This post is part of KQED’s Do Now U project. Do Now U is a biweekly activity for students and the public to engage and respond to current issues using social media. Do Now U aims to build civic engagement and digital literacy for learners of all ages. This post was written by the following students from Autumn Marshall’s “Professional Orientation” course at Lipscomb University: Hannah Feiten, Riya Rana, Courtney Brenner, Erick Ramirez, Alexis Burchfield and Constance Fonseca.


Featured Media Resource
VIDEO: Big Think

How Healthy is Vegetarianism…Really?
Dr. Marion Nestle, a nutritionist, discusses diets and their impact on human and environmental health.


Do Now U

Is It Healthier to Be a Vegetarian or an Omnivore? #DoNowUOmnivore


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To respond to the Do Now U, you can comment below or post your response on Twitter. Just be sure to include #DoNowUOmnivore and @KQEDedspace in your posts.


Learn More About Vegetarianism and Omnivorism

The vegetarian-omnivore debate has been raging for decades, if not centuries. The world of healthcare continues to debate the health benefits, and the pros and cons of each side. In addition, many public figures, from medical professionals to professional athletes, have weighed in on the subject. To clarify terms, a vegetarian is defined as a person who does not eat any meat of any kind—poultry, game, fish, or shellfish. Some versions of vegetarianism allow some animal foods; for example, lacto-ovo vegetarians eat milk products and eggs, and flexitarians occasionally eat meat, poultry, and fish. Depending on dietary preference, eggs, dairy and fish may not be included at all in this diet (veganism means there are no animal products in the diet). An omnivore, on the other hand, is one who consumes a variety of meat and dairy foods as well as plant food groups, including fruit, vegetables and grains.

A leading concern for those who prefer a vegetarian diet is making sure adequate nutrients are supplied, particularly calories and protein. Due to the fact that meat—a main protein source in most Americans diets—is eliminated, vegetarians have to pursue other avenues to get adequate protein, like legumes, soy and nuts. Without meat in the diet, humans cut out vitamin B12 and limit DHA/EPA (active forms of omega-3 fats), nutrients which promote brain health. In contrast, a vegetarian diet is shown to have a lesser risk of certain diseases. With the increase in plant-based foods in the diet, more phytochemicals are consumed, thus reducing risk of chronic diseases linked with animal fats, such as overweight, obesity, cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Animal products are often high in cholesterol and saturated fat as well, so vegetarians benefit from reducing these unhealthy fats and thus reducing risk for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease.

A well-balanced omnivore plate
A well-balanced omnivore plate (Hannah Feiten)

On the other hand, studies have shown an increased incidence of chronic disease among those who eat meat. Today, meat and poultry are often treated with hormones to make the animals grow faster and larger, and antibiotics are used not only to treat, but also to prevent, disease. These methods concern for some consumers. And yet, meat products contain creatine and carnosine, which are beneficial to the brain and muscles. Meat has demonstrated the capacity to improve bone health, which is beneficial as humans grow older. And, Vitamin B12 is essential to prevention of pernicious anemia, which affects the central nervous system; thus an omnivore’s diet helps to protect the brain and nerves. The protein found in meat is complete, high biological value protein, which means the proteins are more easily absorbed and utilized by the body. Additionally, omnivores are less likely to be deficient in total calories, Vitamin B12, iron and zinc than their vegetarian counterparts.

With pros and cons for each diet, the choice is up to you. What do you think? Is it healthier to be a vegetarian or an omnivore?


More Resources

Article: Authority Nutrition
7 Reasons Not To Avoid Meat
Read a nutrition researcher’s take on why meat is not bad for your diet, but why it’s not necessary either.

Website: ProCon.org
Should People Become Vegetarian?
Check out the top “pro” and “con” arguments for becoming vegetarian.

Infographic: Culinary Schools.org
Veganism and the Environment: By the Numbers
Learn about how veganism has a reduced impact on environment versus a diet that contains meat.


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KQED Do Now U is a biweekly activity in collaboration with SENCER. SENCER is a community of transformation that consists of educators and administrators in the higher and informal education sectors. SENCER aims to create an intelligent, educated, and empowered citizenry through advancing knowledge in the STEM fields and beyond. SENCER courses show students the direct connections between subject content and the real world issues they care about, and invite students to use these connections to solve today’s most pressing problems.

Is It Healthier to Be a Vegetarian or an Omnivore? 8 March,2017SENCER
  • Erica Duncan

    Erica Duncan – MUHon2020

    There are certainly benefits to a vegetarian diet, but it’s important to consider that many people who attempt to be vegetarian do so without proper education about nutrition and end up making choices that negate any possibility for benefits. For example, a vegetarian who omits meat in favor of having processed cheese, white bread, and potato chips each day for lunch is arguably less healthy than someone who eats a turkey sandwich on wheat bread with a glass of milk. In effect, the issue of health isn’t specifically tied to whether one consumes animal products or not, but rather whether they incorporate healthy food choices and balance into their everyday diet.

    • Kim Cuong Nguyen

      I agree 100 percent with your points. Having a vegetarian diet seems like a good idea, but it isn’t for everyone. Having a well balanced diet and healthy lifestyle is key to obtaining optimum health. Vegetarian diet could still have detrimental affects to health. Vegetarian diet could consists of butter lettuce salads with ranch dressing and loads of processed foods; henceforth, it could still be unhealthy. You don’t need to be a vegetarian to be healthy. Just work out, have adequate sleep, and a well balanced diet to have a healthy diet. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

    • Rigoberto Lomas-Velazco

      You make a good point. When changing your diet you should try to inform yourself as much as possible. Changing your diet isn’t as simple as deciding what clothes you’re going to wear. Your diet will impact your whole life. It will dictate what kinds of health risks you should be keeping an eye out for. How much energy you will have throughout the day, how often you have to eat. It is a huge commitment.

      • Katie Henderson

        I agree that changing your diet is neither easy nor a simple choice. It takes time to find out what you like and what you can handle and sticking to it is ultimately the goal. You have to take in all the possibilities when deciding on what you will do and most people do not recognize this. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

  • Kim Cuong Nguyen

    The most effective way in achieving optimal health is through focusing on having a healthy lifestyle by exercise, well balanced diet, and regular health checkups. Vegetarian diets doesn’t mean well balanced diet. A vegetarian diet exclude consuming meat, but it doesn’t prevent people from eating processed foods such as canned string beans which is high in sodium and full of preservatives. Vegetarians can still eat bucket fulls of Twinkies, that doesn’t sound very healthy. Taking immunizations, exercise, check ups, and having a well balanced diet is the best steps to take to a healthy life. Being a vegetarian could help but it depends on the type of food they eat and they have to get adequate amounts of protein. http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/healthy-living-8-steps-to-take-today #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

    • Moriah Roycroft

      Very true. In my experience, vegetarians sometimes overcompensate for some lack of nutrients by eating bucket-loads of unhealthy foods. A focus on receiving the correct nutrition is more important than the types of food you eat.

  • Jessica Lee

    I think it’s a personal choice of whether or not to be vegetarian or an omnivore. I believe that I get most of my nutrients through protein and eating meat. But I can also see the benefits from being vegetarian. There are many pros of being vegetarian, but I believe that they need to frequently check up and make sure that they are getting the nutrients they need to be healthy. Being vegetarian does not mean that they are more healthy than others. In fact, there can be a lot of damage to their health if they don’t eat the right foods.

