Is The Vegetarian Lifestyle For You?

Being a vegetarian is no longer a rarity. People from all walks of life, including many celebrities and sporting figures, have adopted this alternative approach to diet. Marilyn Wallace looks at the various forms of vegetarianism and the rationale behind each one:

Many people think of vegetarians as one homogeneous group of people who don't eat meat. But nothing could be further from the truth. There are different categories of vegetarians, as diverse as the reasons for becoming a vegetarian in the first place.

  • A vegetarian is generally defined as someone who doesn't eat meat. But someone who is considered a vegetarian could conceivably eat dairy products such as milk and and cheese, as well as eggs. A lacto ovo vegetarian doesn't eat meat, fish or poultry, but does consume eggs, milk or cheese. A lacto vegetarian consumes milk and cheese products, but doesn't consume eggs.

  • A vegan is someone who doesn't consume any animal product or by-product, including dairy food. They eat only vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and legumes. Vegans don't use animal products, such as leather. They don't consume white sugar because it's often processed with a whitening substance derived from animal bones.

  • There's one other category within the vegetarian community. Fruitarians eat only fruit. Their rationale is that fruits, including fruits such as tomatoes, are self-perpetuating and don't need to be planted to create the food source. They consider it a way of eating that's most in balance and harmony with the earth.
Most vegetarians eat cooked vegetables, fruits and legumes. There is also a growing movement towards eating only raw or living foods. This is based on the assumption that cooking food destroys most of the nutrients, so to extract all the nutritional value from food, it's best consumed raw or juiced. If cooked at all, food should only be cooked to slightly over 100 degrees, so the nutrients are still retained.

The more restrictive you are with your diet, however, the more educated you need to become to ensure you're getting all the proteins and vitamins necessary to maintain good health.

Vegetarian Resources

vegetarian diet Recently we came across a web site which offers a excellent collection of vegetarian recipes and meal plans. The author, Kardena Pauza, went from an unhealthy overweight teenager to winner of the Ms Fitness America title after switching to a vegetarian diet. She also helped her husband achieve the same kind of transformation.

You can read her story by clicking on the graphic or this link.

vegetarian diet Just for stopping by, Kardena is offering two free ebooks to download, so be sure to sign up for your copies.

It's important that you consult with a qualified health professional before embarking on any new dietary or exercise regimen.

Gathering information online is fine for research purposes, but you need a real live professional to monitor your progress if you attempt to make drastic changes to your lifestyle. Unless you're a health professional yourself, you aren't equipped to objectively observe your body's responses to a new diet or exercise program. So whatever your chosen course of action, please be sure you enlist the support of a qualified professional.

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