Attitude to vegetarian diet has always been controversial. Harmfulness and usefulness of vegetarian menu is still under discussion. Moreover, vegetarians are not a single group of people. Views of various representatives of this movement regarding the diet may vary greatly.
Types of vegetarian food
People become vegetarians due to difference reasons, that is why their interpretation of what to eat and what to avoid is different. The biggest amount of vegetarians is in India (according to various researches - from 20 to 40%). The two main reasons for that are religion and economics. In the USA 32% of vegetarians exclude meat from their menu from health considerations, while 11% due to their love for animals and 3% - in order to lose some weight.
Various goals and world views form various types of vegetarian diets.
The most radical representatives of vegetarianism are the rawtarians – those who eat only raw food. There are also followers of mixed diets, so called ‘quasi vegetarians’. Some types of vegetarian menu may include the food that is unacceptable for some representatives of the movement: fish (the pescetarians) or poultry (the pollo vegetarians).
Healthy vegetarian diet
Studies suggest that vegetarian diet is useful, but only if it is well-balanced. If to turn to vegetable food ineptly, the person may suffer from a scarcity of D and B12 vitamins, omega-3, iron, zinc and calcium. According to Michael Gershon, dean of the Department of Anatomy at Columbia University, all these substances are “necessary for both physical and mental health”.
Principles of healthy vegetarian diet
- A variety of food groups and types (to avoid deficiency of vitamins, iron and fatty acids.
- Adding protein-reach food to the diet (soy, garbanzo, black and red beans, lentils, etc.).
- Selection of the type of vegetarian diet depending on the individual characteristics of the organism. The biggest censure is roused by vegan and raw food diets. Doctors say that they should be considered as a temporary menu only, while lacto-ovo-vegetarianian diet can be kept for a long time.
A great role is also played by a particular type of vegetarian menu you keep to, that is why to give general recommendations is quite a challenging task. They will be different for vegans and pescetarians, since the latter eat not only vegetarian food.
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