Rules for a Vegetarian Diet

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Rules for a Vegetarian Diet
Rules for a Vegetarian Diet (Image: photo credit: Paul Grant, sx.hu)

The vegetarian diet is simply a healthy way of eating. Many people ask, "What can vegetarians eat?" The answer is a huge variety of vegetables, fruits and grains.

Definition

The vegetarian diet is a way of eating that excludes animal products. Vegetarians eat a plant-based diet, but some people do include dairy products and eggs as part of their mainly vegetarian diet.

Features

Different types of vegetarian diets have evolved: Vegan is a purely plant-based diet. Lacto-vegetarian is a plant-based diet that also includes some dairy products. Lacto-ovovegetarian is a vegetarian diet that include eggs and dairy products.

Considerations

People often choose the vegetarian lifestyle for philosophical, political or moral reasons, but some choose it for a more healthy approach to eating and living.

Misconceptions

There are no hard and fast rules about being a vegetarian. Each person chooses what he will and will not eat. You can get all the protein you need from a plant-based diet without the need for any animal products.

Effects

Dr. Dean Ornish, MD, has published scientific studies that show how a vegetarian diet can reverse heart disease, help you lose weight and lower blood cholesterol levels.

Recommendations

Children who do not drink milk may need to take vitamin and mineral supplements that include calcium, vitamin D and riboflavin. If no animal products are eaten, vegetarians may want to take a vitamin supplement that contains B12, iron and zinc.

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