Healthy Living

Pollotarian Diet Pros And Cons

A plant-based diet that is semi-vegetarian because it exempts the consumption of poultry including duck and turkey is termed as a pollotarian diet. Since there are no standard guidelines on the limitations of foods to be consumed, people adapt their own suitable version of what works for them. 

For instance, followers of the diet avoid red meat and pork products, while there are a few people who allow eggs and dairy products in their diet. Another category of consumers are called pesce-pollotarians who eat some fish and other seafood as part of their semi-vegetarian meals.

Most of its benefits are based on the elimination of processed red meat and more research needs to be done to determine specific pros and cons. But here are some of the positive and negative features of the diet highlighted by Healthline.

Pros

Reduces Risk of Cancer - Eating more than the recommended amount of red meat in the diet has been associated with increased risk of cancer. In one observational study of 492,186 adults, it was found that cancer risk had significantly decreased by 3 to 20 percent.  This was achieved by adding 10 grams of poultry to every 1,000 calories consumed per day while simultaneously reducing red meat in proportion to the poultry. 

Reduces Risk of Type 2 Diabetes - Pollotarian diets are high in fiber with plant foods that are known to prevent type 2 diabetes since they also contain foods with low saturated fat. Over a 15 year period consisting of a study with 53,163 adults, processed red meat was replaced with poultry, fish and unprocessed red meat. The study with many follow ups observed a significant reduction in risk of type 2 diabetes. 

Weight Loss - High protein diets are known to reduce appetite, thus reducing the number of calories consumed per day. Poultry, high in protein,  serves the purpose since it offers low calories and lesser saturated fat compared to processed red meat products

Saves Environment - Plant-based foods require less resources to nurture and grow as opposed to animal products that need extra land and water. This is particularly for beef that need 28 more times land and 11 times more irrigation water to raise livestock, according to one study. 

Cons

In a vegetarian diet, there are some key vitamins and minerals that are generally not absorbed. So, the pollotarian diet has to be based on a solid plan. Some of the nutrition deficiencies developed are of iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin B12, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids. 

Since Vitamin B12 can only be sourced from animal products, a supplement is definitely needed, especially depending on the amount of poultry added to the pollotarian diet. For those people excluding dairy from their diet, sesame seeds, calcium, white beans and other plant-based calcium, sources can be sought out.  

Also, since iron and zinc are absorbed better from animal products, pollotarians have to pick the right plant sources of iron and zinc. 

Poultry Pollotarian diets are vegetarian for the most part except for poultry including duck and turkey. A. Davey, CC-BY-2.0

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