People who are vegetarians follow a strict diet that includes fruits, vegetables, cereal grains, nuts, seeds and sometimes eggs and dairy products. On the other hand, vegetarians cannot consume meat and this includes game, fish, shellfish and crustacea. Animal derived rennet and gelatin are also out of the question. Foods like cakes, chips or chocolate are tricky for vegetarians because they might contain some animal ingredients.
There are plenty of reasons why a person might become a vegetarian. Some of the reasons are ethical, health, religious, political, environmental, cultural, aesthetic and economic.
There are also semi-vegetarian diets that consist of all the foods a vegetarian may consume with the addition of fish and poultry. People who follow such a diet consider meat only as flesh of mammals and not fish.
Advantages and disadvantages of being a vegetarian
Vegetarianism has become popular world wide. Lots of people go on this diet because they consider it to be the key to a healthy life. There are also certain organizations that work for animal rights that strongly support the exclusion of meat, fish and poultry from the diet. However, lots of people who consider about following this particular diet do not know what the advantages and disadvantages are. They should first find out more about that before going on a vegetarian diet.
Vegetarian diet has high quantities of vitamin C, folate and fiber. The reason why that is so is because of all the fruits, vegetables, cereals, beans, nuts and grains that a person consumes. Vitamins and minerals are found in fruits and vegetables and protein can be consumed from tofu, seeds and beans. Chronic disorders are prevented because of the vegetables a person consumes and green leafy vegetables in particular are an excellent source of antioxidants.
This diet also has low fats, saturated fats and cholesterol and because of that there is a small chance that a person will become overweight. Because of that, no vegetarian needs to fear the problems obesity brings. A person on this diet will lose weight in a healthy way. Vegetarians have a lesser chance of ending up with diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart disorders, kidney diseases, osteoporosis, gallstones and even cancer.
Even though a vegetarian diet does contain essential nutrients, a person will not bring in enough like he or she would if he or she ate meat and fish. This diet is low in calcium, proteins, iron, vitamin B12 and zinc. Those vegetarians that do not consume milk or dairy products will lack vitamin D. These nutrients are all in the vegetarian diet but not in adequate proportions.
Bodybuilders for instance cannot be vegetarians because they need huge amounts of protein. Vegetarians also suffer more from bowel irregularities.