    • Erica Marie

      I agree that vegetarians are not healthier, even though many arguments say they are. A balanced diet requires a variety of foods, not only greens. Especially vitamins within milk like calcium to make your bones strong. #MYCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

    • Shelby

      I agree with the points you made. In my experience, I have had a few friends that have decided to turn their diet vegetarian and cut out the consumption of meat. I noticed that some of them had very different experiences with the transition. A few of them really enjoyed the change and found that their body felt healthier, they lost some weight, and did not miss eating meat. Others really struggled with the change, they felt sleepy all day, they never managed to get full, and they felt very faint when trying to exercise. What was funny to me was that the only vegetarians that voiced their experience were the ones that were having positive effects. They posted their new behaviors on social media and raved about being vegetarian. This is a reason why I believe that we often only hear about being vegetarian as a positive thing, because the ones that have negative experiences decide not to voice what happened to them. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

    • Katie Henderson

      I agree that because you are vegetarian, it doesn’t mean you are any healthier than a person who eats meat. Anyone can be considered unhealthy on any diet if they are not getting enough calories or proper nutrients. Everyone has their opinion on what they like. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNow

      • Alisha

        Exactly! Even a vegetarian can be unhealthy. There’s plenty of foods without meat that are unhealthy… In fact, that’s a majority of the snacks, desserts, carbs out there- they don’t even have meat. That is why I think it matters more what your diet is. #MyCMSTArgs

      • Alexandra Julia Palomino

        Totally agree, no matter omnivore or vegetarian you decide if your healthy or not. It has nothing to do with the diet and everything to do with what you choose to consume. There are omnivores that eat bacon and steak and omnivores that eat fish and chicken breast just like there are vegetarians that eat smoothies and eggs or vegetarians that eat chips and cheese pizza. It’s a personal choice whether you want to be healthy or not it has nothing to do with the label. #MyCMSTArgs

    • Alexandra Julia Palomino

      Agreed, it’s completely a personal choice. There are so many Omnivores that eat way too much meat and should go to the doctor too make sure their LDL (bad cholesterol) is at the right percentage because it can lead to heart disease and stroke. Not just vegetarians need to check that they’re getting the correct nutrients. It goes both ways. I think because vegetarianism is not the norm we see it as more negative when really it could be healthier. #MyCMSTArgs

  • Erica Marie

    I believe it is best to eat every kind of food from all food groups. Eating only one type of food each day does not give the natural nutrients your body needs, even if you are taking daily supplements and vitamins. I personally love meat, and I know that if someone is to donate blood, it is best to eat red meat to restore the lost nutrients. But I do understand and completely respect the idea behind being vegan. To maximize healthiness, it is best to have a balanced diet along with exercise, and routine check-ups with the doctor. Here is a more in-depth article explaining the specific vitamins and minerals both health options provide. http://www.medicaldaily.com/omnivores-vs-herbivores-how-meat-consumption-affects-our-health-322560 #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

    • Rigoberto Lomas-Velazco

      I agree with you completely. You can be just as healthy by having red meats in your diet as you would if you didn’t have it. It really just comes down to personal preference when choosing a diet.

    • Shelby

      Your point about donating blood was interesting! That is not an aspect that I originally considered, but completely makes sense. I agree with your stand point, and also found your attached article very informative. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

    • Jessica Lewis

      Fortunately, vegetarian and vegan diets don’t solely focus on one type of food from one specific food group. The vegan food pyramid suggests that consumers should eat 1-2 cups of protein sources and dairy substitutes on a daily basis, which makes up or the lack of meat products in the diet. The interesting aspect of these dietary choices is that the amount of meat and protein needed in a diet is significantly less than the amount that consumers are actually eating, so people think that they need more meat than they actually do.

    • Alisha

      I agree with what you said about needing to get all the nutrients, but it’s not like vegans eat only one food group! They just don’t eat meat and they can get protein and iron through other sources. #MyCMSTArgs

  • Nicholas Feeley

    It is probably a good idea to eat meat and vegetables. They both have valuable nutrition for our human bodies to utilize. The problem is when you eat too much of one food group. Americans undoubtedly eat too much meat. Eating too much red meat in particular can lead to high blood pressure and to heart disease. I don’t personally buy into many of the arguments for veganism or vegetarianism. One of the main arguments for these eating habits is that humans discriminate against other species of animals similar to racism. this is called specieism. I think that if you by into the argument that all living species deserve equal treatment than you are living outside of reality. Human beings must kill to live. Vegetables are just as alive as you and me. Just because cows and pigs are more like us doesn’t mean that plants can’t feel or that they don’t have any sort of sentience. I personally love vegetables as much as I do meat. I think that the humane treatment of animals is a good cause but there is no reason morally speaking or nutritionally to live a solely vegetarian or vegan diet. Becoming a vegan can weaken your bones and if you grow up on a vegan diet without taking lots of nutritional supplements you are bound to have nutritional deficiencies and growth deficiencies http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/08/03/vegetarian-vegan-nutrient-deficiencies.aspx. Living in a world with so many food insecure individuals we need to get healthy and nutrient rich food no matter what it is to people in need. So the key to a healthy diet is to eat everything and have a wide variety so you do not eat too much of any one thing. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

  • Shelby

    My moto to my eating habits is to always eat a colorful diet. By this I mean eating food from all of the different food groups, including meats. From my experience, especially as an athlete and someone who works out often, it is important to have an intake of protein that just can’t be matched by nuts and soy. The vitamins and calories that meat provides are necessary to fuel the body in extraneous tasks like running, lifting weights, or playing a sport. Without these things that meat provides, it is more likely that the person will not have energy, or proper fuel in their body to feel healthy or complete such tasks. I understand there are concerns with how the animals are treated in the process, and maybe there are ways we can change this process in order to make it more humane, but I do not believe people should cut out meat from their diets. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

    • Tim Hood

      I completely agree. Both meat and vegetables are essential in a healthy diet. As for the illnesses associated, with meat, those only come from too much of it; moderation is as important as healthy foods in your diet. The moral of the story is really just this: eat food, don’t eat too much, and eat enough plants.

      #MUHon2020

  • Rigoberto Lomas-Velazco

    I can see how there are benefits to each type of diet, but I believe that when people decide on which diet they prefer it should be based on what suits their wants and needs the most. I have tried being a vegetarian but couldn’t handle not having beef or pork in my diet. I still eat healthy but I just use red meats a bit more often. You can have a healthier diet if you go vegetarian or vegan but if you don’t really like the food or crave food you can’t have then whats the point. You shouldn’t sacrifice your enjoyment of certain types of foods if you are trying to be healthier. Eat what you want to, and just enjoy life.

    • Tanya Arevalo

      I belife is similarly to yours on this one! each person is diffrent and should eat a diet that suits that person the best. You shouldn’t need to sacrafie all foods you like just to fit into a catgory of being a vegan
      #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

  • Emily Robertson

    I can definitely see the benefits of a vegetarian diet. Cutting down on meat and sometimes dairy intake has its benefits when done right. This is why I think we also need to consider how old a person is when they become a vegetarian. It might not be the smartest idea for a kid to become a vegetarian. Children need more nutrients and protein because they are growing, and if a kid is a picky eater, she may have a hard time eating a proper diet to get all of the complete proteins and carbohydrates she needs. This could have negative effects on growth and development. That being said, if a person of any age has a complete diet and is motivated to become a vegetarian, I don’t see a reason why they shouldn’t give vegetarianism a try.

