Many people say that becoming a vegetarian is a difficult task. Moreover, it is a general thinking that meat and other poultry products give you more protein that is needed by the body and you will not get it on a vegetarian diet alone. It is a general opinion, “It is very difficult to dine out if I become a vegetarian, it is not possible.” and thus they are afraid of becoming vegetarian. Well, in my surrounding there are many people who were a meat lover but gradually they convert into a vegetarian for many reasons. It is not always tough to become a vegetarian. Here are some benefits that may help you to try this transition into a vegetarian diet if you are thinking of it from a long time.
First of all, you should know what is a vegetarian diet? A vegetarian diet consists of the foods which do not contain any meat in it. Well, now a days there are many kinds of vegetarian people. There are pesco-vegetarians who eat fish and fish products, lacto-ovo vegetarians are those who eat dairy products and eggs but reject other animal products. There are some people who do not take beef and pork but eat other meats and dairies and called themselves semi-vegetarian. Finally, there are vegans who do not eat anything which comes from the animal in any direct or indirect form.
People are vegetarian or become vegetarian because of many reasons. First of all, it is a highly personal and individual decision that anyone can make. However, according to a survey conducted on behalf of the vegetarian society, most people said that they gave up meat and fish because they did not morally approve the killing of animals, while others, they objected the ways in which animals are kept and treated and then killed for food. In a majority of the US population now days awareness of the importance of healthy food, leads them to becoming vegetarian. Because vegetarian food contains low fat, high fiber diet which is recommended by most dieticians and doctors. Environmental concern is yet another reason that most people are converting. Some of them have religious concerns as well.
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Benefits of Being a Vegetarian
Many studies have shown that the vegetarians have less risk of diseases like obesity, lung cancer, muscle cramps. Even they have lower risks for type II Diabetes, hyper tension, gallstones, high blood pressure, and arterial diseases. Many large scientific bodies have suggested the consumption of a vegetarian diet such as whole grains, legumes, vegetables, nuts, and fruits with no meat and animal products along with a regular exercise program to lower the risk of diseases mentioned above.
Multi grains and many other plant foods contain fiber but the dietary fiber in case of animal products are almost none. Fiber is very important in our diet as it helps in proper stool production. Lack of fiber leads to have a higher percentage of the colon cancer cases. It is very common in the American society that people take laxatives; this is because of the lack of fiber in their diet and lack of drinking enough water.
The higher percentage of the US population eats a huge amount of meat in their diet which provides near about five times the protein as it is recommended. Excess protein causes higher chances of leaching calcium from the bones. Bone disorder is the major problem which occurs due to the calcium leaching.
What to Eat?
Well, once you become a vegetarian from a meat eater, you should know what to eat and how many times you should eat. The main thing to take care in a vegetarian diet is to have a good balanced diet. You should eat a variety of foods, because not a single vegetarian food item contains all vitamins and minerals needed for your body. Most people think that animal product is only the source of protein, but this is not true. There are several food items such as soya and soy products that contains a sufficient amount of protein needed by our body. Becoming a vegetarian does not mean that you start eating whatever you find especially those junky stuffs. Avoid processed food that contains saturated fat contents. Include as many fresh fruits and vegetables available in your area.
It is quite true that you will get less options of a purely vegetarian dish in restaurants, especially in the US. But this does not mean that you do not have any vegetarian dishes. You will find a variety of salads bowls, fruit bowls, soups and even veggie burgers in a restaurants. In case you do not find burgers with only veggies, you can always request them your own creation with veggies only. Similarly, you can also ask the contents of salad, soups before ordering. Because it is quite possible that the dressing they use in salads may have some animal products in it and even the soup also can contain some traces of meat in it. Do not hesitate to ask. You will get lots of vegetarian dishes in Chinese and Italian restaurants. But do not forget to ask about the contents of the dish being served to you.
Changing into a vegetarian is a personal choice. It is indeed a big decision though. It takes a long time for someone to change their diet fully to a vegetarian only while others just change within a wink of a second. If someone is compelling you to eat meat or making fun of you on the table, don’t get embarrassed and speak for yourself; no one has the right to disrespect you for your choice. Be calm instead of getting hostile.
Lastly, be happy for being a vegetarian.
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