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I was planning on becoming a vegetarian but my mom claims that if I want to stay healthy I shouldn't avoid eating meat and dairy products so is there some other way I could create vegetarian habits without avoiding those nutrients common in meat and dairy products and would also like to hear why are actually meat and dairy products so necessary in one's nutrition? Thank!

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Well in my modest opinion your mom is very wrong for it is not like eating meat and dairy products would provide you good health-for those ingredients characteristic for meat and dairy products such as proteins and calcium at first place are also likely to be found in some sorts of vegetables such as broccoli for example which is rich in calcium or mushrooms that are rich in proteins. I am now 39 and it would be almost 3 years now since I have become a vegan and the fact is I never felt better and healthier in my life before. And if you ask me I am deeply convinced that colon cancer is so directly connected to meat consumption and the same worth for dairy products though this still doesn't means you should quit eating dairy products at all for its normal amount could really help in avoiding osteoporosis for example but still you could get enough of calcium by eating certain type of vegetables.
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Vitamin B12 is essential to human life. Although animals do not directly make it, bacteria in the gut does. Therefore B12 only comes from animal product naturally. A diet consisting of mainly fruits vegetables and grains with smaller amounts of meat fish and dairy is what I would recommend. The Wetern Diet is said to increase the risk of cancer, not eating meat.
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Answer:You can maintain good health as a vegetarian, but it will take more planning.

Reason: This is because not only is lean meat far more protein dense then any plant source, including beans, but the body also absorbs animal protein more readily because of it's naturally high bio-value. In addition, meat is an important source of vitamin b12, which your body uses in metabolic functions.

Solution: You can still get animal proteins without eating animals. Dairy products come directly from animals, so they contain proteins with particarly high bio-value, as well as b12. In addition, if you are becoming a vegetarian to avoid calories, eggs are a very low in calorie food, and contain high quality proteins. A whole egg has 6 grams of meat quality protein and only 70 calories, and egg whites contain almost no calories at all.

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