    • Carolyn Gurstein

      I agree with this. I think depending on where that person is in their life depends on whether or not they should eat meat. There truly are pros and cons to both. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

  • AllVegan

    Unfortunately most of the references this article links to are meat propaganda. Humans are not natural omnivores. Our digestive system is consistent with other plant eating animals. We share no common physical traits with omnivores or carnivores, and no, eye teeth don’t count, even horses have eye teeth. The argument that primitive man as a slow moving biped we were able to run down animals and kill them with sticks and rocks to provide for our helpless women and children has been debunked. In a study of tribal persistence hunters in africa. Louis Liebenberg found that although successful​,​ the hunters, who had to run marathon distances to make a kill, did not produce enough meat to cover the calories expended by themselves.. Since we can assume that the kill would have been shared with the tribe, very little meat per person was consumed by tribal societies under the best of circumstances. In lean times, tribes would not waste their time hunting, they would be looking for easier to obtain plant foods. When you think about it the mighty hunter theory does not pass the smell test. How much sense would it make that the men of the tribe would send their women and children out on to the savanna alone to search for food while the men went off on their own trying to run down animals to eat. Beyond that suppose they were successful and brought a animal carcass back to the cave. Carnivores can smell dead flesh for miles. As a primitive man would you bring something into camp which would attract carnivores. The most logical senario is that early man gathered food as a tribe and used stone weapons defensively to deter predators.

    • Nicholas Feeley

      Even if the mighty hunter theory doesn’t pass the test it still doesn’t answer the mater of wether or not eating meat as part of your diet is healthy or not. I would argue that eating meat can be healthy in smaller portions then is currently consumed by the general public. While early humans lacked the technology to hunt we can still see that at some point on the human timeline man became agrarian and began to farm animals for meat. The problem with diets today in my opinion is the over reliance on meat as a source of food when there are so many other options. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

      • AllVegan

        There is really no level of meat intake which can be termed “healthy” of course the less you eat the better and It has been suggested that 8 ounces of meat a week does not negatively impact health. However meat is not needed for any nutritional requirements. Protein sure but all protein comes from plants. Getting it second hand in a hard to digest form is not an advantage. Other nutrition from meat is minimal. If you eat a pound of meat, the nutrients in that pound is roughly equivalent to the same nutrients in a pound of any mammal’s body including yours. Carnivores can get nutrition from meat because they can eat massive amounts of food at one time. Lions for instance have been known to eat as much as 90lbs of meat at one time. On top of the lack of nutrition in meat are the carcinogens, and other toxins present in meat. Certain gut bacteria which is only present in the digestive system of meat eaters, metabolize the carnitine in meat to a toxic substance called trimethylamine, which then gets oxidized in our liver to TMAO, trimethylamine-n-oxide. TMAO promotes the formation of cholesterol plaques in our blood vessels, which make them less healthy and may lead to heart attack, stroke, and death. TMAO reduces our body’s ability to excrete cholesterol. And, if that is not bad enough, TMAO may be linked to death from prostate cancer. Notably, red meat is not the only source of TMAO. Choline, which is found in chicken, fish, dairy is another. Choline is structurally similar to the carnitine in red meat, and with the help of the same gut bacteria, also forms TMAO. Accordingly, when investigators fed omnivores an egg, they made TMAO. Clearly meat is not a healthy choice for anyone concerned with eating a healthy diet.

  • Katie Henderson

    Personally, I believe that a vegetarian diet is a lot better for yourself, mind and body as a whole. Although I have not yet accomplished this myself, because I love meat, I do think that its beneficial for many different reasons. The chronic diseases and risks with eating meat aren’t worth consuming, especially when we barely know whats in them. Many companies inject steroids and growth hormones into their animals. These drugs increase growth rate and the efficiency at how well they convert their food to meat, but the results are consuming unnatural products and also supporting the horrors of the meat industry itself. http://www.meat.org
    This website is just what the meat industry doesn’t want you to see, and it gives a great overview of the reasons people should take switching to a vegetarian diet into consideration. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNow

    • Jodi DeMassa

      I agree with you on your stance about a vegetarian diet–I believe that it is better all around for yourself. Meat packaging has alot in there that isn’t good for us or the animal before it was slaughtered. The whole process in the meat industry is gross and unhealthy for you. #MyCMSTArgs

  • Jessica Lewis

    Jessica Lewis MUHon 2020

    Many believe that the drive for vegetarianism is based solely on animal welfare. However, eating meat causes human health problems. In Jonathan Safran Foer’s text, Foer claims that “according to a study published in Consumer Reports, 83 percent of all chicken meat (including organic and antibiotic-free brands) is infected with either campylobacter or salmonella at the time of purchase” (Foer, 2009, p. 139). These diseases are largely impacting consumers in a way that negatively deters their health. This fact is just one of the thousands of facts that exist on the negative aspects of eating meat, as evidence has proved that eating meat causes problems in the environment and the consumers. However, it is important for vegetarians to receive protein, but there are other options for these consumers to receive those nutrients, like nuts and legumes. Fortunately, the amount of protein needed is not nearly as much as we often think. The vegan food pyramid recommends that consumers intake 1-2 cups a day, which is not as difficult to attain as perceived. Therefore, in my opinion it is healthier to eat a vegan diet because of its avoidance of diseases passed through the meat.

    • Tim Hood

      The fact that raw chicken contains salmonella is a problem that is easily avoided; in fact, according to the CDC, the salmonella find in chicken is rarely very resilient; you can avoid chicken-borne illnesses by simply washing your hands properly and cooking the chicken in a safe manner (https://goo.gl/mnUari). You can’t blame the chicken for getting people sick when in reality that problem is largely the fault of the consumer.
      I worked at chick-fil-a for two years, so I’m well aware of proper treatment of chicken for it to be food safe. It needs to be stored under 40°F and cooked until it is over 165° for at least a minute– in a fryer, it cooks for 4:20 and reaches at last 200°. In two years of working with chicken, I’ve never gotten sick nor known anyone who got sick from correctly prepared chicken. Honestly, food-borne illnesses are very easily avoidable and they are not thing to be afraid of.

      #MUHon2020

    • Bridget Trogden

      The issue is also that we eat SO MUCH meat that factory farming has arisen, and along with it, many increased risks for disease. Would lowering the amount of total meat consumption per week help?

  • Luke Wise

    Although a vegetarian diet has many health advantages, such as a reduction in the risk of heart disease and an extra dosage of essential vitamins and minerals, it cannot serve as a substitute for the protein one obtains from meat. I do agree that we, as humans, are too dependent on consuming livestock and poultry items but to an extent, it is an necessary evil. But my honest opinion is that people should eat what they want unless it is causing personal health problem. #MyCMSTArgs

    • Jodi DeMassa

      I agree that people should eat what they want as long as they’re healthy, but I also believe that a vegetarian diet alone can serve as a substitute for protein. Anyone on a vegetarian diet can eat beans, grains, nuts, and seeds for their protein source. It’s just a matter of how much they’re eating to fulfill that protein need. #MyCMSTArgs

    • Lauren Rhude

      I totally agree with you. I think it’s a person’s choice and responsibility to realize what that are eating and if it’s a problem, how to fix it. #MyCMSTArgs

    • Jessica Lee

      I agree that people should make their own personal choices about what they consume. But with choices can come potential costs and consequences. Individuals should know their risks and take care of their own health based on what they choose to consume. While meat gives a good source of protein, too much of it can increase health risks. But by not eating meat can significantly impact your intake of nutrients and vitamins that we need. It all is like some sort of balance, and we all need to be aware of what’s on the dinner table.

