Being Vegetarian – What Does This Really Mean?

Many people all over the world love to eat meat, but there are those who only want to eat vegetables. There are many reasons a person wants to be a vegetarian, but perhaps the most obvious factor is economics. Vegetables are far more affordable than meat and healthier as well, so the latter is only used for special occasions. Incidentally, even if meat is plentiful in some gatherings, there are some individuals who want to eat it moderately. Vegetarianism is a term used for people who want to eat vegetables exclusively because they value their health and do not want to get sick with meat-related ailments.

For other people, their religious belief prevents them from eating meat because they think that eating animals is not right. Still, other people have expressed concern over the environment so they chose to be vegetarian. Hard-core vegetarians do not consume meat at all and that includes fish and chicken. On the other hand, a lacto-ovo vegetarian will eat eggs dairy products, but not meat. Those who follow a strict form of vegetarianism called veganism do not eat all meat products, eggs, dairy products together with gelatin and honey that are made of animal products.

Many years ago, many Americans often consider individuals who do not eat meat as queer, but times are changing. Vegetarianism is taking the world by storm although vegetarians are still a minority in the United States. ADA also known as the American Dietetic Association has endorsed vegetarian diets because these are very beneficial for those who are conscious with their health. Being a vegetarian is not strange anymore because people have embraced the idea that eating vegetables makes one stronger in body and spirit. Furthermore, a growing number of schools and restaurants are serving vegetables in their menus instead of the usual jelly or peanut butter sandwich.

Becoming a vegetarian is easier said than done and people have to educate themselves first and plan their diets carefully. If these people are able to maintain a strictly vegetarian diet, they will become stronger; have firmer muscles and bones, and a higher energy to boot. Would-be vegetarians though have to be cautious with a vegetarian diet because it is lacking in zinc, vitamins B12 and D, calcium, iron and protein. Fortunately, in lieu of eggs, dairy products, and fish people can take other alternatives such as mineral supplements and multiple vitamins.

In regard to vitamins, those who are not getting enough Vitamin D from the sun may resort to buying breakfast cereals and soy milk that is fortified. A vegetarian who wants protein sans the meat can eat various foods like nuts, peanut butter, eggs, tofu, soy milk and grains to name a few. Supplements will be needed if people want to take in B12 which is typically found in animal products. Zinc is another mineral requirement that people need for their bodies, so the best foods for them are nuts, soy products, dried beans and fortified cereals. Lastly, a vegetarian must consult with a dietician and discuss what foods he or she may take.

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