When it comes to vegetarianism, the fact that one size doesn’t fit all cannot be denied. Several food and health experts are of the opinion that today more and more individuals are adopting some kind of vegetarian diet, however, what they opt to eat and not eat relies on what type of vegetarian they want to be. Many believe that the number of people eating vegetarian diet is growing, as there are large numbers of options available in restaurant menus and in pre-packaged foods at the grocery store.
Being Vegetarian What does it actually mean?
Generally Speaking, the diet of a vegetarian comprises of vegetables, fruits, peas and dried beans, grains, nuts and seeds and no meat and fish. However, even within the vegetarian category, there are several subgroups, which include the following:
Lacto vegetarians consuming plant foods plus dairy products
Lacto-ovo vegetarians consuming both dairy products and eggs
Vegans avoiding all animal products no eggs, no dairy and consume only grains, vegetables and fruits
The next category is those who call themselves semi vegetarians. Several of the top 10 dietitians and experts in the country believe that semi-vegetarian doesn’t have one standard definition. A semi vegetarian could be an individual who typically eats vegetarian diet, however, occasionally eats meat, for example, or it could be someone who doesn’t eat red meat but eats other type of meat.
Diet Including Raw Foods
There are some individuals who also eat and enjoy a raw food diet. In a raw food diet, an individual is enticed to eat uncooked stuff that’s truly raw products, uncooked, non-homogenized, etc. Again, there isn’t a single definition as it bundles a bunch of things. For instance, some individuals would eat all of raw foods or others consider eating raw foods even if they actually eat a two third portion of it. A raw food diet could include vegetable only or might even include meat, fish and eggs as well.
Why do People Opt for a Vegetarian Diet?
There are different reasons people prefer a vegetarian diet, but most prefer the diet for health reasons. A recent study has revealed that vegetarians have a lower body mass index (BMI) and lower cholesterol and are less likely to be affected from heart disease. They could also be at lower risk for other drastic diseases and can have effective weight loss as well. Others turn towards a vegetarian diet for religious beliefs, due to environmental or animal welfare concerns, just for economic reasons or because they just don’t like the taste as well as texture of meat.
Does a Vegetarian Diet really offer Health Benefits?
Individuals who consume only a vegetarian diet might not be providing their body vital nutrients it really requires to function optimally. The specific concern remains for vitamin B-12, which comes naturally only from animal sources, vitamin D, iron, zinc and calcium. So, if you are considering switching to a complete vegetarian diet, it’s recommended to talk to an expert nutritionist/dietician to ensure you get the nutrients you require to stay healthy.
Being a vegetarian is not bad at all provided you know what type of a vegetarian you want to be and you are having all nutrients in a proportionate manner.