  • Jodi DeMassa

    Personally, I’ve cut back on meat quite a bit because of what I’ve read and heard in class about the whole process. I think that as a college student under alot of stress, it’s important to take care of yourself to the best of your ability. I’ve found that cooking vegetables more frequently actually can make a huge difference in how you feel and how you do in school. I think it’s because it’s not polluted by all the different hormones or bacteria meat has and that there’s other ways to get your protein in. You don’t necessarily have to resort to meat, but you can eat beans and grains to get that protein in! Here’s a link that explains how a vegetarian diet actually helps you out: http://youngwomenshealth.org/2013/12/05/vegetarian-diet/ #MyCMSTArgs

  • Alisha

    I don’t necessarily think that one is healthier than the other- I think it just depends on what you eat. There are plenty of foods that vegetarians can eat that can be considered unhealthy like if they snack too much on carbs. On the flip side, the argument that vegetarians don’t get enough protein which is unhealthy (https://authoritynutrition.com/7-evidence-based-health-reasons-to-eat-meat/), is not true because they can get their protein intake from things like lentils, whole soy or quinoa. In conclusion, it does not matter necessarily if one eats meat or not, as long as they’re making healthy meal choices and including their nutrients! #MyCMSTArgs

  • Moriah Roycroft

    For one, veganism is very restrictive. While protein and iron can be otherwise sourced, vitamin B12 — another vitamin rich in animal products — is harder to get. B12 supplements keeps the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and make DNA, so deficiencies can lead to tiredness, weakness, nerve problems, and depression. There’s also a tendency for meat-free eaters to fill the animal void with processed foods. It may be less to think about, but these options aren’t as nutritionally sound and can cause a person to feel hungrier and grumpier… Interesting stuff!

    • Kim Cuong Nguyen

      Yes I agree. Being a vegetarian makes it more restrictive obtaining an adequate amount of protein. I heard from my friends the best way to be healthy as a vegetarian is to eat lots of fruits that vary in vitamins, eat soy to get protein, and take any vitamin supplements if necessary. All in all being a vegetarian can be restrictive and it is best to see a nutritionist to see what would be the best diet for your body. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

  • Alexandra Julia Palomino

    I think that if done right vegetarianism can be completely healthy. Since it is not what the majority does sometimes people view it as worse but really it’s exactly the same. If anything vegetarians are more conscious of their diets and what they are putting into their bodies, meaning they will learn how to get all the necessary nutrients. I’ve met a few people who are vegetarians and are probably lacking vitamins and minerals because they eat processed foods all the time, yes chips, grilled cheese, cheese pizza are vegetarian but are SO unhealthy for you. Meanwhile how many people do you know that eat meat or animal products with every meal and are just as unhealthy. I guess it’s really healthy or worse solely on a personal basis. Omnivore or vegetarian it’s your responsibility to research and figure out how to get all the nutrients your body needs to be healthy, there’s more than 1 way to do it and neither is wrong. #MyCMSTArgs

    • Lauren Rhude

      I totally agree with you! #MyCMSTArgs

    • Rachel Kenagy

      Hi Alexandra! As a vegan, I can definitely agree with you that even as someone who doesn’t eat any animal products it’s very easy to fall into a “junk food” rut and not get proper nutrition. I think that is the case for an omnivore as well, but you make a great point with that. Personally, I’m vegan for the health benefits (i.e. decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer) as well as the ethical and environmental benefits. A vegan lifestyle has been one of the best things that’s ever happened to me! More specifically, a plant- based lifestyle. I try to focus on eating foods in their whole and least processed form as possible. I eat lots of fruits and vegetables to get those vitamins and minerals and supplement vitamins like B12 that I don’t get in my plant- based diet. I love how you said that despite what diet you chose to follow, it’s your responsibility to find out how to eat in a way that promotes your health. Thanks for your awesome insight! #DoKnowUOmnivore #NUTR1101

  • Lauren Rhude

    A good amount of the vegetarians today are not being as healthy as they should be and are becoming malnourished because of that. But if done right, I think you can be a healthy vegetarian. I used to be a vegetarian but not for the right reasons. I think to be a vegetarian you have to be doing it for the right reasons. For either one of them to be healthy, you have to eat the right things. I don’t necessarily think one is better then the other, I think it depends on what you eat. If your a vegetarian and your eating all well balanced, nutritious meals, your good. And same goes for meat eaters. If you eat too much or too little of anything, it’s bad for you. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

    • Tanya Arevalo

      I agree with your post Lauren i think it deepends on portions and balncing what you eat. You can be a vegetarian yet eat junk food such as chips and candys that are not good for your diet. There for i belive both diets are health and can be bad if you are not a blaneced eater? #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

      • Maddie Napier

        I would also have to agree life is all about balance with whatever you decide to do and if you are going to become vegetarian make sure it is for the right reasons and not because of lies in the media. #MyCMSTArgs

  • Miwaloo Miwalaa

    obscure

  • Tanya Arevalo

    Is it healthier to be a vegetarian or an omnivore?
    Although I am an omnivore I eat meat. It’s probably better if I was a vegetrian because the vegetarian diet has shown to have a lesser risk in certain diseases. And vegetrianes have a more plant-based foods in their diet. According to this artical above, the meat and poultry we ate today are treated with hormones and antobiotics to make the animals grow faster and larger. It’s probably not a good idea to eat food that are processed a lot. However in america that is hard to find. I believe a vegetarian or an omnivore diet can be health, it just depends on the portions and what you pair your meat and veggies with. Both can be a health or unhealthy diet. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

    • Erica Duncan

      Erica Duncan – MUHon2020

      You bring up a good point about genetically modified foods in our diet today. As you said, a lot of meats are produced with the use of antibiotics, hormones, and poor quality feed. Often, our “vegetarian” foods are also full of pesticides, GMOs, artificial chemicals or additives, and the like. Either way, our industry forces consumers to either fork out the extra money for organic food or else consume foods with unknown consequences. It’s an interesting component to consider when defining the “health” of being vegetarian.

  • Ben LI

    Being a vegetarian is just a lot harder to do because you have to eat a lot of different type of food. When you are eating a vegetarian diet you have to make sure you eat some egg to get your vitamin B-12 which can only be found in animal product. Being a vegetarian and omnivore both have their own benefit it depend on your control on moderation of what you eat to be healthy.

    • Carolyn Gurstein

      I agree completely. I think it depends on the person and what their health and life style is like. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

    • Anna Dillon

      As a vegan, I can assure you that in most areas vegetarianism is not hard to do. You do not have to eat a lot of different types of foods to get the nutrients you need. Many plant sources are high in nutrients. Also, the amount of vegetarian products is stores is growing rapidly. Tofu is no longer the dominating product. Actually, B-12 can be found in a myriad of vegetarian and vegan sources, such as plant-based milks and nutritional yeast. It is not limited to animal products. Also, contrary to popular belief, most vegetarians do not plan out their meals any more so than an omnivore.

