The Vegetarian Diet
Vegetarians are, on average, about 10 percent leaner than omnivores
The prevalence of hypertension among vegetarian is about 1/3 to 1/2 that of non-vegetarians
Cancer rates for vegetarians are 25 to 50 percent below population average, even after controlling for smoking, BMI and socioeconomic status
Cholesterol levels are much lower amongst vegetarians
Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants which protect cells against oxidative damage, which is related to cancer risk and other health problems [source: Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine]
What is Vegan?
No meat/poultry/seafood, No dairy foods, no eggs.
What is Lacto-ovo Vegetarian?
No meat/poultry/seafood, but consumes dairy foods and eggs.
What is Ovo Vegetarian?
No meat/poultry/seafood, No dairy foods, but consumes eggs.
What is Lacto Vegetarian?
No meat/poultry/seafood, No eggs, but consumes dairy foods.
Myth 1: “Not nutritious enough for growing kids and teenagers”
Kids can get the nutrients they need from a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet
Special care must be taken if kids are vegan (no eggs/dairy) and parental involvement is important in planning a vegan diet. In some cases, a consultation with a dietitian and a multivitamin supplement may be needed.
Myth 2: “Too Cold”
Variety is the key! Not all vegetables and fruits are “cold”. Vegetables like squashes and onions, fruits like papaya, lychee, and guava are all “warm” plants.
Cook with condiments! Ginger, chili, curry powder, garlic, green onions, vinegar and various others are all considered to provide “warming” effects.
Include nuts & seeds.
Where is Calcium?
Calcium is richer in some vegetables than dairy foods.
>50% absorbed: Cauliflower, watercress, cabbage, brussels sprouts, rutabaga, kale, mustard greens, bok choy, broccoli, turnip greens
=30% absorbed: Milk, calcium-fortified soy milk, calcium-set tofu, cheese, yogurt, calcium-fortified foods and beverages
=20% absorbed: Almonds, sesame seeds, pinto beans, sweet potatoes
<5% absorbed: Spinach, rhubarb, Swiss chard
Eat the rainbow
A rainbow of foods creates a palette of nutrients
White: Prevent infection. Cauliflower, ginger, garlic, jicama, and potatoes.
Red: Maintain a healthy heart. Red apples, blood oranges, raspberries, tomatoes, and red onions.
Orange & Yellow: Benefits eyes and heart health and boosts the immune system! Oranges, bell peppers, apricots, pumpkin, and corn.
Green: Strengthens bones and teeth. Apples, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cucumbers, grapes, and kiwi.
Blue & Purple: Improves memory function and aids in healthy aging. Blueberries, blackberries, purple cabbage, plums, figs, and eggplants.