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The Difference between Vegan & Vegetarian
If you recently started reading about vegetarian diets, you have probably read all sorts of strange vegetarian terms and categories like “vegan” “ovo-lacto vegetarian,” and “semi-vegetarian.” You probably wondered what the big deal is, after all, what is tough about not eating meat? And you’re right! The distinctions between these sub-categories of vegetarian are actually small, but each is very important to members who belong to the groups.
It is very difficult and nearly impossible for a majority of individuals to realize optimal health and peak performance under modern stress conditions if they choose a vegetarian or “vegan” lifestyle. Now this statement is not meant to offend or discourage you from adhering to a non-flesh and/or no animal source diet.
The key is to be diligent and consistent in the application of the principles of good nutrition. Almost everyone recognizes that nutrition is one of the vital factors for establishing and maintaining health, and ignoring it can be perilous. Also people prefer a variety of foods rather than restricting their choice.
The single most important principle of good nutrition is eating and digesting the proper quantity and best quality of protein every day.
The protein foods that furnish the kind of protein that is digestible and efficient for regenerating human tissue are eggs, milk, yogurt, natural cheese, cottage cheese, fish, poultry and meat. These foods have the nine (ten for children) essential amino acids in the correct ratios to rate them a high percentage of biological value for human health.
Other foods like unrefined grains, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, etc. contain amino acids, but in the scientific literature they are referred to as semi-essential and non-essential. They score quite low in efficiency and biological value.
All types of vegetarians will ordinarily eat vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.
Soybeans and soy products are probably the most touted protein “replacement”, however, many people have allergies to them. They are also amino acid deficient and contain several undesirable substances.
It may be possible to combine a variety of non-animal foods to achieve a better essential amino acid balance. But that usually results in a large intake of carbohydrates that it can adversely affect your blood sugar levels and contribute to obesity and overweight.
Check out this PDF file…. Vegetarian.
Let’s take a look at some of these groups:
Vegetarian is a blanket term used to describe a person who does not consume meat, poultry, fish, or seafood. This grouping includes vegans and the various sub- categories of vegetarian; however, it generally implies someone who has less dietary restrictions than a vegan.
The term semi-vegetarian is usually used to describe someone who is not actually a vegetarian. Semi-vegetarian generally implies someone who only eats meat occasionally or doesn’t eat meat, but eats poultry and fish.
Ovo-lacto vegetarians are vegetarians who do not consume meat, poultry, fish, and seafood, but do consume eggs and milk. This is the largest group of vegetarians.
Ovo-vegetarian is a term used to describe someone who does not consume meat, poulty fish, seafood and milk…but consume eggs.
Lacto-vegetarian is a term used to describe someone who does not consume meat, poulty fish, seafood and milk…but consumes dairy foods….milk…cheese…
Vegan is the strictest sub-category of vegetarians. Vegans do not consume any animal products or by-products. Some go as far as not even consuming honey and yeast. Others do not wear any clothing made from animal products.
REASONS WHY PEOPLE BECOME VEGETARIANS
Many people become vegetarians because they do not support the way the food industry kills animals or pumps the animals up with hormones, antibiotics and other drugs.
People practicing certain religions have restrictions on eating meat. Buddhists who are faithful to the rules of Buddhism are vegetarians. Hindus do not generally eat meat and never eat beef. Islamic people are not vegetarians, since they may eat all meat except pork.
Health Reasons Why People Become Vegetarians
Many people become vegetarians because of health concerns. Becoming a vegetarian for health reasons can be helpful in treating certain diseases and conditions.
A person with high cholesterol who becomes a true vegetarian stops adding cholesterol to his/her diet because vegetables and fruits do not have cholesterol in them. When combined with exercise, a vegetarian diet can help lower your cholesterol. Eating meat adds saturated fat to your diet. It also puts stress on your kidneys. Even semi-vegetarians who eat eggs and dairy products in moderate amounts are more likely to improve their cholesterol and overall health. So, people who eat vegetarian diets will not suffer heart attacks and strokes caused by excess fat and cholesterol. In short, they live longer. Vegetarian diets may help other conditions as well.
Allergies to Milk and Dairy Products
There are many great substitutes for milk on the market shelves today. Soy and rice milks are quite tasty and perfect for those people with milk allergies. Milk contains protein and to replace that protein, a wide variety of soy products are great choices. Tofu is made from soybeans and replaces meat in stir-fried dishes, for example.
Diabetes and Gall Bladder Problems, including Gallstones
Vegetarians are less likely to get diabetes or have gall bladder problems and gallstones. Some people become vegetarians if they have a history of diabetes in their families or if their sugar levels are high, so they can ward off a full-blown case of diabetes.
In general, it has been found that people who are vegetarians enjoy better health than those who eat meat.
Many people who are vegetarians or who wish to become vegetarians are also concerned about the environment. Raising cattle takes a great deal more water than raising vegetables. In addition, if you are concerned about deforestation, you may choose to become a vegetarian because you know that trees are cut down to make room for pastures. Many fish are close to extinction because so many have been caught that they have not been able to reproduce at a rate fast enough to keep their populations at the same level as before.
Other concerns about the environment influence a decision to become vegetarian. Raising cattle uses fuel in extremely large amounts compared to raising crops of wheat, corn and other grains. Erosion of topsoil influences the whole balance of nature. Ranchers who provide cattle for beef destroy the topsoil, which is no longer as thick as it once was. Chemical pesticides used to grow the food for cows do not stay in the ground. They run off into the groundwater. The same is true for other chemicals such as fertilizers and herbicides. None of these chemicals helps the environment.
Hunger around the World
People who become vegetarians sometimes make the decision to change their lifestyles because they know that raising meat costs more than raising grains and the grains that are raised to feed animals destined for being killed for meat could be used to help alleviate hunger around the world.
Becoming a vegetarian is a life-changing choice. Some people make the choice and then find it difficult to stay a vegetarian because there are so many changes in diet that are involved. Rather than drinking regular milk, for instance, true vegetarians drink soy or rice milk. Some people do not like the taste of the substitute for milk from animals. These types of reasons may be why some people who want to be primarily vegetarian go ahead and allow for certain things in their diets like fish, dairy products and so forth. They may not eat red meat or meat at all, but having some of their favorites makes it easier for them to eat a mostly vegetarian diet.
No matter why people choose to become vegetarian, most people are happy that they made the decision. It is a decision that needs to be made carefully. Nobody should rush into making such a major life change without thinking it through carefully.
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