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 a Vegan?
Someone who doesn’t eat meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products or eggs.
What is Lacto-ovo Vegetarian?
No meat, poultry or seafood, but consumes dairy foods and eggs.
What is Ovo Vegetarian?
No meat, poultry, seafood or dairy products, but consumes eggs.
What is Lacto Vegetarian?
No meat, poultry, seafood or eggs, but consumes dairy products.
MYTH 1: “Being vegetarian is 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 or 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: “Being vegetarian is too ‘cold'”
Variety is the key! Not all vegetables and fruits are “cold”. Vegetables like squash 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.
It’s best to also include nuts & seeds in your diet.
Where can I get Calcium?
Calcium is richer in some vegetables than dairy foods and it is also important to note that our bodies absorb calcium and other minerals at different rates through different food products.
Over 50% of calcium can be absorbed in our bodies through eating: cauliflower, watercress, cabbage, brussels sprouts, rutabaga, kale, mustard greens, bak choy, broccoli and turnip greens
30% can be absorbed through: milk, calcium-fortified soy milk, calcium-set tofu, cheese, yogurt, calcium-fortified foods and beverages
20% can be absorbed through: almonds, sesame seeds, pinto beans, sweet potatoes
5% can be absorbed through: spinach, rhubarb, swiss chard
Eat the rainbow
A rainbow of foods creates a palette of nutrients
White: Prevents infections. Cauliflower, ginger, garlic, jicama, and potatoes.
Red: Maintains 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 ageing. Blueberries, blackberries, purple cabbage, plums, figs, and eggplants.