      • Ben LI

        YOU TRYING TO SMASH THO. YOU AIN’T VEGAN WHEN YOU TAKE THIS MEAT

  • K. Smith

    Personally, I believe that it is better to be an omnivore and eat both meat and produce. Not only is it easier to find meals that you can consume when you eat both, but also people have been eating meat for thousands of years. In the article it mentions how animal products provide certain nutrition that vegetables and fruit can’t. Some of the vitamins, like B12, zinc, iron, etc., are necessary for our body to function properly. With that being said, some vegetarians don’t realize that they aren’t giving their body the sufficient amount of nutritional value, which can lead to issues later in life. In the following article, https://breakingmuscle.com/nutrition/why-all-humans-need-to-eat-meat-for-health, it gives positive health advantages you receive when you consume meat. Everything I have said has been based around my view on the matter, but I think with the right knowledge and understanding, vegetarians can lead a very healthy life. Vegetarians need to find a way to give their body the right amount of protein and nutrients, like omnivores do when eating meat.
    #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

    • Lauryn L.

      Agreed. Your body needs more nutrients then just plants can provide. Our bodies are based and built off of being omnivores. Without eating meat, you lose protein and iron which are both necessary in order to function. Vegetarians aren’t all bad because vegetables and fruits are healthy but personally, I feel weaker when I change my diet to that of being a herbivore even if just for a week.

      #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

  • starsfromabove

    Is It Healthier to Be a Vegetarian or an Omnivore?
    I think it’s healthier to be a vegetarian because it contains less fat. When you are a vegetarian, you don’t expose your body to the fatty substances contained in animal meat such as hamburgers which account for the large percentage of obesity in today’s society. Vegetarianism can be a way for people to avoid the risk of becoming overweight or obese.

    • Molly Parrish

      I totally agree with you. My only concern about being vegetarian is a lack of crucial nutrients. The nutrients can be replaced with other things in a vegetarian diet, but the individual must really make a commitment to maintain the diet.

  • hayleyhibbens

    Personally I prefer being an omnivore, but that’s just because I love to eat meat. I don’t feel that either diet is unhealthy, they are both just healthy in different ways. I do however believe that omnivores could learn a little something from vegetarians. It would definitely be better for us to rely mainly on vegetables and fruits in addition to the meat that we eat, rather than a lot of the other snack foods that are out there. The article I’ve attached focuses solely on the health benefits of a vegetarian diet and it definitely has some good points! #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore
    http://mantis.csuchico.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsghw&AN=edsgcl.199558460&site=eds-live

    • Lauryn L.

      I agree. Sometimes I find myself craving meat and I believe it is good to have meat. It may be a mental concept but I do feel weaker and less healthy when I don’t have meat for a while. When I lived in the dorms as a freshmen, I felt a lack of protein from the dining halls and therefore felt more lethargic.

      #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

    • TJ

      I definitely agree on both eating meat and keeping up high plant consumption. It’s no secret that plants contain nutrients, phytochemicals, water and fiber that we must have if we are to have a well balanced diet. I feel Americans overall consume more meat than is necessary, and most likely not enough vegetation for good measure. Improving this would be a great start to both health and certain agricultural issues in this country. #MyCMSTArgs

    • Yashar C.

      Commenting on this particular DoNow seems odd for some reasons.Personally, it all depends on your health practices 😀 & yea I agree with you. PS Burgers are good. #DoNowOmnivore #MyCMSTArgs

    • Mason Thornton

      There are people who eat meat regularly I know that are extremely healthy. They have higher cholesterol, but they do so in moderation and unprocessed meats. They’re argument goes similarly to what you might expect, early humans had to eat meat to live. But something interesting is animal fats are construed to be evil by food companies and the USDA (which is controlled by food companies through lobbyists). Animal fats are also needed for key nutrients in the body, the prime example being your brain synapses and the fat that carries signals on their ends.

  • Lorena Z

    I believe that it is healthier to be an omnivore because you’re getting both meat and plant in your system. It is harder to be a vegetarian because you have to worry about what you need to eat just to keep yourself in a healthy diet. If you’re a meat person, you get all the good things that your body needs to survive on, but it could be bad if you’re living an unhealthy diet. I believe that it is healthy to be an omnivore because you’re getting both types in your body and just have to find the perfect balance for it.

    • hayleyhibbens

      I definitely agree that it is more difficult to be a vegetarian! Cutting out meat from your diet forces you to look for protein in other ways.

    • Trent Bateman

      I also think a diet that consists of both meat and plants lends itself to being more healthy. In theory, vegetarian diets sound great, but they are much harder to keep up with. An omnivore, on the other hand, only has to maintain a balanced diet. They are not required to find alternative sources of vital nutrients most typically found in meats.

  • Lauryn L.

    I believe it is healthier to be an omnivore because your body needs both meat and plant in order to provide for all of the nutrients and vitamins it needs. Any time you cut out a certain food group out of your diet, you risk missing out on certain nutrients. There was an Austrian study that proved that vegetarians are in a poorer state of health compared to other dietary groups. However, nowadays, we have to be careful with the types of meats we eat due to the added hormones and mistreatment of animals in which our product comes from. Having a good balance of both food categories is a lifestyle everybody should go by.
    #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

    • TJ

      Do you have a link to that study? I feel that would be relevant to read and reinforce your claim. I do agree that trendy vegetarians probably suffer from specific nutrient deficiencies. I’m sure (or I hope) people who have taken it as a serious venture have done their research as to how to keep up their body’s daily needs. #MyCMSTArgs

    • Nicholas Feeley

      Being an omnivore is definitely the way to go in my opinion. There are numerous cases of malnutrition due to vegetarianism. My only gripes with the current status of eating habits in America is that we rely too much on meat, fat, and sugar for food. eating too much meat can be just as bad for your health as eating only vegetables. The human body needs iron and many other nutritional substances that you just can’t get from other sources. Having to take supplements every day just to compensate would be miserable. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

  • Erick R

    I have personally been a vegetarian for about a year now and ever since I made that choice, I became healthier and feel a lot lighter when I eat. Vegetarianism can be challenging for it takes discipline and effort to maintain this choice of eating. While i do agree on the fact that certain nutrients can only be obtained from animal sources, there are always supplements that you can take to make sure you meet your daily intake for all of your nutrients. When it comes to eating both meat and plant sources (omnivore), i think there is a larger variety of foods to choose from. I also think that a meal with meat can be a lot more satisfying and you feel full for a longer period of time. Since a vegetarian diet is mostly based on carbohydrates, the stomach is able to digest this a lot faster. This can be a little irritating at times since i get hungry very often throughout the day and by the end of the day, most of my food is gone, leaving me with very little for the next day. Overall, i think a vegetarian lifestyle is possible and can be healthier if done correctly. I think a lot of times it just depends on the type of environment we are part of and how much time we have in a day.

    • Saraya Rider

      I did not think about how long the different foods would keep you full! That is a very interesting and important point to bring up. I feel like just knowing that I would be hungry more often would deter me from trying this lifestyle since I do not have a lot of time in my average day to eat a lot of meals. However, congratulations for making it work!

  • TJ

    At a certain level I can’t help but feel that any diet that requires you to either take supplements or carefully balance the right foods so you don’t accidentally miss out on fundamental nutrients would not be particularly preferable or advisable. On a strictly logical basis it seems to be a very limiting way to maintain adequate nutrition.

    I feel the question of which one is healthier is simply a divisive means of feeling superior to the one you aren’t. Health is a very ambiguous term and very idiosyncratic. What is healthy to some can be toxic to others. One person may grow anemic from a vegetarian diet and another develop heart problems from high cholesterol intake. Of course there are also plenty of people on both diets that exist just fine and could be considered quite healthy. I feel bodily “health” has diet as only a moderate component of its makeup, essentially a source of the building blocks the prescribed metabolism of that particular person requires to keep up the process of living. Ergo I would say the question as to which is healthier is the wrong question. The real question is are you acquiring the full range of nutrients you need?

