Is a Vegetarian Diet Cheaper or More Expensive?

A balanced vegetarian diet provides all the necessary nutrients for anyone, including teenagers, children, and breast-feeding or pregnant women. These diets are centered on grains, beans, legumes, nuts, fruits, and vegetables, which can be cheaper than meats. The important aspect to consider about vegetarian diets is the affordability of its products. However, there are many benefits and options for vegetarian dieters that should be considered other than just cost.

Benefits

Diets can greatly influence our health, which is a top priority in life. Vegetarian diets offer health benefits such as lower risk of heart disease since vegetarians generally consume less calories and fats than non-vegetarians do.

In addition, when people think about vegetarian diets, they usually assume that they are more expensive. However, there are many cheap products for these diets with high nutritional value like beans, oatmeal, and grains. Other meat substitutes and organic foods may appear expensive, but their cost is balanced by lowering meat related purchases. As such, vegetarian diets can be affordable and cost effective based on the type of diet and products purchased.

Types of Vegetarian Diets

Not all types of vegetarian diets exclude fish, poultry or meat. There is a wide variety of vegetarian diets with different costs and benefits such as:

Vegan. Vegan diets don’t include any poultry, meat, dairy products, eggs, or seafood. Foods that contain these products are exclud

Ovo-vegetarian. This diet doesn’t include poultry, meat, dairy products, or fish, but does allow eggs.
Lacto-ovo. No meats, poultry, and fish can be consumed in a lacto-ovo diet, but eggs and dairy products are permitted.
Lacto-vegetarian. You can consume dairy products like cheese, milk, butter, and yogurt. Meats, poultry, seafood, and eggs are excluded from this diet.

You may even follow semi vegetarian diets that are mainly plant-related diets with some dairy, meats, fish, poultry, and eggs included in small portions.

Protein Requirement Misconception

There is common misconception that vegetarians don’t consume enough protein, a necessary resource of the body. The truth is that vegetarians with well-balanced diets get enough protein from non meat sources like oatmeal, mushrooms, beans, and leafy greens, to name a few. For example, 50 grams of pumpkin seeds provide 13 grams of protein, which is higher than the protein provided by 50 grams of skinless chicken breast. You can simply get all your protein needs by using a variety of produce in your vegetarian diet.

Organic Product Costs

There is an ongoing debate about whether it’s better to buy organic versus non-organic products. While the environment benefits more from organic manufacturing techniques over non-organic ones, there are different conclusions about its health benefits. Some researchers argue that non-organic products have large quantity of pesticides that affect our overall health. On the other hand, others argue that toxins and bacteria, that are harmful to our health, easily contaminate organic foods. Regardless of the negative aspects of both types of foods, organic products are more expensive since more work is required to produce them.

If your budget is tight, consider buying organic meats and dairy over non-organic products, which have higher amount of pesticides. With produce, choose fruits and vegetables that need to be peeled to consume the lowest quantities of pesticides. By checking the variety of available organic and non-organic options, you can offset the higher cost of organic goods to include in a vegetarian diet. Consider your budget and health to determine if a vegetarian diet can be afforded.

This article is provided courtesy of Credit Season UK, a consumer finance website providing information and tools on payday loans and other personal credit services.


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