EAT MORE GREENS
Tips for Creating a Healthy Vegetarian Diet
Vegetarians are often a misunderstood group. People who eat meat don't always understand the reason behind a vegetarian diet or even exactly what that means. They think of vegetarians as unhealthy and weak, but this is not the case. Vegetarians can and do eat healthly.
Different Types of Vegetarian Diets
You may think a vegetarian is just a person who doesn't eat meat, but there are different types of vegetarian diets:
Vegans: They exclude meat, dairy, eggs, fish, poultry, and all foods that contain any of these products.
Lacto-vegetarians: They also exclude meat, poultry, fish, eggs, but do eat dairy products, like cheese, milk, yogurt, and butter.
Ovo-vegetarians: This diet excludes meat, seafood, poultry, and dairy products. Their diet does include eggs.
Lacto-ovo-vegetarians: They do not eat meat, fish and poultry, but they do eat dairy products and eggs.
Reasons People Choose a Vegetarian Diet
People choose to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet for different reasons. Let's look at the four most common reasons.
Cholesterol comes from eating animal products like meat, so excluding meat and making healthy choices can help prevent cardiovascular disease.
Vegetarians eat more fiber generally than those do who eat meat. More fiber helps you maintain a healthy weight and keeps your digestive system functioning properly.
Some vegans and vegetarians choose their diet to help the environment. Their thinking is that the water used to feed cows and other livestock could be put to better use. Raising livestock requires space to do so and fields to grow grain. This means forests are often cleared of trees, which is not good for the environment.
Some people refuse to eat meat because of their love for animals. They don't want an animal to die just so they can have food. They also worry about how animals are treated and killed, just so they can be served as meat or have their hides made into clothes.
Prevent Food Shortages
These people refuse to eat meat because of the massive amounts of grain it takes to feed them. Their thinking is that this grain could be put to better use—as food for starving people all over the world.
Tips for Living the Vegetarian Life
No matter what reason you have for wanting to adopt a vegetarian diet, you must focus on replacing the nutrients that would come from the foods you exclude.
You'll need to do some planning and know which alternative foods have the nutrients you need.
Calcium comes from dairy, so if you exclude it from your diet you must find other sources. Some healthy choices include:
• Dark green leafy vegetables
• Collard greens
• Calcium fortified soy products
Protein also is found in the meat you are no longer eating. Here are some alternatives:
• Dairy, if your diet allows it
Iron is an essential mineral you need for creating red blood cells. You can get the iron you need from dried beans, peas, lentils, and leafy greens.
Diets that restrict certain food can be healthy. Let Filtur be your guide to understanding your nutrition needs.