benefits of being a vegetarian

It’s Vegetarian Month: Have You Considered the Benefits of Being a Vegetarian?

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benefits of being a vegetarian

October is Vegetarian Month, so it’s the perfect time to weigh all the benefits of being a vegetarian and perhaps even taking the plunge by going vegetarian yourself. If you’re not sure, it’s the ideal time to experiment with a vegetarian diet, whether you try it for a week, the rest of the month, or decide to remove meat or other animal products from your diet permanently. You might even consider becoming a flexitarian, which is a part-time vegetarian.

What Is a Vegetarian Diet and How Does It Differ from a Vegan Diet?

People who refer to themselves as vegetarians do not eat meat. Some do not eat meat or any products that come from animals — like eggs — or foods made from animal substances — like milk and cheese. There are currently about six to eight million vegetarians in the U.S. Individuals choose the vegetarian lifestyle for many different reasons. Some go vegetarian because they’re concerned about the ethical treatment of animals, some for health reasons, others because of moral or religious convictions, or a combination of these.

Vegetarians do not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish, or any by-products of animal slaughter, according to the Vegetarian Society. However, there are less strict “partial vegetarians” that do eat some of these foods. Pescatarians for example eat fish and shellfish, but not other meats.

Vegans are a type of vegetarian with the most restricted diets. Vegans typically avoid eating or using any animal and animal-derived products, including honey.

Health Benefits to Being a Vegetarian

According to an article published on the Harvard Medical School website, many studies suggest that a plant-based diet is not only nutritionally sound, providing our bodies with all the nutrients we need, but the vegetarian diet has also been shown to reduce the risks of getting many chronic illnesses. Based on various studies, these include heart disease, cancer, and Type 2 diabetes.

How to Transition to a Vegetarian Diet

If you want to try a vegetarian diet, there are many ways to get started. You might want to start slowly by giving it a try for a month, a week, a day, or even a meal to see how well you like it. You can progressively give up different types of meat. For example, you can give up red meat. Once you’ve adjusted to that change in your diet, you can then remove poultry, followed by seafood. If you give it a try and really like it but aren’t sure you want to do it full-time, you could be a flexitarian. Flexitarians follow a mostly vegetarian diet, but still eat meat occasionally.

If there are certain foods — seafood for example — that you just can’t give up, then consider becoming a partial vegetarian. There are several forms of partial vegetarianism. Pescatarians, for instance, can eat fish and shellfish, but don’t eat other types of meat. Pollo-vegetarians eat poultry, but not other types of meat. Also, remember that you’re in charge of your own diet and are free to go vegetarian on your own terms. You decide how and when you want to eat a vegetarian diet, as well as how often.

We Hope You Enjoyed Learning About the Many Benefits of Being a Vegetarian

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