Sam asked in Food & DrinkVegetarian & Vegan · 10 years ago

I am thinking of becoming a vegetarian. Is this good or bad for my health?

I'm 14 years old. I feel that the route to being a vegetarian would be good for me, although i feel that not eating meat will not make me grow to my full potential, and i wont get enough protein in my diet. what should i do?

18 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago
    Best answer

    Get the Vegetarian Starter Kit from -

    Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

    http://www.pcrm.org/health/veginfo/vsk/

    Vegetarian Nutrition for Teenagers

    http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/teennutrition.htm

    Get yourself a vegetarian cookbook. There are a few written just for teens like:

    The Teen's Vegetarian Cookbook - Judy Krizmanic

    A Teen's Guide to Going Vegetarian - Judy Krizmanic

    Student's Vegetarian Cookbook - Carole Raymond

    Vegetables Rock!: A Complete Guide for Teenage Vegetarians - Stephanie Pierson

  • 10 years ago

    I was worried about that too; not getting enough protein. There are 2 types of amino acids, which is a fancy word for protein, amino acids your body makes, and those you don't. Meat has all the amino acids... most plants have incomplete protein. This is the slight problem with vegetarians.

    I think the best route to start off is to get the majority of your calories from complex carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits beans. and eat meat occaisionally when you feel you aren't getting enough protein from beans or nuts. But make a conscious effort to eat mostly plants. Hemp protein has a full amino acid protein, so if you find some... it can replace meat totally. So can soy protein, but has plant estrogen, which might effect you negatively.

    Spinich and cabbage have a great amount of glutamic acid, which is what muscles crave and prevents catabolism. I'm researching the utility of fermented foods. check it out if you want. Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage. True fermented foods have lactic acid, store bought has harsh vinegar.

    I will add that if you exert yourself in sports, you need more protein. Good luck. I really do wish this lame country would legalize hemp(marijuana). This depression would be fixed in a year.

  • 10 years ago

    The problem with vegetarianism isn't a lack of protein, it can be a lack of key minerals if you pursue a very restrictive diet. All grains and seeds contain protein, as does dairy produce, eggs and fungi. Because you are accustomed to meat, you would have to re-educate you taste buds and learn how to maintain a balanced diet without meat.

    I think that it is important that you don't allow anyone coherse you down a particular path.

    With any change of diet I recommend easing into it. Gradually find replacements for each thing that you are eating at the moment. Do this one meal at a time rather than all at once. It will take time to find out about where to buy things, how to prepare them and how to keep things in balance.

    Be prepared to experiment with herbs and spices, to improve the flavour of different foods. They will also help your nutritional requirements. You can grow some fresh herbs on your windowsill., even a small chili plant if you are so inclined.

  • 10 years ago

    Being a vegetarian will not stunt your growth, but like any dietary choice you should do it healthily. You need roughly 40-50g protein a day depending on your size, and this should be easy to get unless you fill up on rubbish.

    Vegetarian protein sources are lentils, chickpeas, beans of all kinds, tofu, peas, wholegrains, houmous, eggs and dairy products.

    If you are worried, keep a food diary just for a few days and add up how much protein you are eating, using the information on food packets, plus there are some useful websites which you can enter what you have eaten and it calculates what calories/protein/whatever it is you are interested in.

    One such site is http://www.healthcalculators.org/calculators/prote... but there are several.

    Alternatively you should be able to get hold of a good nutrition book in your local library, I have one called the Food Bible by Judith Wills it is very good.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Vegetarianism is great for your health, as long as you are getting enough nutrients, especially protein and iron. It's really not so difficult to get your protein from non-meat sources, and vegetarian sources of protein are much healthier than meat. A few of your options are dairy (milk, yogurt, eggs if you want to eat them) beans, spinach and other dark, leafy greens, nuts, and soybeans, which come in a variety of forms including in shells, as soymilk, or as tofu. If you alternate between all these sources, you will definitely get enough protein. To give you an idea, you need about 60 grams in a day. A glass of milk provides 8 grams. Keep track of how much protein you eat in a meat-free day, while making an effort to eat sources of protein, and you will see that it's easy to get sufficient protein without eating meat.

  • 10 years ago

    You won't have any problems with protein. If you aren't willing to take the time to eat a balanced diet, you won't be healthy, vegetarian or not.

    I can get all of my protein for the day by having three servings of skim milk and three whole wheat rolls. That's it. End of story. Of course, that's kind of boring, so I usually wind up having other yummy things.

    Check out this website. It gives you comparisons between different foods (plant-based and animal based). Look around a bit and navigate through the links on top. You may find it useful, as it also includes information about iron, calcium, fiber, and other essential nutrients.

    http://www.soystache.com/sources_of_protein.htm

  • Elana
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    There are lots of proteins available to vegetarians (beans and peanuts come to mind).

    As long as you are conscious of dietary deficiencies, I think it is a fine route to go. You'll probably want to take a multi-vitamin, but I recommend that to people who AREN'T vegetarians.

    The good news is that you'll have a much easier time keeping your weight down - which can be a huge problem for people, particularly in the US.

    If you're likely to slack tracking vitamins and particularly proteins, you might want to wait until after your major growing phase.

    If you can follow this stuff closely, go for it!

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Firstly, ignore all the muppets who will tell you you cant be a healthy vegetarian. You can, it just requires planning. Any healthy diet does. There is plenty of protein in plant-based food, protein is the building block of life and is present in everything that was once alive, plant and animal. As a vegetarian, you will need to be careful to get adequate levels of Vitamin A, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D, as well as Iron, but it is very possible so long as you eat a healthy range of foods...lots of varied fruits and vegetables, lots of legumes, beans and lentils, and other things. Some things will be an acquired taste. Its not healthy to become veggie and live off veggie burgers and eggs, you need a balance of food. I suggest you buy this book, its very thorough, non-biased and gives you lots of info on being a healthy veggie:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Becoming-Vegetarian-Ve...

    Source(s): Former vegetarian, and I was plenty healthy!
  • 10 years ago

    It really depends on the person. With me I became more healthy because I actually had to start caring about how many serving of each food group I got. And I never did this before and rarely ate vegetables. So it will be good for your health if you get iron, protein and b12.

    Go to this:

    http://www.peta.org/vsk/

    It is really helpful.

    Good luck and you really should go vegetarian.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Hello,im 14 too and went veggie last year, its helped my health a lot and you'll be less at risk to loads of diseases, protein can be found in places other tan meat, need any help try checking out websites for recipes and the PETA website for more info, i would defiantly say you should do it, or at least try it for.. a month maybe? Plus its awesome being able to say 'im a vegetarian' (lol)

    feel free to message if you have any questions

    x

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