What is a Vegetarian
A vegetarian is a person who eats a diet that consists mostly or entirely of food stuffs that come strictly from plants such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and grain products. The term’ Vegetarian’ is divided into several sub-categories. Vegetarians have meals that contain of no meat or animal fat, although they may consume dairy products or sometimes fish. Vegans are people who use no animal products whatsoever, in any form. A gluten free diet is sometimes associated with vegetarianism, and isn’t necessarily meat free, as long as it is wheat free.
Many studies have indicated that vegetarian diets lower the risk for several health concerns. It is seen to lower the incidences of obesity, high blood pressure, and even heart disease and certain cancers. It is also shown to help moderate symptoms of diabetes. A vegetarian diet should be carefully planned to ensure that it includes all the necessary vitamins and minerals.
How does it improve health?
Many researchers tend to believe that a predominately vegetarian diet induces better health mainly because it has less saturated fat, protein, and cholesterol in general than diets that contain animal foods. Predominately plant based diets also deliver more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, and numerous phytochemicals than diets containing more meat . Researchers also tend to believe that its natural for humans to consume plant derived foods. Some vegetarians don,t consume animal products based on cultural, moral, religious or philosophical reasons.
What complications may be present?
Those people who are planning to implement a strict vegetarian diet, must ensure that they get enough protein. There are other nutrients that a vegetarian should be careful to include in their diets, such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and iron (see chart). It is generally recommended that a person planning to become a vegetarian should consult with a registered dietitian before beginning. This is a good idea because a vegetarian diet may have a wide variance of what foods are included in what is actually eaten, and people may not get all the essential nutrients . Seeing a dietitian is more critical children and pregnant women. Women who are breastfeeding should take supplements of vitamin B12 to ensure the proper development of their infants. Dietitians will recommend a gradual diet change to help your body adjust to changes more slowly.