There are actually numerous ways that the meat industry harms the environment, from a waste of our resources animals raised for food eat enough grain to feed the world , to a waste of fuel, to the pollution caused by their waste matter, and much more. Read more about that here. Help your weight loss. Studies repeatedly show that vegetarians are slimmer and are less likely to be obese than meat eaters. In general though not necessarily , vegetarians replace meat with more nutritious foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and so on.
How to Become a Vegetarian, the Easy Way
If you do that, you will be getting more of the nutrients your body needs, giving you better health, less illness, and more energy. You need to first think about why you want to become vegetarian, and really believe in it. The rest is easy.
- a movie...and a book (Vintage Contemporaries).
- Flanagans Wedding.
- Becoming a vegetarian.
I suggest you do so with vegetarianism. Check out a couple of good books from the library or better yet, borrow from vegetarian friends. And there are tons and tons of good sites on the Internet. One of my favorites is GoVeg. But again, there are many great recipes online. Just look through the recipes, take note of a few that look really good, and decide to try a few of them. You have the rest of your life to test out other recipes!
Try one recipe a week. My suggestion is just to try one new vegetarian recipe a week. If you like it, add it to your collection of staple recipes that you eat on a regular basis. Most people only have recipes that they cook regularly. Once you have that many vegetarian recipes, you are good to go. Also try your regular recipes that you love, but instead of using meat, use a meatless substitute. So if you love to eat spaghetti or chili, for example, substitute a ground-beef alternative from Bocca or Morning Star and just cook it the way you normally would.
There are alternatives for just about any kind of meat, and some of them are quite good. You can go on eating what you normally eat, but meatless. Start with red meat. Try a few new recipes, maybe eat one vegetarian meal for the first week, two for the second, and so on. Even if you don't want to become a complete vegetarian, you can steer your diet in that direction with a few simple substitutions, such as plant-based sources of protein — beans or tofu, for example — or fish instead of meat a couple of times a week.
Only you can decide whether a vegetarian diet is right for you. If better health is your goal, here are some things to consider. Strictly speaking, vegetarians are people who don't eat meat, poultry, or seafood. But people with many different dietary patterns call themselves vegetarians, including the following:.
10 easy steps to becoming a vegetarian
Do not eat meat, poultry, fish, or any products derived from animals, including eggs, dairy products, and gelatin. Do not eat meat, poultry, or fish, but do eat eggs and dairy products.
Eat no meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, but do consume dairy products. Eat no meat, poultry, fish, or dairy products, but do eat eggs.
Avoid meat but may eat fish pesco-vegetarian, pescatarian or poultry pollo-vegetarian. Compared with meat eaters, vegetarians tend to consume less saturated fat and cholesterol and more vitamins C and E, dietary fiber, folic acid, potassium, magnesium, and phytochemicals plant chemicals , such as carotenoids and flavonoids. As a result, they're likely to have lower total and LDL bad cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and lower body mass index BMI , all of which are associated with longevity and a reduced risk for many chronic diseases. But there still aren't enough data to say exactly how a vegetarian diet influences long-term health.
It's difficult to tease out the influence of vegetarianism from other practices that vegetarians are more likely to follow, such as not smoking, not drinking excessively, and getting adequate exercise.
Browse by Topic
But here's what some of the research has shown so far:. There's some evidence that vegetarians have a lower risk for cardiac events such as a heart attack and death from cardiac causes. However, there were few deaths in either group, so the observed differences may have been due to chance. For heart protection, it's best to choose high-fiber whole grains and legumes, which are digested slowly and have a low glycemic index — that is, they help keep blood sugar levels steady.
Soluble fiber also helps reduce cholesterol levels. Refined carbohydrates and starches like potatoes, white rice, and white-flour products cause a rapid rise in blood sugar, which increases the risk of heart attack and diabetes a risk factor for heart disease. Nuts are also heart-protective. They have a low glycemic index and contain many antioxidants, vegetable protein, fiber, minerals, and healthy fatty acids. Walnuts, in particular, are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have many health benefits.
Even so, fish are the best source of omega-3s, and it's not clear whether plant-derived omega-3s are an adequate substitute for fish in the diet. One study suggests that omega-3s from walnuts and fish both work to lower heart disease risk, but by different routes. Hundreds of studies suggest that eating lots of fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of developing certain cancers, and there's evidence that vegetarians have a lower incidence of cancer than nonvegetarians do. But the differences aren't large. A vegetarian diet can make it easier to get the recommended minimum of five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, but a purely vegetarian diet is not necessarily better than a plant-based diet that also includes fish or poultry.
For example, in a pooled analysis of data from the Oxford Vegetarian Study and EPIC-Oxford, fish-eaters had a lower risk of certain cancers than vegetarians. People choose a vegetarian diet for many reasons. For some people, eating vegetarian is a way to be healthier or to avoid hormones used in animal foods.
For others, eating this way has more to do with religion, animal rights, or environmental concerns. This category of eaters can be further divided by what animal products you choose to include in your diet:. People following this diet eat mostly plant-based foods but may occasionally include meat, dairy, eggs, poultry, and fish in small amounts. Vegetarians may be up to one-third less likely to die or be hospitalized for heart disease.
Of course, food choices matter — vegetarian or not. By doing so, you may reduce your cholesterol and overall risk of heart attack. One study found that, in low-risk populations, a vegetarian diet reduced the risk for cancer in general. Additionally, the study found that certain types of animal-free diets reduced the risk for specific types of cancer:.
However, another study found only a nonsignificant decrease in risk for colorectal cancer among people following a vegetarian diet. Many studies claim that a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables may be the key.
6 First Steps to Becoming a Vegetarian
Being vegetarian may make it easier to get in the daily recommended five servings. Following a healthy vegetarian diet may help prevent and treat type 2 diabetes and associated complications. It goes back to choosing low-glycemic foods that keep blood sugar levels steady, such as whole grains, legumes, and nuts. In one study, vegetarians had half the risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with nonvegetarians. Studies have shown that vegetarians, particularly vegans, have lower blood pressures than their meat-eating counterparts.
10 easy steps to becoming a vegetarian - Healthy Food Guide
Plant foods tend to be lower in fat, sodium, and cholesterol , which can have a positive effect on your blood pressure. Fruits and vegetables also have good concentrations of potassium , which helps to lower blood pressure. An older Swedish study suggests that a vegetarian diet, specifically vegan, may decrease symptoms of asthma.
Twenty-two out of 24 participants who ate a vegan diet for a year saw improvements, including less dependency on medications. Osteoporosis rates are lower in countries where people eat mostly vegetarian diets. Animal products may actually force calcium out of the body, creating bone loss and osteoporosis. In one study, people who followed a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet for 20 years or more had only 18 percent less bone mineral by the time they reached age Omnivores, or meat eaters, in this study had 35 percent less bone mineral at the same age.
The risks associated with following a vegetarian diet surround deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals, like vitamin B , and omega-3 fatty acids. The foods you choose make all the difference. You can technically be a vegetarian eating a diet made up entirely of snack cakes, french fries, and milkshakes, which have little nutritional value. As a result, the many health benefits may not apply. Pregnant women and nursing mothers can get the nutrients they need from a vegetarian diet.
The same is true with children. Additional iron, folic acid, and omega-3s may also be a good idea, though vegetarians may actually consume more folic acid than people on a diet that includes meat. Learn more about supplements you may need on a vegan diet. Should you go cold tofurkey? Or you may decide to go with a more gradual approach.