Time to Go Vegetarian or Vegan?

Tofu Skewers

“I’m a vegan.” Have you heard that lately? It seems like everyone’s doing it, even J-Lo! Could being a vegetarian or vegan be the next best thing to going ‘gluten free’? And more importantly, is it for you?

This following articles will look at the different types of vegetarians and what they eat, the challenges with meeting nutritional needs on a vegetarian diet, preparing healthy vegetarian meals and meeting the needs of a vegetarian athlete. For simplicity I’m going to refer to all vegetarians and vegans as ‘vegetarians’.

Before I go on, I must confess that I am indeed a vegetarian and occasional vegan. I have been since I was 15. But when I went vegetarian, I didn’t have a clue about the nutritional implications of an unbalanced vegetarian diet. As a result, my early vegetarian diet days were not as healthy as they should have been. I know I’m not alone in that experience. So, if you are considering going vegetarian you need to be prepared to read up well and learn how to have a well balanced, healthy vegetarian diet as this is essential to good health and sustaining this lifestyle.

Living ‘la vida vegetariana’ is definitely not for everyone but if you are contemplating it, you should know all the facts before making the change.

What is a Vegetarian or Vegan?

Simply said, it is someone that partially or fully avoids all animal products. There are different types of vegetarians, here are some of the main ones.

Vegan Avoid all animal foods and products including all meats, eggs, dairy, honey and even products made from animals e.g. leather, wool etc
Lacto-ovo-vegetarian Avoids all animal foods except eggs and dairy.
Lacto – vegetarian Avoid all animal foods except dairy.
Ovo-vegetarian Avoid all animal foods except egg.
Pesco-vegetarian Usually a lacto-ovo vegetarian who also eats fish.
Pseudo vegetarian Usually avoids red meat, but includes poultry, beef extracts e.g. gelatin, fish, eggs and dairy products.
Fruitarian Avoids everything except raw or dried fruits, nuts, seeds, honey and plant based oil.
Macrobiotic Strictly avoids processed foods and exclude all meat, dairy and eggs. They consume warm cooked grains, vegetables, pulses, seaweeds, and fermented products.

Is a Vegetarian Diet Healthier?

The simple answer is; not necessarily. Just because you don’t eat meat or animal products doesn’t mean what you do eat is healthy. A vegetarian who lives on processed foods is no healthier than an omnivore (meat and plants based diet) that lives on processed food. An unbalanced vegetarian or omnivore diet can both lead to deficiencies and poor health.

The American Dietetic Association states that ‘appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases’. Note the part where it says ‘appropriately planned’! Research also shows that vegetarians appear to have lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes than non-vegetarians. So we can see that a well-planned vegetarian diet is healthy and may even reduce risks of diet related diseases but the same goes for a healthy omnivore diet too.

Achieving a healthy vegetarian diet takes planning. The next article will look at nutrients needed to achieve a healthy vegetarian diet.

Get Free Email Updates!

Signup now and receive an email once I publish new content.

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Post author

There are 13 Comments

  1. Posted by http://bit.ly/2hBUZfm Reply

    Hello there, I found your website by means of
    Google whilst searching for a similar subject, your site got
    here up, it seems to be good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    Hello there, simply was aware of your blog via Google, and found that it is really
    informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels. I will be grateful in the event you proceed this in future.
    A lot of folks might be benefited out of your writing.
    Cheers!

  2. Posted by sales skills identifying Reply

    Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up
    and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading properly.

    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same results.

  3. Posted by diagnostics automobile diagnostics Reply

    What a stuff of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious familiarity concerning
    unexpected feelings.

  4. Posted by calculator australia Reply

    Very quickly this web page will be famous
    among all blog people, due to it’s good articles

  5. Posted by Nydia Reply

    Excellent, what a website it is! This web site provides valuable information to us, keep
    it up.

  6. Posted by Brigida Reply

    Hi terrific blog! Does running a blog similar to this require a great deal of work?
    I’ve very little knowledge of coding however I had been hoping to start my own blog
    soon. Anyways, should you have any recommendations or tips
    for new blog owners please share. I understand this is
    off topic however I just needed to ask. Cheers!

  7. Posted by advisors stands Reply

    Normally I do not learn post on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very compelled me to
    take a look at and do so! Your writing taste has been amazed me.
    Thanks, quite great article.

  8. Posted by word audio Reply

    Thanks very interesting blog!

  9. Posted by Shawnee Reply

    If some one desires to be updated with latest technologies therefore he must be pay a quick
    visit this site and be up to date all the time.

  10. Posted by Parthenia Reply

    Hi! I could have sworn I’ve visited this blog before but after browsing through many of the posts I
    realized it’s new to me. Regardless, I’m definitely pleased I found it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back
    regularly!

  11. Posted by Michel Reply

    It is not my first time to pay a visit this web site, i am visiting this website
    dailly and get nice data from here daily.

  12. Posted by Jani Reply

    Its such as you learn my thoughts! You seem to understand a lot
    approximately this, such as you wrote the guide
    in it or something. I feel that you could do with a few percent
    to pressure the message house a little bit, but other than that, this is wonderful blog.
    An excellent read. I’ll definitely be back.

  13. Posted by https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AQfU9egDiY Reply

    What a material of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable know-how regarding unexpected feelings.

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.