    When we talk of health we have to remember that what we’re really doing is trying to meet our body’s necessary ratio of amino acids, carbohydrates, fats and lipids, vitamins and minerals. The western diet is toxic because it’s composed of high sodium, high sugars, highly processed and indigestible fats, low vitamins and minerals, low fiber and low awareness.

    I feel the quality of the food you eat has dramatically more to do with “health” than the particular diet you eat. A suitable balance of proteins, carbs, fats, vitamins and minerals is healthy regardless if it stems from plant or animal sources. It’s only when we consume these things out of balance that we have problems. When we balance feed for pets and livestock, it’s built around the nutrient profile, not the source of the foods. Source of nutrition is an economic decision for animal feed. All that matters for animal health is the proper ratio of nutrition (this is where I would quote my animal nutrition book if it wasn’t in storage). As we are of the same evolutionary lineage as they are, it seems reasonable to conclude that our variable diets stem from luxury more than necessity. #MyCMSTArgs

    • Emily Robertson

      I think some of the issues you see in vegetarianism can be a problematic part of any diet. For example, many people take supplements even though they’re on an omnivore diet, and there are plenty of people on omnivore diets who are lacking a balance of nutrients simply because they are picky or don’t choose to eat healthy foods. When done right, vegetarianism can be an effective and healthy lifestyle. It’s just as easy to become deficient in nutrients on an omnivore diet as it is on a vegetarian one; it’s all about the things we choose to eat and the variety we choose to have in our diet.

      • Winter Overby

        I definitely agree with this, while it’s easy for a vegetarian diet to be lacking in nutrients, this problem can be seen in many people who have an omnivore diet as well. While eating meat may make obtaining proteins easier, it is possible to have an unbalanced diet no matter what food restrictions one has. The most important thing is to understand the role of nutrients and to incorporate them daily.

    • Saraya Rider

      i agree with your arguments. I touched on some of these similar topics such as how it does not matter what diet you choose to live by as long as you make sure you have the proper nutrients. I believe this is the most important thing no matter how you choose to eat!

      • Shannon T

        I think it is tough to sort out which one is better because there is so much evidence supporting both sides. When it comes down to it, personal preference and beliefs take over. So I do not think that one either being vegetarian or an omnivore is better. With the complexities of increased use of pesticides and hormones, this topic remains in grey area.
        -Shannon Tho

      • bgirl272

        I definitely agree. Also genetics plays a huge role and people need different things so you can’t really say what’s the healthiest.

    • bgirl272

      I agree you should try and find everything you need naturally in food. You can’t really compare the most healthy diets. It all varies based on the person.

  • jtrevino79

    I think the diet you choose matters less that keeping your weight down, not overeating, and exercise. And of course, getting a regular blood panel/Dr’s visit.

    • Keaton Hill

      I definitely agree with this. There are so many factors in being healthy, and what you eat is just one of those factors. Exercise and doctors visits are some other great examples that you provided that I would also use. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

  • Blaine Ball

    In my opinion id prefer being an omnivore. As someone who enjoys eating meat, I still know how to balance a diet appropriately. However, vegetarians could teach omnivores how to further balance a diet with a higher implementation of fruits and vegetables. I also believe being a vegetarian is more difficult in regards to meal planning and vitamin balance. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

    • Maddie Napier

      I agree I think that being a vegetarian is extremely difficult especially in situations where you can’t always pick your food like in the dinning hall in college, I was vegetarian on fridays for a while and most of the time all I could eat for the whole day was salad. #MyCMSTArgs

      • Katelyn West

        You definitely have a point when it comes to not having a choice of food. Even middle and high schools normally do not offer a great variety of vegetarian foods. It is extremely difficult to eat vegetarian (and sometimes even just healthy) foods when you are not able to pick/cook/choose what you want to eat. Also, I think it is interesting that you would eat a vegetarian diet on Fridays. Most people think i is an all-or-nothing lifestyle.

        • Bridget Trogden

          There’s a lot of great data about how replacing one meat-filled meal per week with vegetarian only has a direct correlation to environmental factors (deforestation of rain forest, alteration of habitats to allow malaria).

      • Nidhi Shashidhara

        Going into college, I felt the same way. I was worried I would not be able to keep up a vegan diet or even a vegetarian one but restaurants/dining halls are so much better now than they were in ten or even a few years ago. Nearly every restaurant, including fast food, have some sort of vegan option other than just a salad. With my college’s dining hall, I talked to the cafeteria manager before going into college and he was more than happy to help. Now, my dining hall has atleast one solid vegan option every meal, usually several.

  • EndlessBeauty

    The reasons behind being a vegetarian is great, most people dont do it mainly for health reasons but for their own moral feelings on how animals are treated. I feel being a Vegetarian can go both ways depending on who is trying to be a vegetarian. Some people’s bodies can’t handle not eating meat and certain protien is a neccesity to thier body. My sister use to be a vegetarian but then had to start eating meats a again, not a whole lot but enough to give her those nutrients she was missing out on. Being a vegetarian is great for protection of some aniamls. #myCMSTArgs

  • Carolyn Gurstein

    I personally think either diet has it’s pros and cons. On each diet you can live a healthy lifestyle. I personally prefer not to eat meat when I can because it disgusts me the way animals are treated in those factories. There are pros and negatives to each side listed here http://vegetarian.procon.org/ . I think it honestly comes down to your beliefs on animal abuse. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

    • Keaton Hill

      I agree with this. I think that people should pick what’s best for them. There isn’t really a definitive answer to this question. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

    • David Stokes

      I’m curious, if you prefer not to eat meat because of the conditions in “factory farming,” are you necessarily opposed to eating meat from so-called “free range” producers? Your decision seems to be less motivated by health, and adds a different perspective to what this article presents.

  • Keaton Hill

    I think that this subject is really up to each individual to decide for themselves. Nonetheless, being able to eat meat is an essential part of my life, and therefore I think that it is better for you to be an omnivore. Being an omnivore is a great way to get a variety of different foods, while I often feel like vegetarians don’t get enough variety, or enough food period. I will admit, of course, that there are downsides to both kinds of diets, but for me personally I must stick with being an omnivore. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowUOmnivore

  • Saraya Rider

    CMST 255- Saraya Rider
    In my opinion, it is healthier to be an omnivore. I do not believe I would be as healthy if I was a vegetarian because I have many food allergies and truly hate tofu. Due to this I do not personally think I would get all of the nutritions needed to stay healthy even if I did take the supplements. However, I do have two good friends who have been vegetarians their whole lives and really enjoy their lifestyles. They eat a lot of tofu, beans and nuts to get the proteins missing from their lack of meats. I believe being vegetarian is not something you can just decide to do. It takes a lot of planning that most people do not think about. You have to think about your daily meals to simply make sure you are getting the nutrients where omnivores can just eat whatever they want. However, omnivores also have the problem of overeating meats which might not be good for you either. Overall, I think either lifestyle can work with the proper knowledge and motivation so I really cannot say which is healthier.
    #MyCMSTArgs

  • Shannon T

    I thought is was interesting that the speaker in the video, Dr. Marion Nestle, did not support veganism. Veganism is a growing trend and lifestyle that has garnered the attention of everyone from Hollywood to everyday people wanting to be healthier. Vegans are so passionate about their lifestyle and love to educate others on why their choices are the best. It goes to show that lifestyles truly are a personal choice. That everyone has a reason for choosing their lifestyle.
    -Shannon Tho

    • Katelyn West

      That is really interesting! Veganism is becoming more popular and it is interesting to see experts’ opinion on the issue. I personally could not become a vegan, or even a vegetarian for that matter, but like you said, it is a personal choice. It is also very interesting that some people would like to educate others on why they chose vegetarianism or veganism instead of arguing with people that view the issue differently.

