Vegetarian Diet

Whether the reason involves personal, health or religious preferences, a vegetarian diet restricts the intake of meats and other animal flesh. When following a strict vegetarian diet, which is also known as a vegan diet, the dieter will only consume fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains also forgoing animal by-products such as dairy foods or leather. If you are interested in leading a vegetarian lifestyle, you should know that there are many different versions of this type of diet.

A lactovegetarian will add milk and other dairy products to the vegan diet, where an ovo-lactovegetarian eats both eggs and milk products. There are also partial or semivegetarians, who choose to include some animal foods into their diet, but will not consume red meats. When a dieter wishes to cut down on the amount of fat they consume, as well as increase fiber in their diet, a vegetarian diet is a good way to satisfy both desires. The vegetarian diet is also filled with healthy amounts of protein, calories, minerals and vitamins.

The amount of protein that a person needs to function is sometimes created by the body, while the rest must come from what you eat. Essential amino acids are found in food items, such as eggs, fish, cheese and milk, but all of these are not allowed when following a vegetarian diet. Fruits and vegetables can provide proteins to the body, but there is no one plant that contains all of the necessary amino acids. Therefore, a vegetarian diet calls for the eating of a variety of food items, including whole-grain cereals, fruits, beans, seeds, vegetables and nuts.

When preparing a meal for breakfast while following a vegetarian diet, you may want to start the day off with cup of orange juice, 1 cup of oatmeal, as well as two slices of whole-wheat toast. For lunch, two slices of whole-wheat toast with 1 tablespoon of preserves, accompanied with a banana, fruit ice, celery sticks with two tablespoons of peanut butter. A dinner meal can consist of 1 cup of vegetarian chili, a medium baked potato, cup of green beans, an apple, as well as a tossed salad with oil/vinegar dressing.

Tips for Following a Vegetarian Diet

1) The calories and energy that a body needs when following a vegetarian diet can be found when eating whole grains and legumes.

2) Whole grain cereals will add iron, riboflavin and vitamin B complex to a diet.

3) Consuming soybeans, soy bean milk and dark green leafy vegetables offer substantial amounts of calcium and iron.

4) Vitamin B-12 cannot be found within plants, so those following a vegetarian diet will have to find other ways to satisfy this requirement. There are sections within the grocery or health food store that offer prepared foods or meat substitutes that contain vitamin B-12. There are also supplements containing this vitamin that can be selected.

5) For protein, avocados provide a healthy dose of proteins, but the drawback is the amount of fats this option contains. When choosing an avocado, there are two different kinds, hailing from California and Florida. The larger avocado comes from Florida and contains half the calories and fat that the California version possesses.

6) When preparing a salad, dark green leafy vegetables are a better selection. For example, romaine lettuce offers more beta-carotene and vitamin C than iceberg lettuce.

7) When eating vegetables, it is good to include as many raw vegetables as possible. Numerous vegetables react differently. For example, when cooked, a carrot will yield 30% more beta carotene, but some vitamin C will be lost. Sometimes the higher amount of vitamin decrease in vegetables can be seen when boiling.

Advantages of a Vegetarian Diet

Vegetarians tend to have a lower occurence of hypertension than nonvegetarians. This effect appears to be independent of both body weight and sodium intake.

Type 2 diabetes is much less likely to be a cause of death in vegetarians than non-vegetarians, perhaps because of their higher intake of complex carbohydrates and lower body mass index.

All types of cancer occur less in vegetarians than their meat-eating counterparts.

Vegetarians are less likely to suffer from heart disease.

It is also suspected that meat-eaters are prime candidates for degenerative diseases, such as gout and arthritis. Meat is probably major cause of internal pollution. When an animal is slaughtered, uneliminated waste products remain in the tissue of the animal.Uric acid and adrenaline are toxins which are secreted into the bloodstream and muscles of animals about to be slaughtered. The fear and struggle to escape death stimulates the secretion of hormones like epinephrine, norepinephrine and steroids. No edible plant product has similar toxicity. The human body has to work many many times harder to get rid of that poison, some toxins will always remain and in turn toxicate all cells of a human's body.

Heavy cream, whole milk, fried eggs, bacon, pork rinds, beef, cheese, and butter -- all these contribute to long-term obesity, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, reproductive cancers, prostate enlargement, auto-immune diseases, and other diseases.

Losing Weight on a Vegetarian Diet

A person who becomes vegan will lose on average one pound a week. This is WITHOUT adding exercise or avoiding high carb foods such as spaghetti, rice or bread.

However, if you are not ready to convert to veganism, converting to Vegetarianism will not guarantee you will lose weight- as many new converts tend to eat more carbohydrates than in their pre-vegetarian days.

However do not let this put you off as the health benefits far outweigh this small setback- it is very possible to lose weight on a vegetarian diet, simply follow the tips for cutting out carbs below.

1). Add a protein powder to your diet. They are generally soy-based and can be added to many foods to make them more filling without piling on the carbs.

2). If you are in the US use Morning Star and Boca products. They can normally be found in the freezer section of your local supermarket, and are vegetarian friendly and low in carbs.

3). Stock up on tofu, tempeh, seitan and soya products from your local health shop or supermarket.

Click Here for Easy Vegetarian Diet Recipes

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