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A vege-WHAT?

Vegetarianism has increased in popularity over the years for various reasons. People have switched their diets to meet vegetarian requirements for religious, health, animal rights, or other personal reasons. Vegetarianism flourishes every year, as more restaurants and schools cater to their dietary needs.
Even with the rise of vegetarianism, many still face raised eyebrows or questions like “how do you get enough protein?” and “don’t you get more tired if you never eat meat?”

5 types of vegetarians

DietFish/ShellfishEggsDairy
VeganNoNoNo
Lacto-vegetarianNoNoYes
Ovo-lacto vegetarianNoYesYes
Ovo-vegetarianNoYesNo
Pesco-vegetarianYesYesYes

What do Vegetarians eat?

To get their daily protein requirements fulfilled, vegetarians choose foods like tofu, tempeh, miso, seitan, soy proteins such as soy milk and protein powders made from soy-concentrate. For ovo-lacto vegetarians, protein intake consists of the above with the addition of cheese, milk, eggs, and whey protein.

The Vegan

Vegans follow a plant-based diet, avoiding the consumption of any animal products. While vegetarians avoid eating meat, vegans omit all animal products such as dairy from their diets. Many vegans also focus on animal rights, eliminating use of fur, leather, and wool. As well as cosmetic products treated on animals.

Benefits of going Vegan

While it may be difficult to “go vegan,” most experts and long-time vegans highly encourage that people introduce the new lifestyle slowly and steadily. Vegans generally report experiencing less stress with their natural diets, as they remove the consumption of animal products from their diets.

In fact, the American Dietetic Association and Dieticians of Canada state that vegetarian diets provide health benefits by helping to prevent diseases. Dieticians of Canada also assert that vegetarian and vegan diets offer many nutritional benefits such as lower levels of cholesterol and fat, higher levels of fiber, folate, potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E. Studies have shown that vegetarians tend to have lower rates of death from heart disease and exhibit lower levels of type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

The Vitamin B-12 Factor

One of the largest concerns regarding the vegan diet resides in the threat of vitamin B-12 deficiency. Vitamin B-12 a member of the vitamin-B complex responsible for the synthesis of red blood cells and nervous system maintenance and is found predominantly in eggs, meat and dairy. Vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to anemia and even nervous system damage.

Vegans can receive an adequate supply of vitamin B-12 by incorporating vitamin B-12 fortified foods like soy milk, veggie burgers, and breakfast cereals. To enjoy the benefits of vitamin B-12, consume fortified foods two to three times a day or take one vitamin B-12 supplement with at least 10 micrograms every day.

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