Going vegetarian can be delicious. You have every fruit, vegetable, bean, and whole grain to choose from. The variety is endless. You can make it work for you, whether you choose to eat this way all the time or to include some vegetarian meals in your week.
You can get all the protein you need from plant foods. Just make sure you're getting enough calories from a wide variety of nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains. Black beans and rice, with a salad, is one example of a classic vegetarian meal.
Because they are lower in or free of animal products, vegetarian diets are low in total and saturated fat and cholesterol. Many studies have shown that vegetarians are less likely to get certain diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. A vegetarian that is filled with fruits and vegetables benefits from antioxidants like lutein in broccoli and lycopene in tomatoes, which may help protect against cancer.
Although zinc is found in many vegetarian foods, it is not as well absorbed as meat-based zinc. Eating plenty of zinc-rich foods can help you maximize the amount your body absorbs. Good sources include milk, cheese, whole-grain breads, nuts, soy foods, and legumes, such as chickpeas. Hummus on a whole-grain pita is one tasty snack that does the trick.
A vegetarian diet can be safe for kids, and it's probably good for them. Just be sure kids get enough fats to meet their needs. Nuts, peanut butter, avocado, milk products, and eggs are all good sources. When in doubt, ask your child's doctor or a dietitian.
You don't need to be a vegetarian 7 days a week to reap many of the benefits. Doing it 1 or 2 days a week can help you cut back on saturated fats and cholesterol, and give you more fruits and vegetables. Try it, and you might find you want to do it more often than you think.
Approximately 0.5 percent, or 1 million, of those are vegans, who consume no animal products at all. In addition, 10 percent of U.S., adults, or 22.8 million people, say they largely follow a vegetarian-inclined diet. Data for this survey were collected by the Harris Interactive Service Bureau on behalf of Vegetarian Times.
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The word vegetarian sprouted up in 1839. Fruitarian ("a person who lives on fruit") ripened by 1893. In 1944, vegetarians who consume no animal or dairy products began calling themselves vegans. Then, in 1993, those who eat fish but no other meat chose pesce, the Italian word for "fish," to create the designation pescatarian. In that same year, meatatarian was served up as a word for those whose diet largely includes meat; that word is rare, however, and is usually used in informal and humorous ways, making it the type of fare not included in our dictionaries. Another fairly recent dietary word is flexitarian, a person who follows a mostly vegetarian diet but occasionally eats meat or fish.
Apart from the ethical and environmental reasons for cutting meat from your diet, a well-planned vegetarian diet may also reduce your risk of chronic disease, support weight loss, and improve the quality of your diet.
Others decide to become vegetarian for environmental reasons, as livestock production increases greenhouse gas emissions, contributes to climate change, and requires large amounts of water, energy, and natural resources (2, 3).
Similarly, another study in 118 people found that a low calorie vegetarian diet was more effective at reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol than a Mediterranean diet. On the other hand, the Mediterranean diet led to a greater reduction in triglyceride levels (16).
Not only do vegetarians tend to have a higher intake of several key nutrients, but vegetarianism has been associated with weight loss, reduced cancer risk, improved blood sugar, and better heart health. However, more research is needed.
A balanced vegetarian diet with nutritious foods like produce, grains, healthy fats, and plant-based protein may offer several benefits, but it may increase your risk of nutritional deficiencies if poorly planned.
A vegetarian diet focuses on plants for food. These include fruits, vegetables, dried beans and peas, grains, seeds and nuts. There is no single type of vegetarian diet. Instead, vegetarian eating patterns usually fall into the following groups:
People who follow vegetarian diets can get all the nutrients they need. However, they must be careful to eat a wide variety of foods to meet their nutritional needs. Nutrients vegetarians may need to focus on include protein, iron, calcium, zinc and vitamin B12.
In terms of ethics, vegetarians are opposed to killing animals for food, but generally consider it acceptable to consume animal by-products such as milk and eggs, as long as the animals are kept in adequate conditions.
Cookies, french fries, candies, and even nut based ice creams may fall into the vegan and vegetarian category yet still contain refined carbohydrates, are highly processed, are high in added sugar, or are deep fried.
According to a report from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and several scientific reviews, both vegetarian and vegan diets can be considered appropriate for all stages of life, as long as the diet is planned well (3, 4, 5, 6).
The few studies directly comparing vegetarian to vegan diets report that vegans may have a somewhat lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and various types of cancer than vegetarians (14, 15, 16, 17).
Background: Vegetarian diets exclude all animal flesh and are being widely adopted by an increasing number of people; however, effects on blood lipid concentrations remain unclear. This meta-analysis aimed to quantitatively assess the overall effects of vegetarian diets on blood lipids.
Methods and results: We searched PubMed, Scopus, Embase, ISI Web of Knowledge, and the Cochrane Library through March 2015. Studies were included if they described the effectiveness of vegetarian diets on blood lipids (total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglyceride). Weighted mean effect sizes were calculated for net changes by using a random-effects model. We performed subgroup and univariate meta-regression analyses to explore sources of heterogeneity. Eleven trials were included in the meta-analysis. Vegetarian diets significantly lowered blood concentrations of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and the pooled estimated changes were -0.36 mmol/L (95% CI -0.55 to -0.17; P
Conclusions: This systematic review and meta-analysis provides evidence that vegetarian diets effectively lower blood concentrations of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Such diets could be a useful nonpharmaceutical means of managing dyslipidemia, especially hypercholesterolemia.
It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes. Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage. Vegetarians and vegans are at reduced risk of certain health conditions, including ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain types of cancer, and obesity. Low intake of saturated fat and high intakes of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, soy products, nuts, and seeds (all rich in fiber and phytochemicals) are characteristics of vegetarian and vegan diets that produce lower total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and better serum glucose control. These factors contribute to reduction of chronic disease. Vegans need reliable sources of vitamin B-12, such as fortified foods or supplements.
Objectives: Aim of this study was to clarify the association between vegetarian, vegan diets, risk factors for chronic diseases, risk of all-cause mortality, incidence, and mortality from cardio-cerebrovascular diseases, total cancer and specific type of cancer (colorectal, breast, prostate and lung), through meta-analysis.
Results: Eighty-six cross-sectional and 10 cohort prospective studies were included. The overall analysis among cross-sectional studies reported significant reduced levels of body mass index, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and glucose levels in vegetarians and vegans versus omnivores. With regard to prospective cohort studies, the analysis showed a significant reduced risk of incidence and/or mortality from ischemic heart disease (RR 0.75; 95% CI, 0.68 to 0.82) and incidence of total cancer (RR 0.92; 95% CI 0.87 to 0.98) but not of total cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, all-cause mortality and mortality from cancer. No significant association was evidenced when specific types of cancer were analyzed. The analysis conducted among vegans reported significant association with the risk of incidence from total cancer (RR 0.85; 95% CI, 0.75 to 0.95), despite obtained only in a limited number of studies.
Conclusions: This comprehensive meta-analysis reports a significant protective effect of a vegetarian diet versus the incidence and/or mortality from ischemic heart disease (-25%) and incidence from total cancer (-8%). Vegan diet conferred a significant reduced risk (-15%) of incidence from total cancer. 041b061a72