Is a Vegetarian/Vegan Diet Good For You? (Spoiler Alert: I Don’t Know)

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

Is this really better for me, and the world around me?

That’s a question I’ve wondered throughout this challenge. The answer is that I don’t know, and I don’t pretend to know! This post is not for me to try to give you some magical answer I’ve come to (sorry). It’s for me to talk this out with you.

There are so many articles saying a plant-based diet is the best way to go. And then there are some that say you really need certain nutrients in meat and/or dairy.

My understanding is that you can get almost all (if not all) of the nutrients you would get in meat and dairy from plant-based sources. So, I’m skeptical that we do really need meat or dairy.

I do also think, though, that when becoming vegetarian, it can be pretty easy to start getting a lot of tofu in your diet, as so many vegetarian meals and restaurants incorporate a fair amount of tofu, and other processed stuff.

While I think a plant-based diet is nice and healthy, I also think that any diet that’s made up of too much fake or synthetic stuff is probably not great. I do understand that tofu is made of soy, which is a legume. So, it is technically a plant-based food. It just feels so much more synthetic to me than eating, say, a handful of almonds.

However, feeling something doesn’t make it true. Even if tofu and such feels a little fake to me, maybe it’s totally fine for you. There are articles that tout the wonder of soy and tofu, and articles that tear it apart.

I know an important thing when deciding whether to trust an article is who wrote it/what are the sources? But honestly, it feels like there are some untrustworthy people on both sides of the vegetarian/vegan debate – and that there are some very competent people on both sides as well.

It seems as though many doctors can’t even agree whether vegetarianism is good. If a medical professional doesn’t know, then how am I to know?

And while I’m a little skeptical about all the things that are subbed in to food to make it vegan, I also think, “well, most of the things subbed in are fruits, nuts, and the like. So, maybe the “fake” vegan foods aren’t terrible after all – even if you are subbing stuff that’s usually in your food. Maybe the real problem is not these vegan alternatives, but the fact that we have so much crud that’s normally in our food (that’s needing to be subbed out) in the first place.

The one thing I know, that all reliable sources seem to be able to agree upon, is that eating meat and dairy is terrible for the environment! And I do care about our planet. If I can eat in a way that healthily sustains me, while taking care of the environment, then that makes me want to eat more vegan all the time!

Ultimately, I think with so much conflicting information, the best thing to do if you’re interested at all in vegetarianism/veganism is to try it out yourself, and see how it affects you.

I’ll talk a bit about how it affected me tomorrow.

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?