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Vegetarian nutrition is being followed by an increasing number of individuals. The reasons behind the adoption of this dietary style are of a health, animal rights, environmentalist nature. In fact, it is now known that an excess of proteins and, above all, fats of animal origin is very harmful to health. A vegetarian diet based on plant products, milk and eggs is the healthiest diet that can be followed but requires a certain degree of knowledge of dietary rules. Contrary to the vegan diet (only products of plant origin) it provides all 20 essential amino acids. It also provides the body with other fundamental nutrients such as highly bioavailable iron and vitamin B12.

A vegetarian diet is easy enough to follow but still requires some attention. Meat is a source of cholesterol and triglycerides. In fact, its abuse can lead to an increase in blood lipid values. The same can happen with regard to uric acids which are products of the digestion of proteins. Furthermore, the antibiotics contained in the meat of farmed animals must also be considered. A vegetarian makes the choice not to eat meat often because it is driven by ethical reasons. Furthermore, we must not forget the health reasons that lead many to refuse meat. However, it is certain that the abuse of meat is harmful to health. In addition, its exclusion from one’s diet must be carried out carefully.


So, the elimination of meat or fish is not recommended during the phases of growth, that is, until the end of development (about 18 or 19 years). In fact, in this period it is building itself and therefore it needs the proteins that are the building blocks to grow. So these building blocks are proteins of high biological value. In fact, they are the only sources of essential amino acids that are scarce in plant foods. In fact, it is not advisable to follow a vegetarian diet without constant medical checks.


So I advise vegetarians to have their blood tested at least twice a year. In particular, it would be useful to evaluate hematocrit, amount of red blood cells, hemoglobin, sideremia as well as lipid parameters such as total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides. In fact, the vegetarian diet will certainly bring numerous advantages for the reduction of lipid parameters. However, it should be done carefully so as not to risk an iron deficiency. In fact, legumes are rich in iron that is not very metabolizable as opposed to that contained in meat. So it would be useful to integrate legumes and soy in particular with salads and fruit portions containing vitamin C. In fact, it promotes the absorption of iron.


A sideremia check would be useful because we should check if there is an iron deficiency. In fact, in this case, we should make some changes to our diet, that is to increase the legumes a little and the consumption of foods containing vitamin C. Then add for example portions of salad, tomatoes, citrus fruits. Becoming a vegetarian produces enormous benefits to the body, especially if we choose to feed on BIO and no-GMO products.

It is a food choice, of a healthy, environmental, animal and ethical nature that can become a lifestyle aimed at respecting animals, the environment and one’s health. Moreover, the only very important advice I want to give to my readers is to follow this diet with intelligence. In fact, it brings great benefits if we eat in order to have a balanced diet from every point of view. That is, with a perfect balance between amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins, mineral salts and so on. Soy is essential for achieving this balance. Furthermore, it is perfect for achieving this goal.

In fact, it has a variety of amino acids very similar to that of meat. The same goes for lipids and some important vitamins. Complete blood profiles can now be performed in almost any testing laboratory in any city. So I recommend checking the lipid values ​​a couple of times a year in order to check the benefits of the vegetarian diet and understand if it could be useful to make some small changes in the doses of the recipes.


Everyone fears excessive cholesterol values ​​but it must be understood that it must still oscillate between a minimum and a maximum value. In fact, even too low values ​​are not advisable.

In particular, they can be indicators of malabsorption pathologies or nutritional imbalances. So all this is important in a period in which a healthy, animalist and environmentalist culture is spreading. The cholesterol values ​​to be monitored are those of TOTAL CHOLESTEROL, in fact they should vary within a range between 120 and 220 mg / 100ml. In addition, there are the HDL cholesterol values ​​which should vary between 40 and 80 mg / 100ml. So there is LDL cholesterol which should range between 70 and 180 mg / 100ml. In addition, the triglycerides should not exceed the value of 150 mg / 100ml. HDL cholesterol is “high density” or “good” cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is “low density” or “bad” cholesterol.

Soy has a lipid profile that favors the increase of the “good” one and a reduction of the “bad” one. Therefore it can be considered a protective food of our arteries. It is important in these times in which a culture of a healthy, animalist, environmentalist nature is emerging. Men are not all the same but there is great variability within the human race. Therefore I recommend evaluating the effects of a vegetarian diet on the body with a couple of annual blood tests. So so you can make small changes to your diet if necessary so that you always achieve a perfect balance between the nutrients. Maintaining this balance will be maintained more effectively with constant monitoring of one’s blood values.


I also recommend an increasing number of check (weekly) of blood pressure. In fact they are good indicators of the osmotic and oncotic pressure (mainly linked to proteins) of the organism. The evolution of medical sciences has provided the possibility of being able to follow a much more correct and healthy diet than in the past. In addition, a consciousness has developed that encourages an increasing number of individuals to opt for a diet that does not involve the sacrifice of animals. In addition, the selection of vegetables has produced excellent foods such as soy or lupine that have nothing to envy to meat. So a healthy, ethically correct and eco-sustainable diet is now within everyone’s reach.

dr. Massimiliano Mangafà


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