Have you ever thought of becoming a vegetarian? Perhaps you are an animal lover who wants to cut out all meat and animal products from your diet. There’s no doubt that reducing your meat intake and switching to a plant-based diet are both great ways to improve your health and the environment.
But making the switch can be confusing. Should I not eat any animal products at all? Can I eat fish now and then? Here’s a quick look at the variety of food choice lifestyles available today.
What is a vegetarian?
It’s the practice of eating a diet that eliminates all meat, including fish, shellfish and other sea animals, and poultry. There are variants of the diet, some of which also exclude eggs.
- Lacto-vegetarians exclude meat, fish, poultry and eggs, as well as foods that contain them. They do eat dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt and butter.
- Lacto-ovo vegetarians exclude meat, fish, and poultry, but allow dairy products and eggs.
- Ovo-vegetarians exclude meat, fish, poultry, seafood and dairy products, but they eat eggs. They do not eat gelatin or other animal by-products.
- Partial vegetarians exclude meat but may eat fish or poultry.
- Vegan diets exclude all meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy—and foods that contain these products.
- Pescetarians eat a mostly vegetarian diet with the addition of fish.
Approximately six to eight million adults in the United States eat no meat, fish, or poultry, according to a Harris Interactive poll. Several million more have eliminated red meat but still eat chicken or fish. About two million have become vegans. Studies recognize that plant-based eating is not only nutritious but a way to reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses.1
Do vegetarians need more protein?
No. A diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, beans, grains and legumes provides just the right amount of protein your body needs. Plus, these foods do not contain the fat, chemicals and antibiotics that animal products have.
Healthy meat alternatives.
Nuts, walnuts, peanuts and almonds in particular, can be eaten for their omega-3 content. They are high in protein and fiber, too. Just watch the quantity that you eat at one sitting, as nuts are high in calories.
Soy is loaded with protein and low in fat. Be sure to buy organic, as most commercial soy beans today are genetically engineered.
Tofu is an excellent substitute for poultry and beef. It adds texture, fiber and healthy protein to your meal. Marinate and sauté tofu and tempeh using sesame oil, tamari, and ginger.
Genesis PURE Mila can supplement your diet with plant-based fiber and protein. It is a whole, raw super food and a natural source of omega-3s, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.
How do vegetarians get their calcium?
The fruits and vegetables in plant-based diets provide calcium. Try kale, collard greens, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, red beans, seeds, raw nuts, etc.
Genesis PURE Daily Build is a comprehensive multivitamin intended to support your on-the-go lifestyle. Not only does it contain superfruits, super greens and organic sea vegetables, it provides 100% of your daily need of vitamin D and is a good source of calcium.
Do vegetarians miss out on important nutrients?
Vegetarians may miss out on nutrients that are found in beef, fish and poultry, such as iron and omega-3s. However, good sources of iron include lentils, broccoli, chick peas, prunes, watermelon, green beans, peanut butter, raising, apricots, almonds and kale. Genesis PURE Mila is a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids which play a crucial role in normal growth and development and brain function. It has also been shown to support heart health.
What is a vegan?
Veganism is a philosophy and lifestyle that excludes the use of animals for food, clothing or any other purpose. Vegans do not consume animal products of any kind, nor do they consume any food that is derived from animals.
Like vegetarians, vegans meet their protein needs by eating a variety of nuts, vegetables and grains. Vegans must get their calcium from fortified sources or soy products. Vegans should supplement their diet with vitamin B12. This vitamin is important for healthy blood and nerve cells and for making DNA.
Choosing to go on a vegetarian or vegan diet is a personal decision.
Both diets have the least saturated fat. People on these diets also consume more carbohydrates, dietary fiber, minerals and phytochemicals, all very important for wellness.
As Americans, most of us do not meet the minimum servings of fruit and vegetable each day as part of a healthy diet. There is a benefit to being vegetarian or vegan to ensure that you do get your recommended amounts, as long as you do more than just avoid eating animal foods. If you decide to go this route, make the transition slowly. Introduce more and more vegetarian meals per week.
Remember that eating habits are personal. Something may work for one person, and not for the other. Whatever diet you choose, eating a diet that is fresh and unprocessed is always the best.
Find some great recipes using Genesis PURE products at http://www.genesispure.com/recipes. Begin your journey to Whole Health and learn more about our wellness products at http://www.genesispure.com/.
1 http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/becoming-a-vegetarian*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.