Vegetarian Diet: Health Benefits of Vegetarianism

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Many Americans are eating unhealthy diets in the typical American style characterized by lack of moderation. This average diet is defined by high contents of red meat and other fatty foods. Eating these types of food, and the following factor of being overweight, can lead to heart disease and other health problems. A vegetarian lifestyle, on the other hand, limits the intake of meat and other fatty animal products and is known to confer a wide range of health benefits. However, there are many different types of vegetarianism. First, there is the semi vegetarian, who is someone who simply limits meat intake to some degree, the lacto-ovovegetarian, who cuts out all meat, but not animal products such as cheese and eggs, and then the vegan, who chooses not to eat any animal products or byproducts such as honey or gelatin. Each type of vegetarianism has specific benefits, all of which outweigh the benefits of the average American’s diet. I am going to look primarily at the benefits of the lacto-ovovegetarian lifestyle. By eating this type of diet, Americans can balance out their food intake with more fruits, vegetables, and grains and create a diet that is healthier overall. A typical vegetarian diet closely matches expert dietary recommendations for healthy eating, being low in saturated fat and high in fiber, complex carbohydrates, and fresh fruit and vegetables (VSUK). A more balanced diet leads to a healthier lifestyle and a longer, happier life. Therefore, more Americans should be eating a vegetarian diet, specifically a lacto-ovovegetarian style. It must be noted that simply changing to a meatless diet will not necessarily create a healthier, happier lifestyle. A vegetarian diet still has unhealthy components that must be avoi... ... middle of paper ... ...clude careful, complex planning to reduce the risks of the most prevalent diseases. If Americans would simply start by cutting red meat out of their diets and then from there finding a point on the scope of vegetarianism where they are comfortable, overall health in this country would improve. This could be started with something as simple as eating one vegetable oriented meal a week and slowly spread out until all meals are oriented around vegetables, fruits, and grains instead of a main dish of meat. By eating in this manner Americans can start to create a healthier living style and learn moderation. Bibliography *Journal of the American Dietetic Association, November 1993, Volume 93, Number 11 *Techline Vegetarian Facts, users.techline.com *The Vegetarian Society (VSUK), www.vegsoc.org *Yahoo Health-Diseases and Conditions, health.yahoo.com/health
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