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The Vegetarian Diet, or vegetarianism, is a lifestyle in which the participant does not eat meat. There are many versions of Vegetarianism, including lacto-ovo vegetarian (includes egg and dairy), pescetarian (or fishetarian) whereby fish is acceptable, or even a flexitarian, whereby the participant does not eat red meat, but may include fish.
There are many ethical, environmental and personal reasons why an individual will choose a Vegetarian lifestyle, and it is gaining popularity for these reasons, among others. Weight loss is one of the stronger personal reasons someone would commit to a vegetarian diet.
In September 2005, the American Journal of Medicine released a study of participants showing that a low-fat, plant-based diet is more effective at helping people lose weight and improve insulin-sensitivity than an omnivorous (both plant and meat) diet.
In addition, those countries who consume no meat for religious or cultural reasons report lower incidence of heart disease, diabetes, and high-blood pressure.
But a vegetarian diet must be followed correctly or else the individual runs the risk of gaining weight if all they are doing is eating pasta, cheese and potato chips. Still, while many years ago, vegetarians were considered too hippie or too tree-hugging, as more and more scientific evidence demonstrates that a plant-based diet is incredibly healthy for the individual and the planet, more and more mainstream medical and health professionals are endorsing a vegetarian lifestyle as a surefire way to remain healthy.
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- Vegetarians generally post lower overall weight rates, or BMIs, than omnivores or carnivores
- Consumer market is continually more vegetarian-friendly
- Can significantly reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke and other obesity-related diseases
- Varying styles of vegetarianism allow for flexibility in diet
- Kinder to the earth
- Vegetarians must be well-scripted as to how grains and legumes combine to make complete proteins or nutritional deficiencies may develop
- Can be cost-prohibitive for some
- Restricts all meats, fish and chicken in some cases
- Critics suggest you deny your body of important nutrients
The growing popularity of the Vegetarian Diet has parlayed into hundreds of websites, books, support groups, clothing lines and more providing information via numerous sources to support compliance and convenience.
A Vegetarian diet supports weight loss through the ingestion of whole grains, leafy greens, nuts, legumes, soy protein. Hear from a vegetarian what a week's worth of meals might look like. The foods you're allowed to eat include anything that naturally grows from the Earth, or any plant-based foods. Restrictions can include:
- Red meat
- Fish and seafood
- Chicken and Poultry
- Animal fats
As vegetarianism grows in popularity, supportive industries are becoming more prevalent, including restaurants, cookbooks and healthy living sections of supermarkets catering to the vegetarian dieter.EXERCISE
While there is not a link to vegetarianism and activity per se, vegetarians are known to be generally more health-conscious, which means including consistent exercise in their lifestyles.CONCLUSION
The Vegetarian Diet is not necessarily a diet, but rather a lifestyle. Making a decision to be a Vegetarian is one that creates awareness and promotes responsibility for how food is prepared, grown and eaten.
While vegetarian diets can come in a variety of packages, from those who never eat meat to those who occasionally indulge in a burger, a vegetarian diet when done properly, affects one's health and the health of the planet. As more and more people turn to vegetarian lifestyle, it continues to grow in popularity and garner respect as a very healthy way of living and eating.Common Misspellings
Veggietarian, Veg-head, vegahtarian, vejatarian, veggie diet, vegan diet, vegetarianism, vegetarians