Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Healthy Eating Guidelines for Vegetarians

For those who want to live a healthier lifestyle, animal lovers and those opposed to commercial and factory farming of food, a vegetarian diet can be a desirable lifestyle choice. It is possible to follow healthy eating guidelines and get adequate nutrition while eliminating animal products from your diet. This is a healthy lifestyle choice, and you can actually do it in steps. We will look at healthy eating guidelines for different types or levels of vegetarian diets and modifications that some people practice.

Lacto-Ovo Vegetarians

This is the most common type of vegetarian diet and a step towards a completely vegetarian diet that consumes no animal products. Lacto-ovo vegetarians follow the healthy eating guidelines for vegetarians but include milk and eggs. Those who follow this diet have eliminated meat altogether, eat lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. They also include eggs and milk for additional protein.

People who are called pescatarians are vegetarians that do not eat meat or dairy, but do eat fish. This is a recommended diet for those who want to include healthy Omega-3's that are found in oily fish. These pescatarians follow the healthy guidelines for vegetarians with this one exception. Pescatarianism is a great way to get more lean protein and Omega-3's in your diet in addition to the lean protein that a vegetarian diet requires. Pescatarians can eat a very well-balanced diet and get most of their lean protein from the fish they consume. At least one serving of fish daily will give nearly the required amount of protein for a healthy diet.

People who practice veganism do not eat meat, dairy products or processed foods that contain animal products such as eggs or gelatin. Healthy eating guidelines for vegans are heavy on the whole grain protein, fruits and vegetables. Soy often plays an important part in the vegan diet. Vegans are also encouraged to supplement their diets with wheat germ, omega-3, soy lecithin and B-complex vitamins for overall good nutrition.

It is possible to eliminate meat and dairy from your diet and still follow healthy eating guidelines for good nutrition. This is a healthy lifestyle choice for many and those who practice one of the forms of vegetarianism have a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke and diabetes. Care must be taken to follow healthy eating guidelines to get enough protein and nutrients through available vegetarian food choices.

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