Sample Nutrition Essay on Is It Reasonable To Be A Vegetarian?

The increased awareness and call for healthy eating continue to drive many people into
vegetarian diet. Although some people chose vegan diet for health reasons, others do so for
religious, personal, and animal welfare concerns. Some religions, for instance, prohibit meat-
eating making their followers vegans. Nonetheless, fierce debate surrounds veganism
considering that critics argue that vegan diet is unhealthy because it is deficient of certain
nutrients, whereas its proponents hold that this kind of diet improves one’s general health.
Despite some of the nutrition sufficiency concerns about vegan diet, it is reasonable to be a
vegetarian because well-planned vegan diet remedies nutritional insufficiencies and can reduce
the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
Critics argue that vegetarian diet, despite its intended health benefits, has some nutritional
deficiencies. In their study of the status of Vitamin B-12 in vegetarians, Herrmann, Schorr,
Obeid, and Geisel (2003) found out that most vegetarians (68%) are Vitamin B-12 deficient.
Accordingly, Herrmann et al. warned that vegetarians ought to consider the health aspects of
plant-based diet in consideration of the adverse effects that could arise from deficiency of
Vitamin B-12. For instance, Vitamin B-12 insufficiency might cause fatigue, anemia, memory
loss, and weakness (Herrmann et al., 2003). Evidently, the arguments against vegetarian diet
stem from nutritional deficiencies associated with this diet.
However, well-planned vegetarian diet can help prevent nutritional insufficiencies
resulting from this diet including shortage of Vitamin B-12. Consuming fortified foods, for
instance, can help increase Vitamin B-12 intakes (Satija et al., 2016). Fortified foods are rich in
extra nutrients vitamins A, B, and D, iron, and iodine (Satija et al., 2016). Additionally, taking

Vitamin B-12 supplements can help address the deficiency of this vitamin among vegetarians
(Satija et al., 2016). Clearly, taking fortified foods and Vitamin B-12 supplements can resolve
Vitamin B-12 deficiency and its related health effects on vegetarians.
Moreover, studies indicate that plant-based diet can help reduce the risk of Type 2
Diabetes (Satija et al., 2016). In their study of vegetarian diet patterns and its relationship with
Type 2 Diabetes among U.S. women and men, Satija et al. found out that plant-based diet
reduced the risk of this type of diabetes. Notably, they found out that vegetarian diet reduced the
risk of diabetes by 20% (Satija et al., 2016). Therefore, consuming healthy plant-based diet has
health benefits in regards to diabetes risk. This finding reveals that the perceived unhealthy side
of vegan diet might not be accurate. As long as one maintains a healthy vegan diet, they are
likely to minimize the risk of acquiring some illnesses like Type 2 Diabetes.
Although critics argue that it is unreasonable being a vegetarian due to health concerns, a
careful evaluation of this diet shows the opposite. For instance, whereas critics point out that,
most vegetarians exhibit Vitamin B-12 deficiency, the shortage of this vitamin can be resolved
by consuming fortified foods and Vitamin B-12 supplements. Thus, lack of this vitamin in vegan
food should not render being vegetarian unreasonable because there are ways vegetarians can
acquire Vitamin B-12. Plant-based diet can equally reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, indicating
the health benefits of one being a vegetarian. As discussed, one can choose to become a
vegetarian and remain healthy provided they plan their diet. Nonetheless, everyone has a right to
choose the diet they consider appropriate for them.


Herrmann, W., Schorr, H., Obeid, R., & Geisel, J. (2003). Vitamin B-12 status, particularly
holotranscobalamin II and methylmalonic acid concentrations, and
hyperhomocysteinemia in vegetarians: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 78(1):
Satija, A., Bhupathiraju, S.N., Rimm, E.B., Spiegelman, D., Chiuve, S.E., Borgi, L., Willett,
W.C., Manson, J.E., Sun, Q., & Hu, F.B. (2016). Plant-Based Dietary Patterns and
Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes in US Men and Women: Results from Three Prospective
Cohort Studies. PLoS Medicine, 13(6).