Exploring the diversity of a vegetarian lifestyle is what many are doing these days. Living healthy requires maintaining a healthy diet. Some believe no diet may be healthier than meals dominated by fresh, all-natural vegetables and fruits.
Lately, more and more people have shifted to a vegetarian lifestyle. Scientific research has talked about the adverse effects of animal meat. Nutritionists explain that high amounts of animal fat in meat, dairy and other animal products may leading to disease. These include diabetes, obesity, colon cancer, high blood pressure and heart disease. To avoid these, nutritionists often talk about the health benefits of high intake of fruits and vegetables.
However, people sometimes have misconceptions about vegetarianism. I’d like to clear up these misconceptions and bring to light what the a vegetarian lifestyle is about.
Four Groups of Vegetarians
- Vegans eat no animal foods
- Semi-Vegetarians generally avoid meat, but consume poultry and selected animal foods
- Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarians avoid meat, poultry and fish, but eat milk and eggs
- Lacto-Vegetarians consume milk products, but not other animal foods
Some vegetarians also go as far as avoiding clothing made from animal products like fleece, fur and leather. Others avoid processed foods, alcoholic beverages and foods bred with pesticides.
Brief History of Vegetarianism
Vegetarianism can be traced to the religious traditions and teachings of Buddhism and Hinduism. These religions shied away from animal meat due to their doctrine of self-denial, reincarnation and the blessedness of all forms of life. However, the practice moved past religion when the Vegetarian Society, a British organization, became famous in 1847.
Modern vegetarians uphold the rejection of meat. They campaign for animal welfare, labeling the killing of animals for consumption as a violation of their rights. The practice has gained worldwide acceptance.
Following a Vegetarian Lifestyle
Some people say a vegetarian diet is insufficient. That it doesn’t always meet the daily nutritional requirements. But dietitians have explained that plant-based meals are low in cholesterol, saturated fat and salt. Also, plant-based meals may be planned in order to get the essential nutrients normally obtained from meat, fish and poultry.
Vegetarians consume diets dominated by fruits, vegetables, cereals and grains. In place of meat products, lacto-ovo-vegetarians use nuts, lentils, eggs, peanut butter, dry beans and peas. Vegetarians avoiding milk find other sources of calcium and Vitamin D-rich foods. Also, vegans may have to take vitamin and mineral supplements to ensure they get the nutrients they need.
For some, thinking about healthy living may mean looking at the different options of living a vegetarian lifestyle.
Did this article give you a better idea of what vegetarianism is? If you have any questions or more information you’d like to contribute, you can do so in the comment section below.
If you are looking for some vegetarian recipes, you can try my Hearty Autumn Harvest Soup and substitute the chicken broth for vegetable. Also have a Vegetarian Spinach and Feta Frittata Breakfast Skillet!
And don’t forget, if you aren’t sure of what you are doing in the kitchen but want to eat healthy, you can sign up for my FREE Cooking Basics how-to-tips! You’ll get an email every week for an entire year. That’s 52 helpful kitchen tips! Everything from how to make the perfect fried egg to different ways to prepare vegetables and how to freeze those fruits & veggies you find at the market 🙂
Enjoy and Be Healthy!