While widely seen as a niche diet just five years ago, vegetarianism has undeniably entered the mainstream – with restaurants across Denver and Houston expanding their offerings to accommodate their herbivore clientele. Many middle-aged people who are concerned about their heart health and aging longevity have embraced this dietary option as a way to limit cholesterol and incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables in their daily lives.

However, if you have decided to follow in the footsteps of President Bill Clinton, Alec Baldwin – and even Ozzy Osbourne – by forgoing meat, make sure you take a balanced approach to every meal.

No doubt because of its increasing popularity, Reader's Digest covered some of the most common "traps" that vegetarians – particularly the newer converts – may fall into. Generally, it seems that many, in their eagerness to cut calories and cholesterol, may be skimping on some essential nutrients as well.

Vitamin B12 has long proven elusive for vegetarians and vegans, as this essential compound is found in liver and certain seafoods. However, there are plant-based sources and dietary supplements that can meet this need. In addition, zinc, calcium and iron were singled out by the source as a potential oversight for some vegetarians. Protein, of course, can also pose a challenge, but certain plants and grains like tofu and quinoa can easily bridge this gap.

Finally, even if you have adopted vegetarianism in lieu of getting medical weight loss in Houston or Denver, be careful not to inadvertently starve yourself in the process. Cutting calories can be a good thing, but make sure you still have enough fuel to keep you going throughout the day.

Do you have questions about how your diet can help you look and feel better as you age? Contact the specialists at Longevity Centres of America. We offer nutritional guidance, colonics, IV chelation and more to help clients in the Houston and Denver area age gracefully.