Being Vegetarian – know about the facts

Being Vegetarian – know about the facts

The practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat (red meat, poultry, seafood, and the flesh of
any other animal), and may also include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter.”A vegetarian is
someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, fungi, algae,
yeast and/or some other non-animal-based foods (e.g. salt) with, or without, dairy products, honey and/or
eggs. A vegetarian does not eat foods that consist of, or have been produced with the aid of products
consisting of or created from, any part of the body of a living or dead animal. This includes meat, poultry,
fish, shellfish, insects, by-products of slaughter or any food made with processing aids created from
these.”

Being vegetarian

People become vegetarians for many reasons, including health, religious convictions, concerns about
animal welfare or the use of antibiotics and hormones in livestock, or a desire to eat in a way that avoids
excessive use of environmental resources. Some people follow a largely vegetarian diet because they
can’t afford to eat meat. Becoming a vegetarian has become more appealing and accessible, thanks to
the year-round availability of fresh produce, more vegetarian dining options, and the growing culinary
influence of cultures with largely plant-based diets.

Health benefits

Studies are confirming the health benefits of meat-free eating. Nowadays, plant-based eating is
recognized as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the risk for many chronic
illnesses.

Vegetarian diets have been shown to prevent and treat gallstones, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid
arthritis, dementia, diverticular disease, renal disease, hypertension, osteoporosis, cancer, and diabetes.

Compared with meat eaters, vegetarians tend to consume less saturated fat and cholesterol and more
vitamins C and E, dietary fiber, folic acid, potassium, magnesium, and phytochemicals (plant chemicals),
such as carotenoids and flavonoids. As a result, they’re likely to have lower total and LDL (bad)
cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and lower body mass index (BMI), all of which are associated with
longevity and a reduced risk for many chronic diseases.

Misconception

It is a common misconception that vegetarian diets provide inadequate protein. While one person’s protein requirements may be very different from another’s, the ADA has found that a typical varied vegetarian diet that meets one’s energy needs, also meets one’s protein requirements. Even athletes, whose protein requirements are typically greater than non-athletes, can fare well on a vegetarian diet. The ADA (American Dietetic Association) found that “vegetarian diets (except possibly fruitarian and
strict macrobiotic diets) can easily meet the nutritional requirements of all types of athletes provided they contain a variety of plant-foods.”

 

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