Saturday, September 8, 2007

Vegetarianism is Healthy

If you are a vegetarian, you have company. In fact, lots of it. Currently, even in America the land of meat and ham, more than 12.4 million individuals are vegetarians by choice. Mahatma Gandhi, George Bernard Shaw and Albert Einstein were all veggies. So you are in hallowed company too. Vegetarianism, or the practice of excluding one or more type of animal products from your diet, is more than just a food habit – it’s a lifestyle that is here to stay.

Do you know why more and more people are embracing vegetarianism? Because it permits you to lead a healthier, disease-free lifestyle. Check out these amazing health benefits of vegetarianism:
  • Veggies have lower mortality rates because they are less prone to certain cancers and heart diseases.
  • Vegetarians have less chances of getting colon cancer.
  • Vegetarianism is a natural substitute for anti-impotency drugs. In most cases of impotency, blocked arteries are to blame. Reducing or eliminating meat could help with this problem.
  • Veggies have lower rates of coronary artery disease, hypertension and non-insulin dependent diabetes than non-vegetarians.
  • They also have fewer kidney and gall stones.
  • Recent research has shown that plant food diets or veggie diets are the best way of controlling diabetes

Did you know that vegetarians are of four kinds? Puzzled, then read on:

A vegan is someone who does not eat any animal flesh or products, meaning no milk or eggs either.
An ovo vegetarian is someone who doesn’t eat any animal flesh, does eat eggs but not dairy products.
Lacto-ovo vegetarians eat eggs and dairy products but abstain from animal flesh. And lastly, there are Lacto vegetarians who eat dairy products but avoid animal products and eggs.

A standard Indian balanced diet for a sedentary worker is a lacto vegetarian diet, where the nutrient composition of the diet fully meets with the recommended dietary allowance. An Indian vegetarian diet generally includes milk, legumes and pulses, nuts, vegetable oils, vegetables, fruits. And if you thought that vegetarians were lacking in any nutrient, you were wrong. A vegetarian diet is complete and able to meet all the nutritional requirements of your body more satisfactorily than a non-vegetarian diet.

People choose to be vegetarians for different reasons. It could be for ethical reasons, health benefits, religious reasons or simply a matter of food habits and preferences. Whatever be the reason, a vegetarian diet is a good safeguard against chronic diseases and definitely healthy, hip and happening.

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