VEGETARIAN DIET – WHAT IS IT?
A vegetarian diet is one that excludes meat, chicken, and pork and mainly includes plant foods. There are various levels of exclusion of meat and animal byproducts, depending on the type of diet pursued by the individual. The reasons for following a vegetarian lifestyle vary, and include, health, ethical and religious justifications. Since the consumption of saturated fats that come from animal products has been linked with high cholesterol, and heart disease, many choose to eliminate those foods for health reasons alone.
Foods Omitted From A Vegetarian Diet:
The type of food omitted from a vegetarian diet depends on the specific type of vegetarian diet the person follows. In various forms, the following foods may be excluded:
• All animal products, including fish
• Eggs, milk, cheese and dairy
• Any non-food products made from animal or animal by-products
VEGETARIANISM IN AMERICA
The use of plant diets are on the uprise. More and more people are choosing a meatless lifestyle or looking to get the bulk of their nutrition from plant foods.
* Almost 16 million Americans (5% of the population) are vegetarian and 50% of these people are vegan (Harris Interactive study commissioned by the Vegetarian Resource Group). The number of vegetarians in the United States has doubled since 2009 when the count was only 2.5%.
* Data also shows that 33% of Americans are eating vegetarian meals more often, even though they are not fully committed to the lifestyle.
* A 2010 Vegetarian Resource Group Nationwide poll found that 1.4 million people between ages 8 and 18 (3% of American youth) are vegetarian; this number is up from 2% counted 10 years ago.
Diana Walker, Cravings Coach
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