Diet has become a major issue for people in contemporary times. Many people want to improve their health and overall lives by engaging in a healthier style of eating. One mindset that has risen from this desire to obtain good health is taking up a life of vegetarianism. Many American vegans see consuming a vegetable based diet as a healthier alternative to eating what most others would consider a meal. But is being a vegetarian really all it's cracked up to be?

Viewing the health statistics in this country would certainly point to yes. According to the "National Center for Health Statistics" 67% of Americans are obese or over weight. Not surprising considering the epidemic of fast food chains and other unhealthy food sources sprinkled about the country indiscriminately. It would appear consuming a diet of fresh greens amongst other non-mammal related foods would be a healthier alternative to whopping down a burger or eating a juice drenched steak. The answer to this assumption is a yes and no. While it is true that it may be healthier to eat a bowl of fresh vegetables then say, a Big Mac, a diet that consists purely of vegetables is detrimental to the health. Human beings are omnivorous by nature, designed specifically to consume a vast array of food. One needs to only pry open their own mouth to see what foods are supposed to be stuffed into it; and that is a little bit of everything.

For most people a healthy and well thought out mixed diet is the best. A human being is neither pure carnivore nor pure herbivore. Thus restricting oneself to one specific source of food can be detrimental to ones health. There are many minerals and vitamins that cannot be obtained from the average vegetarian lifestyle. Vitamin B12 for example is produced in meat foods, but completely absent from vegetables. Lack of consuming B12 can have adverse effects on brain functionality and the nervous system. On average it is highly likely that pure vegetarians are more likely to be less healthy than their food pyramid devouring omnivorous counterparts.

The safest vegetarian diet would be one that is flexible and combines other forms of food such as eggs and beans to provide adequate protein and other nutrients that would be missed from a purely green set of food items. Many nutritionist and doctors agree that consuming nothing but vegetables is detrimental to the health of most human beings. The only case where a vegetarian based diet could be supported is in the case of a person with genetic anomalies that require an above average consumption of plants; but that is in the rare case, for the most part the average human being who consumes a mixed diet is much healthier then the vegetarian who thinks their making the healthy choice by excluding other important food items.

In the end choosing a vegan lifestyle over an omnivorous one is a mixed bag. As with many other things it does come down to the individual as to what works. Though it does appear a healthy and well put together omnivorous diet is more desirable than a purely vegetarian one. Before beginning a diet where certain food items are discarded a person should do the required research and definitely consult a doctor or nutritionist to find out if this type of diet is right for them. If you simply jump into a so-and-so free diet you could be having the complete opposite affect on the direction of your health then you wished.