Monday, March 19, 2012

Tips to Become a Healthy Vegetarian

As more and more people start being aware of their quality of food goes into their body, the lifestyle of vegetarian is getting more attention than ever before.

What is a vegetarian?

Generally speaking, a vegetarian is a person who chose not to eat any sorts of meat, including beef, chicken, pork, or fish. However, there are many different kinds of vegetarians with different philosophies.

    Flexitarian - like a vegetarian beginner that occasionally eats meat.
    Pesci - eats daily products, eggs and fish but no other meat and poultry
    Lacto-ovo Vegetarian - No meat, but eats dairy products and eggs
    (Lacto means dairy, Ovo means eggs)
    Lacto Vegetarian - No meat, no eggs, but consumes Lacto (dairy products)
    Ovo Vegetarian - No meat, no dairy, but eats Ovo (eggs)
    Vegan -The ultimate vegetarian (I think). They don't intake any animal products including meat, dairy, eggs, gelatin nor honey.

Benefits of Being a Vegetarian

Being a vegetarian requires disciplines since we are surrounded by animal products in our food sources. But, many choose to become a vegetarian based on their commitment to their...

    Improve Overall Health
    Environmental Concern
    Natural Approach to Wellness
    Food-safety Concern
    Animal Welfare
    Weight Loss/ Weight Management

Whatever their reasons may be, it is noted that people who are plant based diet do not suffer from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity as much as meat eaters who tends to eats less fiber and too much saturated fat. Animal products contains high volume of salt, chemicals, hormone which can causes the blood to retain water and can cause plaque to build up in an arteries. So, lifestyle of vegetarian seems to be much more healthy than our modern diet..

BUT, Here Are 3 Major Challenges in Vegetarian Diet

1. Junk-Food-Eater-Vegetarians

Some vegetarians have health problems just like any others including obesity because they consume too much junk food, like soda pop, cookies, chips, French fries, too much candy bars, etc. Technically, they are not animal products, but they are nutritionally empty bulk food, high fat food that are not healthy for anyone. Walter Willett, chair of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health says "the healthiest vegetarian diet will have a lot of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and legumes."

2. Lack of Protein

We need protein for our body growth, maintenance and repair our cells. Most of protein source in our food are meat, eggs, fish, dairy produce etc that are not part of vegetarian diet. But, there are many other plant based protein, such as peanut butter, tofu, almonds, beans, potato, spinach. So, just make sure there is enough protein in your diet.

3. Lack of Nutrition in our vegetables and fruits

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables itself cannot provide you nutrition necessary for your body to be nurtured any more. Nutrient content of our vegetables and fruits have greatly diminished last five decades because of mineral depletion of the soils, mass production of food, genetically modified food...For example, you only needed 2 peaches to supply woman's required vitamin A in 1951. Today, we need to eat 53 peaches to meet the same requirements. It means drinking kale smoothie is not enough! I don't think anyone can possibly have time and money to eat all produces necessary for our body to flourish. So, REAL supplementation is necessary to stay well.

Conclusion

Non-meat eating diet does not promise you to stay healthy. But, overall, living as a vegetarian can be healthy for you if you choose to stay proper vegetarian standard of consuming a lot of fresh vegetables, fruits, fibers, nuts, and protein with proper supplementation. And, remember to be moderation in all things.

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