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Becoming Vegetarian

Becoming Vegetarian
People become vegetarians for many reasons.  Many reasons include:
  •     health,
  •     religious convictions,
  •     concerns about animal welfare or the use of antibiotics and hormones in livestock,
  •     a desire to eat in a way that avoids excessive use of environmental resources.
  •     some people follow a largely vegetarian diet because they can't afford to eat meat.

Nowadays, becoming a vegetarian has become more appealing and accessible.  This is in part due to the year-round availability of fresh produce, as well as more vegetarian meal options.  The growing culinary influence of cultures with their largely plant-based diets also makes it easier for vegetarians.

Has the Pendulum Swung the Other Way Towards Health Benefits When It Comes to Being Vegetarian?

Traditionally, research into vegetarianism focused mainly on potential nutritional deficiencies, however in recent years, the pendulum has swung the other way, favouring vegetarianism in terms of health. According to the American Dietetic Association, "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."

What Is the Best Way to Approach Vegetarianism

Planning appropriately is the operative term. Unless you follow a wholefood diet, becoming a vegetarian won't necessarily be good for you. If you follow a diet of high sugar foods, high processed foods and I fat foods such as soda, cheese pizza, and convenience foods, cakes, cookies, you will not reach optimum health.

For good vegetarian health, it's important to make sure that you eat a wide variety of fruits, legumes, vegetables, and whole grains. It's also vital to replace saturated and trans fats with good fats, such as those found in nuts, olive oil, avocado and fish oil.

It is also important to always keep in mind that if you eat too many calories, and you don’t exercise enough, even if you consume nutritious, low-fat, plant-based foods, you can still gain weight. Thus, it's important to practice portion control, always read food labels looking out for trans fats and sugar content, and engage in regular physical activity.

Topic: Nutrition

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