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Vegetarianism For Good Health

Updated on June 3, 2013

What Can A Vegetarian Diet Do For You?

It's well documented that many vegetarians are healthier than that those who eat meat. Vegetarians seem to be less obese and less likely to suffer from diseases like hypertension, colon cancer, diabetes or even arthritis. Their chances of developing heart disease is also lessened. Vegetarians seem to have very optimal blood pressure regardless of how much salt they eat and how much they exercise.

One key reason for the good health vegetarians experience might be the fact that they consume adequate amounts of fiber vs. that of meat eaters. This reduces their cholesterol and blood sugar level. Vegetarians also consume antioxidants in adequate quantities which is necessary to protect the heart from acquiring heart disease as well as cancer.

Vegetarians also consume more Isoflavones than regular meat eaters. Isoflavones are mostly found in soy based foods and may reduce the chances of getting prostate cancer.
Vegetarians also intake far less cholesterol and saturated fat than their meat eating counterparts, which can be a factor or cause of acquiring many diseases. Consuming vegetarian food also has positive effects on the environment. Many believe that vegetarians can lead a more balanced life both physically and mentally.

Should You Become A Vegetarian?

You might be considering a switch from non-vegetarianism to vegetarianism and maybe wondering: what are the benefits? As you have lived your whole life eating meats, eggs, hams, hot dogs, etc. why make a switch?

One good reason might be to find out whether you are you really consuming a healthy diet. Just look at yourself and judge... how fat are you? Do you feel energy when you wake up or just feel sluggish and tired all the time.

You should also not be feeling lethargic as soon as you finish your food. You might even be feeling like sleeping. How is your health in general. Do you suffer from hypertension, high cholesterol and high blood sugar? Then it might be time to switch to a vegetarian diet.
The actual function for the food that you eat is to provide the needed nourishment and keep you refreshed and energized. This can be achieved with vegetarian diet. Our body can be compared with a car engine which needs the right type of gas, likewise our body needs the right food to eat. All the needed nutrients can be found in vegetarian foods.

You might actually try switching to a vegetarian diet for a month. Just see how different are you feeling and then decide if you want to switch permanently.

Some people are fearful they lack the willpower to become vegetarian. For these people, an 'all or nothing" switch might not even be necessary. Just adding more fruits and vegetables and eating less meat and carbs might be the way to improve their health and well being. Who knows, after a while the meat may not seem as appealing a food source.

Eating Healthy For Vegetarians

Eating strictly vegetarian products can be quite healthy for both your body and mind. Since most vegetarians don't eat any meat or fish, they might be curious how they will get the adequate protein and other supplements needed for them to function well.

There are actually two types of vegetarian, one is Lacto-ovo vegetarian is a type which avoids flesh of animals but eats eggs and dairy foods.
Another type, Vegan, will not eat any food which has animal traces in it.

Lacto-ovo vegetarians get their protein mainly from dairy products while the Vegans get it from seeds, soy, and nuts.

There are actually many sources in vegetarian foods where you get adequate amount of protein and other supplements that is needed. Beans are an excellence source of protein along with lentils, both red & green, peanuts, soy, peas, and kidney beans, etc. One cup of cooked beans is equivalent to consuming two ounces of meat which has same amount of protein. Most nuts also have a very high protein content.

Vegans, who don't consume any animal foods may lack in following supplements like calcium, vitamin B12 and D. To address this, they should consume enough milk and soy products.

Children And Vegetarian Diets

It's so important to cultivate good eating habits in childhood. Putting your child on the right side of eating vegetarian foods will go well if started early.
Give your child a whole variety of foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, nuts and soy. But try to make it simple and cultivate good habits when it comes to eating vegetarian food. Add some fun to it to let your kid enjoy eating vegetarian foods.

The children who grew up eating vegetables, fruits, grains, etc will be healthier and slimmer and have a longer life to live. It becomes more easier to plan a healthy meal with vegetarian food than non-vegetarian foods when it comes to the children.

The carbohydrates found in vegetables, beans and grains will provide the adequate energy needed by your kid. Introduce your child to eating wheat breads, brown rice, oats, as well as corn. You should make sure that you kid gets adequate amount of fiber content. Avoiding drinks like colas and sugary drinks, etc will also go a long way in terms of health for your kids.

Protein found in meats can be replaced by consuming beans, grains, and fruits which will replace the protein needed for your child's growth.
Meat is not necessarily bad for children, but unfortunately a lot of the meat products that kids eat is the over processed kind with added chemicals and hormones.

Different Types Of Vegetarians

Most of us think that vegetarians are of just one category, people who don't eat any meat at all. But it seems that there are different groups among vegetarians too.

In general a vegetarian is described as those who do not eat any form of meat. One category of vegetarian is lacto-ovo vegetarian, those who does not eat fish, meat or poultry but does eat milk, cheese and eggs. A lacto vegetarian is the one who consume milk and milk products but does not consume eggs.

Another variety in a vegetarian is vegan who does not intake any form of animal products including dairy products. They consume only fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and grains. They do not even wear leather which is an animal product. Most conservative form of vegans don't even consume sugar as producers subject the regular sugar to animal bone to get that white color.

There is even a subset among them called fruitarians who consumes only fruits. They have their own way of thinking, believing that fruits alone are enough to balance our life and bring harmony to the earth.

The most conservative vegetarians can stick to vegetarianism but need to make sure that they get a balanced diet.

Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet in Diabetics

It is extremely important for those who suffer from diabetes to choose and eat the proper food as it makes a huge impact on their health. Since diabetes can affect almost anyone and can lead to other serious illnesses it is essential to stick to a diet, and a vegetarian diet rich in fiber and essential nutrients can be beneficial.

Around 30 to 40 million people worldwide become affected by diabetes every year. The normal body process is that the food that we eat gets changed into glucose which is actually a sugar which helps in carrying blood to all the cells. But when it comes to diabetics, they actually cannot control the production or glucose. The natural insulin which helps does this is reduced or not available at all and hence leading to excess glucose which may in turn lead to other symptoms of diabetes like weakness, loss of concentration, blurred vision, etc.

If a correct balanced vegetarian food is not consumed by diabetics, this can also lead to low blood sugar level and if it continues can lead to other serious issues in the future. Hence it is advisable for people with diabeties to stick to a mostly vegetarian diet.

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