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Understanding Vegetarianism

Is it possible to get all the nutrients that the body needs with a vegetarian diet? According to some experts it is possible as long as you follow a well-planed nutritional program. First of all, you should know that there are different types of vegetarian diets. The main four categories are: ovo-vegetarian, lacto-ovo vegetarian, lacto-vegetarian and vegan. All of them have in common that they do not eat meat. Nevertheless, ovo-vegetarians eat eggs, lacto-ovo vegetarians eat eggs and dairy products, lacto-vegetarians diary products, and vegans consume products that come from plants only. Some other people do not eat red meat but eat fish or poultry; they are semi-vegetarians.

There are many reasons to be a vegetarian. Some religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism or Taoism do not support the idea of destroying life. For that reason, their followers do not eat products derived from animals. Others decide to follow a vegetarian program for health and nutritious reasons. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in meat and animal fat is known to lower the risks of suffering cancer, heart disease, stroke, blood pressure, colon cancer, renal failure, among others. On the other hand, some people consider that the production and consumption of animal products is an unethical practice that violates animal rights. In some cases, you are a vegetarian because you grew up in a vegetarian family.

Although many nutritionists agree that vegetarianism is a healthy eating habit, you must be careful and follow a diet that provides you with all the nutrients that your body needs. This is especially important in regards to children and teens. No doubt, a diet full of vegetables, fruits and grains and low in fat is the best way to improve your cardiovascular health and keep a healthy weight. Nevertheless, you have to make sure you get the adequate amounts of certain vitamins, nutrients and minerals by knowing in which products they can be found. Thus, make sure you are getting vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, protein, iron, and zinc in the right amounts. If you really believe that you want to have a vegetarian way of life, just make sure that your diet gives you all the substances that your body needs to be healthy.

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