Thursday, January 05, 2006

Vegetarian Diets Lower In Fat

Vegetarian DietsSome people choose vegetarian diets, of which there are several varieties:
* Vegan, or total vegetarian: eat only foods of plant origin - fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds and nuts
* Lactovegetarian: eat plant foods plus cheese and other dairy products
* Ovo-lactovegetarian: OK to eat the above plus eggs
* Semi-vegetarians: eat chicken and fish with plant foods, dairy products and eggs; only red meat is excluded
Picture From: Chinadaily
The American Dietetic Association points out that vegetarian diets that are low in animal products are also lower in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol - components that are associated with increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. The Association believes that vegetarian diets are healthful and nutritionally adequate when appropriately planned. They recommend these nutrients in a vegetarian diet:

* Protein - You can get sufficient protein from plants; sources should be varied.
* You can get essential and non-essential amino acids from whole grains, legumes, vegetables, seeds and nuts.
* Soy protein is equal to animal protein.
* Be sure to get enough iron, vitamin B-12, vitamin D, and zinc - nutrients that are common in animal products. Take a supplement if needed.

Source: American Heart Association. Vegetarian diets

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