  • Nidhi Shashidhara

    Being vegan myself, I have a very clear bias on this topic. As per the research I’ve done in the past, it seems like veganism and vegetarianism answers a lot of the problems we have in the world today. As per health issues, I’ve been vegan for the past two years without any major health issues. There are several vegan youtubers such as Rawvana and Fully Raw Kristina who has gotten blood tests done and had a doctor sit in with them during a video and explain all the results.

  • David Stokes

    I think that there are way too many variables that go into determining “health” to be able to make a case for either vegetarian or omnivore diets. They both have their merits and their issues, many of which are specific to each individual. Diet, lifestyle, genetics, all of these play a role in determining health. Ultimately, I think that this is a personal decision – omnivorism is better for some people, while vegetarianism is better for others. Its a choice each person needs to make for themself.

    • Hannah Feiten

      I agree, there are many factors that go into determining health. I was vegetarian for 12 years and loved it. Towards the last two years of being vegetarian I suffered a lot of injuries (I’m a cross country athlete) and decided to give omnivorism a try. I have been eating meat for 2 years now and feel much more balanced and have had no injuries. While I do not regret being a vegetarian, I feel like being an omnivore meets my current lifestyle needs (high mileage and caloric needs and also being on a meal plan where I can not cook all my meals for myself). #NUTR1011#DoNowUOmnnivore

    • Bridget Trogden

      Balance matters too!

  • Trent Bateman

    I personally believe that an omnivorous diet is healthier than a vegetarian diet. If one eats a balanced diet, complete with a wide variety of foods including meats, it is extremely easy for him or her to maintain proper nutrition. Obviously, a vegetarian can achieve proper nutrition, as well; however, they must work in a source of vitamin B12, as Nestle mentioned in the video above. Is this doable? Of course, but it becomes easier to overlook when your main source of nutrition lacks such a vital vitamin to the body. Furthermore, an omnivorous diet can easily supply an individual with ample amounts of protein through meats. Protein, as you well know, is essential to the health of muscles and is a vital aspect of a diet to say the least. The only possible downside to an omnivorous diet is the increased chance of chronic diseases, but this can be easily avoided through balance in one’s diet. If one does not consume an excess of meat, these diseases have a very little chance of developing. An omnivorous diet’s benefits far outweigh the downsides.

    • Mason Thornton

      I completely agree, how can you completely shut out a source of nutrients? It seems not only too inconvenient for most people to live their life by and excessive.

  • Molly Parrish

    Vegetarianism is a really good idea in theory. It is true that meat can cause a variety of health effects, and eliminating meat from the diet would potentially be positive for the body. This being said, a vegetarian diet is one that must be well executed. As the article stated, the body needs various nutrients that are most easily provided by meat. Cutting out meat means losing the nutrients, so one must be cautious in choosing foods to eat. In my opinion, vegetarianism is probably healthier, but not for everyone. Embracing this diet comes with much responsibility, and therefore one must carefully consider this before choosing this lifestyle.

    • Bridget Trogden

      And harder doesn’t mean impossible! Planning one’s meals rather than randomly noshing/grazing on what is available could greatly benefit everyone!

    • Winter Overby

      As a vegetarian, I definitely agree with the idea that vegetarianism comes with responsibility, and that it may not be for everyone. Becoming a vegetarian can definitely come with health benefits, but not if done incorrectly. I believe that an omnivorous diet is more healthy than a poorly executed vegetarian diet, but a well executed vegetarian diet is much healthier than an omnivorous diet. If both diets are carefully considered and nutrients are planned, they are likely to carry roughly the same benefits.

    • Yashar C.

      Very persuasive! I been considering to drop meat from my diet for about 2 months. It seems that the vegetarian diet can be very beneficial if executed correctly. #DoNowOmnivore #MyCMSTArgs

  • Anna Dillon

    As a lifelong vegetarian and now vegan, I can tell you that when done correctly, a plant-based diet is healthy. When it comes to the intake of nutrients, I agree with other commenters that it is beneficial to take supplements regardless of one’s diet, and that it is just as easy to become deficient in nutrients on a diet including meat as it is on a vegetarian diet. I disagree with the statement that vegetarians “cut out Vitamin B12”. Contrary to popular belief, there are actually quite a few non-animal-based sources of B12, such as nutritional yeast and supplements. Additionally, in today’s society it is only getting easier to find plant-based foods that are high in protein. Also, I believe how you eat what you eat plays a large role in one’s health. One can eat badly on any diet. However, many studies have shown various types of meat to be carcinogenic, as well as linked to other diseases. I do believe that it may be easier to be healthier on a plant-based diet due to the fact that plant foods are lower in unhealthy fats (saturated, trans, cholesterol).

  • Jane Schneider

    This is a debate that I have struggled with for a couple years now. Since I can remember I did not like red meat, and I haven’t had it in 10 plus years, but I sometimes second guess myself because I know there are things that I am missing from not eating red meat. I am a semi-vegetarian now, because I eat chicken and turkey and these are the only meats that I eat. I rarely have these meats, and so I am forced to find other ways to get protein and other nutrients. I see the benefits and downfalls to each side and at the end of the day, I know that getting enough protein is an issue, so I make certain choices to make up for that. I feel that as long as I know that I am missing these nutrients and am finding them elsewhere, I am good. I think it is dangerous to be a vegetarian and not expect to have to take some supplements and find other ways to get vital nutrients. For me, my choice of being a vegetarian was personal and I had to learn what that would mean for me and my life, and this is why it is important for everyone else to do the same. #DoKnowUOmnivore #NUTR1101

  • Yashar C.

    Considering the fact that I am neither, I feel that my input is kind of silly. However, I believe that Vegetarians are healthier, mainly because some meats are harmful to the body if eaten excessively. http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/becoming-a-vegetarian This is where moderation comes in. Honestly, it all depends on your health habits. You could be a vegetarian, but smoke, drink alcohol excessively and don’t exercise. On the other hand, you could be a omnivore that exercises, and refrains from smoking and drinking. I’m more than positive that would designate the omnivore as healthier. Then again, that was a hypothetical example. #DoNowOmnivore #MyCMSTArgs

    • Courtney

      I agree with the fact that it all comes down to moderation. Both diets could be taken into an unhealthy aspect if treated wrong. Vegetarians could easily make their diet unhealthy by only choosing simple carbohydrates and sugary foods. Omnivores in the same way could choose to eat beef three times a day, seven times a week. Both diets have there pluses and minuses. The matter at hand is moderating your intake and watching the types of food you are eating. #DoNowUOmnivore #NUTR1011

  • bgirl272

    I feel that both are equally healthy. As long as the person finds means of the vitamins they need. There are many ways to do this while being a vegetarian. The truth about health is that its all about moderation. In my opinion eating really unhealthy foods in moderation is just as healthy as constantly only eating healthy foods. Balance is what really matters, not the small differences in diet. It also depends on that individual their exercise and metabolism. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/importance-moderation-1990.html

  • Lindsey Smallwood

    In the end, I believe either diet can be “healthy” or “unhealthy” depending on how they are executed. With the omnivore diet there is less risk of malnutrition, but there is always the risk of gaining too much fat from the meats, though this is easily counteracted with portion control and exercise. There is also risk of various illnesses besides just those caused by growth hormones, for example it is possible to get parasites such as worms and bacteria from undercooked meat. With the vegetarian diet there is higher risk of malnutrition if not executed carefully and strictly, ensuring the right amount of nutrients are gained each day, but again this is still doable. There are also issues of pesticides (and the threat of bacteria is still very real here too, especially in organic produce grown in manure). In the end, I think what I believe is that each diet is just about equal in risks and benefits and that each has equal potential to be “healthy.” In the end, which one you choose is entirely up to your own preference.

