PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Many Americans have turned to a vegetarian diet for many different reasons. Maybe you just think it will make you generally more healthy. Perhaps you want to trim a few pounds. Maybe you want to supplement your already healthy lifestyle.
However, will you be happier?
Some research suggests that the exact opposite is the truth and Women’s Health recently looked into some of the research and cautions people to be well aware of how going meatless can impact your mental health.
The article cites an Australian study from last year which found that vegetarians reported that they were less optimistic about their future more often than people who kept meat in their diets. That same study found that vegetarians were 18 percent more likely to report having depression and 28 percent more likely to experience panic attacks and anxiety.
The question that people considering a vegetarian diet have to consider is whether or not the gains outweigh the risks. Will the number drop on the scale be worth it in the long run if you feel more sluggish or anxious than usual?
While there might be some clear reasons to avoid meat, it has benefits as well that impact your mind and your mood.
B Vitamins, zinc, iron and tryptophan are all found in abundance in meat and are often time in low quantities, or missing altogether, in vegetarian diets.
Women’s Health suggests not quitting meat too suddenly. There is support for the notion that if you want to take on a meatless diet, you should do so in increments to allow for some meat eating while you gauge for yourself how your body is reacting to the new diet.