Classification Of Vegetarians
According to the research, there are a number of different types of vegetarians. The first four listed are considered to be "true" vegetarians because by definition the term vegetarian diet is composed mainly of plant foods and may or may not include eggs and dairy products. Any person who chooses to omit animal products uses a vegetarian diet. Vegetarian diets are often classified by the extent to which animal products are excluded ("Vegetarian Diet" 39). The table below provides information on the classification of vegetarians and what each type consumes.
In Havala’s book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Being Vegetarian, she states, "Many people today are using the term ‘vegetarian’ loosely to mean that they are consciously reducing their intake of animal products." The actual number of people who never eat meat, fish, or poultry is about 1% of the adult population (4). According to The Vegetarian Resource Group, they stated 2.5% of the population was considered to be vegetarian (1). This is because the term vegetarian actually means consuming no meat, poultry, or fish. Not "I eat turkey only on Thanksgiving," or "I eat fish once in a while." A vegetarian consistently avoids all flesh foods as well as by-products of meat, fish, and poultry (Havala 4).
Basic foods in a vegetarian’s diet are cereal grains and bread, beans, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Some vegetarians may use various products made from soybeans, such as tofu, or bean curd, soybean milk, and miso. Some vegetarians use foods that resemble meat, poultry, or fish in texture, color, and flavor, but that are manufactured from soybeans or other plants ("Vegetarianism" 59).
Advantages Of Being A Vegetarian
Compared to nonvegetarians, vegetarians tend to have less obesity, lower blood pressure, lower blood cholesterol levels, and a lower incidence of heart disease ("Vegetarianism" 59). Vegetarians also have lower chances of developing kidney stones and gallstones (Havala 14). Research suggests that vegetarians are at lower risk for type II diabetes, atonic constipation, and perhaps, cancer ("Vegetarian Diet" 40).
The Truth Behind The Myths: All About Nutrition
According to the "Vegetarian Diet," diets for vegetarians, when well planned, can be healthful and nutritionally adequate. In planning a vegetarian diet, one should choose a variety of foods in accordance with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Vegan or vegan-like diets that exclude all animal products can be nutritionally complete, but care must be taken to ensure adequacy of energy and vitamin D, iron, vitamin B12, intakes. Diets that are very restrictive are often nutritionally inadequate and may lead to deficiencies if followed for an extended period of time. The major nutrients to consider when planning a vegetarian diet are as follow (42).
Vegan diets tend to be low in fat and, therefore, often are lower in calories. In addition,...