The Truth About Vegetarians!

 Vegetarians DO get health benefits if you have a well-planned vegetarian diet!  I have only been a vegetarian for about 3 months but I love it.  I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian, meaning I do consume dairy products and eggs but no meat.  I gave up beef for about a year then decided to try to give up meat all together, and I think it has been very beneficial!  Some think it is too difficult and takes too much effort to plan meals but it’s really not that hard!  Others wonder how I get sufficient amounts of protein- which is the thing I worry about the most.  I make sure to consume a lot of legumes, nuts, yogurt, chickpeas, soy products, etc.  I have recently been trying to incorporate protein rich foods like tempeh and tofu into my diet. One cup of tofu contains 20g of protein! That’s almost half of your daily needs (45g).  Most people that each a variety of foods, including meat, get more protein than they actually need! Good amounts of iron come from many of these products I have listed and others that I often have including hummus, peas, and spinach!  Since I still incorporate dairy products into my diet I am getting enough calcium and vitamins b-12 also.  See? It’s really not as bad as it sounds! 🙂  It has been shown that vegetarians have future health benefits.  Our diets usually contain less fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol along with higher levels of magnesium and folate.  Since these diets are often times geared towards fresh fruits and vegetables, a vegetarian will be consuming high amounts of antioxidents, dietary fiber, and phytochemicals which help prevent cancer.  It was also shown that vegetarians are less likely to develop heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.  This website goes in depth on each subject if you are interested.  If not, at least try to incorporate meatless Mondays into your schedule!http://www.vegetarian-nutrition.info/updates/vegetarian_diets_health_benefits.php

This link is to a research study done in the UK on vegetarians and nonvegetarians for 12 years.  The results also show that vegetarian do show future health benefits.http://www.aafp.org/afp/2009/0401/p541.html

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