarian diet. Let us know what you think and whether you are interested in trying out a vegetarian diet!