Vegetarianism vs. veganism, is there any difference?
Many people, often for reasons of ethics or health, give up eating meat, and although nutrition experts agree on the advantages of this style of nutrition, they warn against the deficiencies of minerals and vitamins. A diet without meat, also called vegetarianism (Latin vegetabilis-vegetal), has many different forms, whose main ideas and assumptions are worth knowing before the decision to exclude meat. The mildest is semi-vegetarianism, which excludes red meat and its products and allows consumption in a limited amount of poultry and / or fish as well as eggs and milk. Another form is lacto-vegetarianism – which allows the consumption of milk and its products, while lacto-ovo-vegetarianism also allows the consumption of eggs. These three forms of vegetarianism are lighter because they allow the consumption of animal products. More restrictive varieties are veganism that excludes all animal-derived foods, fruitarian-a form of diet that allows only fruit and vegetables to be consumed, and raw-food, a diet that excludes the consumption of heat-treated foods.
What are the benefits of not eating meat?
Although we do not encourage restrictive forms of vegetarianism, it is worth considering limiting the consumption of meat and, as recommended by the Institute of Food and Nutrition, reach for fish or legume seeds as a good source of protein. Especially that a well balanced vegetarian diet translates into a better quality of life. Vegetarians are less prone to overweight and obesity, have low cholesterol and normal blood pressure. Limiting or abandoning meat also translates into a slowdown in the development of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer. This is obviously due to the lower content of saturated fatty acids, cholesterol and more antioxidants like vitamins C and E, carotenoids, magnesium, potassium and fiber.
Can vegetarianism harm?
The exclusion of each of the products from the diet is associated with some consequences. Sometimes exclusion affects the improvement of health, for example, the abandonment of fried foods, alcohol and sweets, and sometimes, as in the case of meat, may involve the risk of failure to comply with nutritional recommendations. Deficiencies that occur most often include inadequate supply of vitamin B12 (with complete exclusion of meat foods), calcium, zinc, selenium, iodine and long-chain fatty acids. Shortages are especially vulnerable persons applying restrictive forms of nutrition bezmięsnego, infants, children and pregnant women and nursing women. Of course, reaching for the right substitutes, we can properly balance the diet.
What products can be used in a vegetarian diet?
Meat is a good source of protein, but our body can also obtain it from legumes, cereals, seeds and nuts. Especially leguminous products are among the very good sources of easily digestible protein. Therefore, they should be eaten at least once a day in an amount of about 0.5 to 1 cup. On our table should start to reign lentils, beans, chickpeas, peas, broad beans that contain as much protein as most meats. At this point, it is also impossible not to mention the amaranth and quinoa, which can also be a source of easily digestible protein.
To protect yourself from anemia and to consume the right amount of iron, it is worthwhile to purchase suitable vegetable sources of iron, such as legume seeds, wholegrain bread, cereal, and products enriched with iron. It is worth remembering about the soaking of seeds and seeds in order to rinse out the compounds limiting the absorption of iron and to include in the menu products rich in vitamin C, which improves the absorption of this element. A good solution is to combine buckwheat (iron) with pepper salad (vitamin C). The principle of soaking and rinsing plant products is also applicable in the case of improving the assimilation of selenium and zinc found in soy products, nuts, grains, amaranth.
It is worth remembering that only a properly balanced and varied vegetarian diet, containing in its composition milk and its products and / or eggs (lacto-vegetarian and lacto-ovo-vegetarian) provides all the necessary nutrients in every period of life. Therefore, before making such an important decision, it is worth contacting a dietitian and a doctor.