Pro-Con introduction: Is vegetarian diet better?

March 11, 2012 at 11:02 p.m.
Updated March 11, 2012 at 10:12 p.m.


Nutritionists and doctors share many philosophies about a nutrition-adequate diet.

But an increasingly popular discussion on the values of a meat-based diet in comparison to one that includes only plants continues to increase.

A vegetarian-based diet includes items such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, oats, rice and nuts. It also may include some dairy, eggs and cheese.

A nutritional meat-inclusive diet may include the same items as a plant-based diet, with the addition of dairy, beef, chicken, fish and eggs.

Government and medical agencies are divided on the issue of vegetarian and meat diets.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends a diet with lean meats, poultry, fish and eggs.

While the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics endorse "appropriately-planned vegetarian diets," that may include total vegetarianism or veganism as nutritionally adequate.

So what is the most appropriate and healthy method of eating? Is a vegetarian diet sufficient, or do humans require meat consumption?



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