Wednesday May 8, 2019
What is a Vegetarian
Types of vegetarians:
- Lacto-ovo-vegetarians- Avoids all meat and fish, but consume eggs and dairy.
- Pescatarians- Avoids meat, but consumes fish, eggs, and dairy.
- Lacto-vegetarians- Avoids all meat, fish, and eggs, but consumes dairy.
- Ovo-vegetarians- Avoids all meat, fish, and dairy, but consumes eggs.
- Vegans- Avoids all animal-based foods, including honey and sometimes goods made with animal products such a leather.
Did you know? Some individuals identify themselves as "semi-vegetarian”. However, most vegetarian and vegan societies do not accept the term.
Benefits of being a Vegetarian
Lower Body Weight
A 2003 study of 38,000 people showed that fish eaters, vegetarians, and vegans enjoy a lower body mass index (BMI) than meat-eaters.
Another study by Roczniki Panstwowego Zakladu Higieny in 2014 stated that non-meat eaters generally consume less saturated fat and more fiber-rich plant-based foods and therefore enjoy a healthy weight. Click here for easy weight loss tips!
A study hosted by the Oxford cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Oxford) involving around 65,000 participants concluded vegetarians had a 19% lower risk of death from heart disease.
Scientists have also shown that vegetarian diets can lower cholesterol almost as well as treatment with medication. Levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), the "bad" cholesterol that causes clogging in coronary arteries, fell by almost 30 percent in participants who followed a vegetarian diet.
According to Loma Linda University School of Public Health, vegetarian diets are associated with a significant reduction in diabetes. Information published by the George Washington University School of Medicine also confirmed that vegetarian diets offer an important benefit for those naturally trying to manage diabetes and can even reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes by 50%.
May Improve Mood
Croatia's Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health conducted mental health surveys among vegetarians and found them to have lower levels of neuroticism (moodiness).
This is because arachidonic acid, a substance usually found in animal products, is not commonly found in vegetarian diets. Research has shown links between arachidonic acid and mood disturbances. Looking to improve your mood? Click here!
Lowering greenhouse gas emissions can be beneficial for global warming and climate change. You see, greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere trap the sun's rays causing increase temperatures. According to a 2014 Climate Change review, greenhouse gas emissions associated with 2,000-calorie diets are twice as high for meat eaters compared to vegan dieters. Learn about sustainable farming here!
Did you know? According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), meat production creates greenhouse gas emissions because factory farm animals produce methane during food digestion and feces excretion.
Becoming a vegetarian
Anyone who is deciding to become a vegetarian needs to educate themselves to ensure they continue to consume key nutrients especially children.
Did you know? The amount of people between the ages of 8 and 18 years in the U.S. that have chosen a vegetarian diet is around 3 percent.
It is possible to become vegetarian and omit meat cold turkey (pun intended), however a gradual change may work better for you and your family. A sudden dietary change can affect some people's gut microbiome and lead to temporary bloating and nausea. Gradually replacing meat products with more vegetables, fruits, and legumes may help.
The American Dietetic Association has these tips for people who want to stop eating meat:
- Vary your foods. Include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts.
- Use organic pasture raised eggs and dairy products in moderation, if at all.
- Have a regular source of vitamin B12 to maintain energy.
- Include hemp, quinoa, and noni fruit for all of your essential amino acids.
- Ensure your intake of vitamin D, if exposure to sunlight is low.