The problems in a vegetarian diet develop in many cases from the animal rights activists who choose to eliminate meat, not for health reasons, but because they don’t want to be part of a society that kills animals for food. We may not agree with that concept, but that is their choice; however, many of these people go to extremes and refuse to eat products that do not require an animal to be dead for the product to be processed such as milk, cheese, eggs, and butter. All of these have essential nutrients that we need, and if you are going to eliminate them, you have to be sure to replace them with vitamin and mineral supplements. In addition, you want to make sure that you are replacing all those important nutrients, which means that you must be in contact with your doctor, as you should with any diet that varies from the normal concept of all of the food groups.
Another mistake people make with the vegetarian diet is putting their children on them without constant monitoring of the pediatrician. Doctors do not like children under the age of ten to be on any kind of a diet that eliminates any foods whatsoever, and a child’s body is not yet ready to indulge in the restrictions of the vegetarian diet without a health professional’s permission. This is also true of women who are pregnant or breast feeding because they need all of the nutrients in the milk and the meats, so if there is any substitution allowed, it should be monitored by the doctor. This is where some people cause more harm that good with diets because they attempt to do what they want to do rather than what the doctor feels is best.
There is nothing wrong with the vegetarian diet as long as the person follows doctor’s orders and makes sure to replace all of those nutrients that are lost in the meat and dairy products with other substances. Legumes are very high in protein as is tofu, two products that are usually quite plentiful on diets high in vegetable content. During pregnancy or lactation and during a child’s growing years the diet should not be used unless carefully monitored by a health care professional. It’s important to remember that the vegetarian diet is not for everyone, and you should not expect all of your family to follow the routine if they do not choose to do so, even if it means cooking two meals. In addition, when friends come to dinner, at least try to have something that closely resembles meat unless they follow your routine.