Many people think that becoming a vegetarian is a challenging task. To add on, the most widespread thinking that meat and other poultry products give you more protein than a vegetarian diet alone is enough to confuse people. Another thought that pushes people to take one step back is that it would be strenuous to dine out if you are a vegetarian. These thoughts really affect their decisions, and thus, they get afraid of becoming a vegetarian. I believe everything depends on your determination. In fact, I have witnessed many hardcore meat lovers gradually converted into a vegetarian for many reasons in my surroundings. It is not always tough to become a vegetarian. Here are some benefits that may help you try this transition into a vegetarian diet if you have been thinking of it for a long time.
What is a Vegetarian Diet?
First of all, you should know what a vegetarian diet is? A vegetarian diet consists of foods that do not contain any meat, fish, meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood. However, a few exceptions to a vegetarian diet solely depend on whether you eat or exclude eggs, dairy, and fish.
Nowadays there are many kinds of vegetarian people. For example, there are pescetarians, also called pesco-vegetarians; although they have a lot in common with vegetarians, you still won’t call them pure vegetarians. Their food includes freshwater fish, shellfish along with fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, eggs, nuts, and dairy, although they stay away from meat and poultry. While some are lacto-ovo-vegetarian, their diet is a primarily plant-based diet that excludes meat, fish, and poultry but includes dairy and eggs. ‘Lacto’ refers to dairy products, while ‘ovo’ refers to eggs. Finally, vegans do not eat anything that comes from the animal in any direct or indirect form (eggs, meat, poultry, fish, seafood, and dairy).
Reason Why People are Becoming Vegetarians?
People are vegetarian or become vegetarian for many reasons, and 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 they gave up meat and fish because they did not morally approve of killing animals. In contrast, others objected to how animals are kept and treated then killed for food. In a majority of the US population nowadays, awareness of the importance of healthy food leads them to become vegetarian. Vegetarian food contains low fat, high fiber, and a healthy choice which most dieticians and doctors recommend these days. Environmental concern is yet another reason that most people are converting. Some of them have religious concerns as well.
Also Read: To overcome severe health conditions, you must know how important it is to have the right food intake to prevent obesity.
Benefits of Being a Vegetarian
Many studies have shown that vegetarians have less risk of diseases like obesity, lung cancer, muscle cramps. In addition, they have lower risks for type 2 diabetes, hypertension, gallstones, high blood pressure, and arterial diseases. Therefore, many large scientific bodies have suggested consuming a vegetarian diet such as whole grains, legumes, vegetables, nuts, and fruits with no meat and animal products and a regular exercise program such as yoga or aerobics to lower the risk of diseases mentioned above.
Multi grains and many other plant foods contain fiber, but the dietary fiber in animal products is almost none. Fiber is essential in our diet as it helps in the digestion process and lessens constipation problems. Lack of fiber leads to having a higher percentage of colon cancer cases. It is ubiquitous in American society that people take laxatives due to a lack of fiber in their diet and low water intake. A higher percentage of the US population eats a considerable amount of meat in their diet, which provides nearly five times the protein as recommended. Excess protein causes higher chances of leaching calcium from the bones, further leading to bone disorder due to calcium deficiency.
What to Eat?
Once you become a vegan from a meat-eater, you should know what to eat and how many times you should eat. The main thing to take care of in a vegetarian diet is to have a well-balanced diet. You should eat a variety of foods because every single vegetarian food item doesn’t contain 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 or soy products that contain a sufficient amount of protein our body needs. Becoming a vegetarian does not mean that you start eating whatever you find, especially junk foods or fried fast foods containing high levels of trans fat; avoid processed food that contains saturated fat contents. Instead, include as many fresh fruits and vegetables as available in your area.
Also Read: To get the most out of your diet you should know the best timing to eat them.
Eating Out is Indeed a Challenge!
It is quite true that you will get fewer options for a purely vegetarian dish in restaurants, especially in the US. But this does not mean that you do not have any vegetarian dishes to choose. You will find various salads, bowls, fruit bowls, soups, and even veggie burgers in restaurants. If you do not find burgers with only veggies, you can always request them with veggies only. Similarly, you can also ask about the contents of salad, soups before ordering; it is quite possible that the dressing they use in salads may have some animal products in it. Even the soup also can contain some traces of meat. 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 entirely 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 about your decision of becoming a vegetarian.