  • JH

    I think it’s important to have a balance of each. Both lifestyles provide benefits and possess disadvantages, if abused. The most important thing is to listen to what your body tells you. If your body responds poorly to eating red meat, then it doesn’t make any sense to continue to do that. Just because something works for a large group of people doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work specifically for you. Continue to choose healthy, nutrient-dense sources of food; integrate those into your diet and allow your body to work at its peak efficiency. Put in the right fuel and your body will thank you! #DoNowUOmnivore #NUTR1011

  • Constance Fonseca

    Every diet has its pros and cons. It just depends on your family background, health background and nutrition needs. Those that are vegetarians are less likely to get cancer but can end up with serious vitamin deficiencies. Those that eat meat are more likely to get cancer later in life but do not suffer from the same deficiencies. It just depends on who you are and if you can balance your diet properly.

  • Riya Rana

    Personally, I could not see myself living on a vegetarian diet because you’re closing yourself off to all the delicious variety that is out there in the world. I also think it’s curious that you can only find vitamin B12 in meats, not anywhere else. There must be a reason for this, right? Perhaps, Mother Nature made it so that humans have to consume meat in their diet, at least a small amount. The problem with consuming meat arises if it is eaten in excess, and how livestock is raised and processed. Nevertheless, it is ultimately the individual’s choice in the lifestyle they lead, provided they receive the all the necessary education to maintain a healthy diet. #DoNowUOmnivore #NUTR1011.

  • Sarah Wagner

    It’s hard to say that one diet is right and the other is wrong in this situation because anyone could easily eat an unhealthy diet with or without meat. Likewise, it is possible to enjoy health benefits from a well-balanced diet whether it includes meat or not. The key is the “well-balanced” part. An overconsumption of any food group will cause problems, and omnivores (especially those in the U.S.) have a tendency to consume far too much meat. Cardiovascular issues result from a diet high in saturated fats which come from animal products. If you have a problem with high cholesterol or blood triglycerides and generally consume a lot of meat, reducing animal protein consumption would be a healthy option. On the other hand, if you live an active lifestyle and eat a vegetarian diet but aren’t getting enough protein, it would be healthy to introduce meat into your diet.
    All that being said, the biggest advantage of a vegetarian diet for me is the benefits for the environment. Just reducing the amount of meat consumption by a small amount could make a huge difference in our greenhouse gas production, not to mention the hormones and antibiotics used in raising animals for meat which challenge normal human development and complicate disease treatment.
    In summary: burgers may be delicious, but we could all benefit from opting for the black bean burger sometimes. #DoNowUOmnivore #NUTR1011

  • Adyson Marcus

    I can see both sides of this argument. Because there are some out there that physically can not eat meat because of their religion. But on the other hand, those that just don’t “like” meat should try to consume just a little bit because we desperately need it in our diet. Also those that are vegan, in my opinion i don’t quite understand why they won’t eat meat because it is so important in our diet.

  • Katelyn McCormack

    I am currently studying dietetics, and a recurring theme I have been noticing in my classes is that as long as you have a balanced diet–eating a variety of foods–your health will be in good shape. So I lean a bit more towards the omnivore side, because meats do provide important nutrients that the body needs. And since meats are complete proteins, like the post mentions, it’s a relatively simple way to get all the proteins you need in your diet. However, there is something to be said for the vegetarian diet. Vegetable proteins can be considered healthier sources of protein than animal products, because they don’t have the unhealthy fats that reside in meats. Vegetables also provide a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, so if you eat a “rainbow” of vegetables, you will be at much lower risk for disease or vitamin deficiency.

    There are benefits to both types of diets, in my opinion, but I definitely think that Americans especially need to cut back on animal sources of protein. Because of the high amount of saturated fats that are in meats and the large portion sizes of meat we’re normally served at restaurants, it’s no wonder that a lot of health issues are arising in this country. However, it’s important to remember that red meats contain our best absorbable source of iron, and fish carries omega-3 fatty acids. Both of these are important to the body and difficult to obtain from a vegetarian diet. So in my opinion, unless you’re a vegan, it’s not a good idea to cut meats out of the diet entirely. What I have been doing is try to cut back on them to allow more room to incorporate more plant protein sources. Again, the concept of balance in the diet is what’s most important, I think. #DoNowUOmnivore #NUTR1011

  • Erika Uebele

    When it comes down to it, both diets can be healthy and unhealthy. If you’re a an omnivore and relying heavily over processed food and carbs you’re not going to be healthy. The same is with a vegetarian who mainly eats pasta and relies strictly on the over processed vegan food. When it comes down to it rely on those fruit and veggies and if you eat meat try your best to get grass-fed products if possible, and vegetitarians can supplement that with their legumes, nuts, and seeds. In the end their is no winner just what works best for you. #NUTR1101 #DoNowUOmnivore

  • Georgia Waller

    I think both diets can be equally healthy as long as you keep your diet well balanced. Choosing to be a vegetarian or an omnivore is a personal preference in my opinion. #DoNowUOmnivore

  • Camille Spittle

    I personally believe that the best way to eat is to eat mainly plant based foods, but to supplement with a little animal products. I understand that the argument for eating meat is that there are certain nutrients that the body needs from animal products and that is very true. But it is only two; vitamin B12 and Omega 3 fatty acids. By this, I want you to understand that we do not need to eat meat in every meal. Meat is only needed occasionally to fulfill the vitamin and the Omega 3 fatty acids.

  • Alexis B

    I have tried to be a vegetarian in the past, but I do not believe that I had done enough research to properly supply my body with what it needed. I do not like/eat red meat or pork and I thought I could “try” being a vegetarian. I felt weak and tired for those couple weeks. Now I eat what any vegetarian would eat, but I also eat chicken. That is the only kind of meat I enjoy. I only eat organic chicken that comes from a good, fresh farm because I feel that it is healthier and also is a better environment for the chicken. I think that omnivores should be careful in how much of what kind of meats they are ingesting, but also that vegetarians need to be educated as to what their bodies need. #DoNowOmnivore #MyCMSTArgs

  • Ziran Deng

    Personally, I prefer to be a Omnivore. You have to consider the energy that you gain from foods to support your daily activities. After all the energy you gain from vegetation is not that much.

  • Spencer Binsfeld

    this topic gave me some good insight on veganism and omnivoreism health benefits and deficiencies.Yes, if you eat less meat products you are more less likely to be effected by certain diseases. Sated by Sencer ” if you cut meat out of your diet, you are not going to get the nutrients to promote brain health benefits that meat gives you. ” i do agree that you have a higher risk of getting illnesses through through meat because of antibiotics and whatever else they put in our processed food. and yes not eating meat gives lower chelesterol levels and you are less likley to have obesity. i think you should be an omnivore because it is a balanced diet of all foods. #mycmstargs @LaczkoWord

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