Vegetarian eating has an all-star health rep—but according to a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE, vegetarians may actually be less healthy than meat eaters, on average. After all, healthy vegetarian eating is about more than getting enough protein. Vegetarians and vegans also need to prioritize their intake of iron, calcium, vitamin B12, and zinc. Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acid supplementation may also be necessary.
"These may be suboptimal in all individuals, but consumption may be even lower in vegetarians," says Mass. And whether or not you cut out meat, you could probably stand to eat more produce. According to a recent study published in the British Medical Journal, people who consume at least seven servings of fruits and vegetables every day slash their death risk from any cause—at any point in life—by 42 percent. Check out these easy tips to eat more fruits and veggies.