Sunday, August 17, 2008

Vegetarian, Vegan, Pescatarian: Diet Options for Better Health


If you suffer from high cholesterol, heart disease, obesity, or high blood pressure, then you have probably been told by your doctor to make some changes in your diet. Some common recommendations are eliminating table salt, pork, and red meat while increasing whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. So is it a coincidence that shifting toward a more vegetarian diet will help cure these ills? Hey, what would likely happen if you ate that way all of the time?

To help you make the transition, take a closer look at your options. Pescatarians limit their meat intake to seafood. Vegetarians eliminate all meat from their diets whether it be land or sea animals. The most "radical" vegetarians are vegans who consume solely plant-based foods. In an article entitled "Just What Is a Vegan?" by Perrin Braun (published on http://www.mindbodysanctuary.com), the author explains veganism as a lifestyle:

"...Someone who practices veganism avoids all products made of animals. Aside from the obvious meat and fish, vegans don’t eat eggs, cheese, milk, butter, and honey. The really hard-core vegans avoid purchasing leather products and other non-food items that have not been tested on animals...In their choice to avoid all animal products, vegans demonstrate their respect for life. The majority of the people who adopt a vegan diet feel strongly about the ethical treatment of animals and the negative effects that the meat-packing industry has on the planet...While animal products are associated with heart disease and cancers, people who follow a vegetarian diet report fewer incidents of obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and lung cancer..." FULL ARTICLE

Those of us who partake in the traditional American fare may equate this type of lifestyle with deprivation. Well, I don't mind being deprived of a heart attack or a stroke, insulin shots or amputation, sickness or lifelong (expensive) medications.

A very wise man once said that our kitchens are our medicine chests--more on that next time (smile!). Feel free to visit my website http://journeysfit.com/Diet_and_Nutrition.html and scroll down for some of my favorite vegetarian recipes. Enjoy!

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