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The act of becoming vegetarian

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The act of becoming vegetarian

Photo Courtesy of foodandnutrition.org

Photo Courtesy of foodandnutrition.org

Photo Courtesy of foodandnutrition.org

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Lifestyle changes, no matter the severity, are as big of a deal as you make it. When I decided to become vegetarian, despite my excitement for the shift that would ensue, I had an understanding of what it could mean for my future.

My father is known to research anything and everything if it is unfamiliar to him, and I think that rubbed off on me. Though my decision to cut out meat had been pretty well made up, I still took time to learn more about vegetarianism before fully submerging into that lifestyle. And I think herbivores and omnivores alike might enjoy my findings.

Quickly, the first thing I came to realize was how easily one’s diet affects their body, which, in honesty, shouldn’t have come as any surprise. As meats are cut out of the diet, the body adapts to the lack of certain proteins and the gaining of others. Most noticeably and immediately, the gut area will experience some bloating. Though, over time, vegetarianism does lead to weight loss, there is an initial gain of healthy bacteria in the stomach area causing the bloated feeling. And since vegetarian diets are anti-inflammatory, it also reduces the risk of heart diseases.

But cutting meat from your diet also cuts all of its natural proteins and fatty acids. Losing these nutrients without any type of supplement has its consequences. Iron and zinc deficiencies are common among vegetarians and can put them at risk of other symptoms. Reduced iron in the blood can lead to anemia, and low zinc can impair taste. Also, plant-based proteins take more time to do their thing than meat proteins, so post-workout, your muscles will take longer to recover. For the most part, though, a lot of the negative side effects an be avoided with proper dieting and vitamin-taking.

Though I have not been a poster child of vegetarians, I would like to practice what I preach. Becoming vegetarian offers its difficulties, but nothing that planning and effort can’t beat. With that in mind, and endless amounts of information at your disposal, branch out and try new things, even if it’s just being a well-educated vegetarian for a week.

About the Writer
Elyse Nitschke, Opinion's Editor

Opinions editor Elyse Nitschke is a senior at WHS and a sort of avid marching band member. Music is her life, and her doggo Willie is her love. Aside from...

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The act of becoming vegetarian