Thoughts on Vegetarian Diet

I have a hard time recommending a complete vegetarian diet and even more so a vegan diet. I like to think that I follow almost all the same recommendations that I give to my patients as far as healthy habits and food choices go. I would have a hard time giving up meats and dairy products for an extended period of time, however there is no denying the proven benefits of decreasing the amount of animal products in our diets. 
 
 Plant based proteins are cleaner, more abundant and in general more beneficial to our bodies. We could eat larger volumes of those proteins with less potential harmful effects and with the added benefit of more fibers. Plant based proteins have less chemicals and preservatives that may interfere with our system. A good mix of fruits, veggies, grains and legumes have basically all the proteins we need and with all the recipes online they can make for a delicious meal.
 
 In general our recommendation is for a balanced diet high in protein and low in sugars with adequate levels of healthy fats and carbs. I do believe that vitamin supplements and probiotics are also beneficial. I think that an active effort to decrease animal products and substitute them for plant based proteins is worth trying and might be easier than a sudden all out change.

Dr. Ariel Rodriguez

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