Herbivorous Habits a Proven Plus

Posted on May 10, 2011 by

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In recent years, the vegetarian lifestyle has become more and more popular among Americans. However, these eating habits seem to be considered more of a way of life than a diet. The word “vegetarian” is more of a blanket term that covers all different groups of people who do not eat meat, poultry, fish, or seafood.

The other main classification of vegetarian-like people is “vegans.” Vegans have the strictest eating habits. They do not consume any animal products or animal byproducts. Some vegans go as far as to not wear any clothing made from animals. Besides vegetarians and vegans, there are four sub-categories of herbivorous eaters.

One group is semi-vegetarians, who consume dairy products, eggs, chicken, and fish, but do not consume other animal flesh. The second group is the largest group: ovo-lacto-vegetarians, who do not consume meat, poultry, fish, and seafood, but do consume eggs and milk.  Another category of vegetarians is ovo-vegetarians; they would be vegans if they did not consume eggs. The last category of vegetarians is lacto-vegetarians, who would be vegan if they did not drink milk.

These are the most well know types of vegetarians, but being a vegetarian is not limited to just these six groups. The vegetarian lifestyle can be altered to a person’s own needs.

Eating vegetarian is very beneficial to one’s health. Scientific research has shown that being vegetarian is consistently associated with lower blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, less obesity, and, consequently, less heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and mortality.

For people who are questioning the nutritional health of eating no meat or animal byproducts and having a lack of protein in their diet, there are no worries. Vegetarians can eat beans and grains, which are excellent sources of protein. There are many kinds of beans to eat, such as soy, kidney, lima, pinto, cranberry, navy, Great Northern, garbanzo, and black-eyed peas. Tofu, or soy bean curd, is a favorite among vegetarians. This can be used in dips and spreads or served with pasta or stir-fried vegetables.

Sophomore Melissa Danweber said, “I was a vegetarian for a couple of months, and it was really good. Although it was challenging, the food was really good and healthy.”

A study published by the World Cancer Research Fund showed that a human’s risk of cancer can be considerably lowered by choosing a predominantly plant-based diet. Also, the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, as well as Loma Linda University and the School of Public Health in Loma Linda, California, conducted  a survey that discovered that vegetarians are more likely to survive from cardiovascular diseases. Obviously, being a vegetarian has some real health benefits.

The vegetarian lifestyle is becoming very popular among Americans and many other nationalities. Considering the positive health benefits, becoming a vegetarian could be a great idea for anyone.

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