The Benefits of a Non-Vegetarian Diet

If you have friends who follow a vegetarian diet, you might often hear about how this lifestyle provides a number of nutrients and is healthier than eating meat. Although vegetarianism has a wide range of benefits, don't discount a diet that includes meat and other animal products such as milk. Provided you eat a balanced diet, a non-vegetarian eating plan can be healthy for you.

A close-up of a grilled steak. (Image: nitrub/iStock/Getty Images)

A Valuable Source of Nutrients

Although vegetarians can consume protein through legumes and nuts, these protein sources are incomplete. A complete protein contains the essential amino acids that your body needs, and animal products provide a complete protein. Soy and quinoa, however, are complete vegetarian proteins. Many animal products are also high in iron and vitamin B12. Iron has two forms -- heme and nonheme; the former is found in animal products and is easier for your body to absorb. A deficiency in iron or B12 can result in fatigue. For women, who lose iron through menstruation, getting enough iron through their diet is important.

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