Subscribe to our Newsletter:
Healthy Diet Plans >>  Articles >>  Diet and Wellness

Becoming vegetarian

Submitted by Loring A. Windblad on November 18, 2010

How To Avoid Non Veg

Vegetarianism can be defined as the practice of eating foods that are plant based. It is not a cuisine but a way of life. The idea of vegetarianism has been a vital part of many religions, cultures and belief systems. Buddhism, Jainism, Brahmanism are some religions that strongly believe in vegetarianism. The first Vegetarian Society was established in England in 1847which was later adopted by other countries.

A vegetarian diet includes vegetables, fruits, cereal grains, mushrooms, nuts and seeds. Vegetarianism involves avoiding any kind of meat, fish and poultry. Dairy products and eggs may or may not be included in a vegetarian diet. There are many reasons why one would adopt vegetarianism.

They could be religious, health, and love for animals, cultural, economical or sometimes people just don’t enjoy eating meat.

There are various types of vegetarians. People who include dairy products in their diet but exclude eggs are called Lacto vegetarians where as Lacto-ovo vegetarians include eggs honey along with milk and dairy products. These are the most common type of vegetarians in the Western world.

A vegan is a strict vegetarian who excludes not only eating animal flesh or animal products but also doesn’t use and wear animal products like wool, leather, silk, cosmetics and gelatin. A person whose diet mainly includes vegetarian foods but may occasionally include poultry, fish or other meats is called a Semi vegetarian. People who eat only fresh and uncooked vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds though vegetables can be cooked to a certain temperature are called raw vegans.

Those who don’t use animal products and vegetables from the allium family such as onions, scallions, shallots, leeks and garlic are called Su vegetarians. Another extreme form of vegetarianism is Fruitarianism which includes only eating fresh fruits. There are Pescatarians who abstain from eating all kinds of meat except for fish. The benefits of vegetarianism are innumerable. Being vegetarian satisfies all the standard dietary requirements as well as prevents various diseases. The best health benefit of vegetarianism is that it reduces the risk of heart attacks since a vegetarian does not consume red meat, which is one of the main causes of high cholesterol. Apart from cholesterol, vegetables are low in saturated fats as well. Both of these are the main causes of heart attacks as they block the inside of the blood vessels over a period of time. Ischemic heart disease, Angina and Myocardial infarction are common in older people and these can be avoided by eating vegetarian food. This is because vegetables and fruits are rich in dietary fiber, potassium, folic acid, flavonoids, magnesium, and polyphenolic antioxidants.

One of the most common reasons people turn to vegetarianism is that a vegetarian diet is low in fat as compared to a non vegetarian diet. This helps you move closer to your ideal BMI value as your diet is meat free. Research has shown that vegetarians are slimmer than people who eat meat. Vegetarian food is also low in salt. Salt is one of the major causes of high blood pressure and hypertension. Another reason for high blood pressure is the obstruction of blood vessels leading to the blood flow faster. This obstruction is mostly caused by the consumption of red meat. Potassium rich fruits and vegetables like papaya, bananas, eggplant, tomatoes, cabbage, squash, oranges, broccoli, parsley and strawberries also help to maintain lower blood pressure. The risk of cancer is also lowered by following a plant based diet which includes fruits, vegetables and legumes. A lot of plant foods and herbs have proven to have cancer protective properties. Vegetables and fruits also help eliminate toxins from the body and control diabetes.

Tips For Becoming Vegetarian

As the concept of vegetarianism catches on, more and more people are willingly giving up non-vegetarian foods to become completely vegetarian. This is not as difficult as one would imagine. If you want to stop eating non-vegetarian food, the simple technique is to have a fool proof methodology that you follow to the last letter. In fact, many people have made determined efforts to become vegetarians, and have eventually succeeded. Here’s how you can start.

Becoming a vegetarian is a great lifestyle change that you commit to. If you have decided to become a vegetarian, you must have a reason for your choice. The first step in the direction of being a vegetarian is to remember why you want to be a vegetarian and by when you see yourself giving up non-vegetarian food completely.

Deciding to be a vegetarian is easier than sticking to your decision. It is important that once you have decided to be a vegetarian, you should stick to your decision. Maintain a diary and everyday write something like ‘I want to be a vegetarian by… because…’ This will help reinforce your decision so that you can continue working towards your resolve.

It is important to remember that slow and steady wins the race. Since non-vegetarian food becomes an integral part of your lifestyle, giving it up altogether in a small amount of time may make you crave for it even more than it would otherwise have. You might even see withdrawal symptoms in your body. Therefore, it is best to give it up slowly, without torturing your body too much.

Those who eat non-vegetarian foods, tend to eat many different meat types. A simple way to quit is to drop off one meat at a time. For instance, try to quit eating beef first. After some time, quit eating pork. Then, give up poultry and fish. If you go out with someone and they insist that you to eat meats, simply tell them that you are allergic.

Slowly, your body would stop missing certain kinds of meats and grow more dependent on vegetarian foods.

When you are left with only fish to give up, start replacing it slowly with green vegetables. Move on slowly and keep reducing the amount of fish you take over a period of one month. In a matter of weeks, you will stop feeling the urge to eat non vegetarian food and you will stop completely.

Read more articles from the Diet and Wellness Category.