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Vegetarianism, Michelle Mitchell - Natural Health Product Advisor studying Herbalism

Plant-Based Diets

Plant-based eating patterns focus on foods primarily from plants. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans. It doesn’t mean that you are vegetarian or vegan and never eat meat or dairy. Rather, you are proportionately choosing more of your foods from plant sources. Alive Academy of Nutrition states that we are natural Herbivores by nature for we have no canine teeth necessary in order to eat meat. Our teeth were designed to eat plant food.

Most of us want to eat healthy.  As our bodies age, we become more aware of the necessity to take more diligent care of our health.  Picking the right diet can become down-right daunting when there are so many diets available.  Some people are concerned with weight loss.  Some, are concerned with animal welfare. And some, just want to do what they can to better enjoy life and live a longer life.  So. We have broken down for our readers, just what some of these diets entail.  Below we will investigate the diverse world of Vegetarianism and Veganism.

Did you know that there are SEVEN types of Vegetarianism? 

  1. Lacto-Vegetarian: Lacto-vegetarians excludes meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs. They will eat  yogurt, cheese and milk. People who adopt this diet usually do so for environmental, ethical, or health reasons. 

Nutrient Deficiencies with this diet:  Protein, Iron, Zinc, B-12, Omega 3’s, A & D.  If you wish to follow this diet, make sure you are getting enough of these nutrients from other food sources or through supplements.

  1. Ovo-Vegetarian: Ovo (egg) Vegetarians do not eat any meat, seafood or dairy products.  They will eat humanely sourced eggs or egg derived ingredients.  Ovo Vegetarians may eat this way due to health reasons (they may be lactose intolerant), eat eggs to increase protein in diet, and due to ethical reasons, refrain from eating all meat. Nutrient Deficiencies with this diet:  Protein, Iron, Zinc, B-12, Omega 3’s, Calcium & Vit. D.  If you wish to follow this diet, make sure you are getting enough of these nutrients from other food sources or through supplements.
  1. Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian: A lacto (dairy)-ovo (egg) vegetarian diet is a primarily a plant-based diet that excludes meat, fish, and poultry but includes dairy and eggs. A lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet is suitable if you're interested in reducing your intake of animal products but not completely eliminating them from your diet.

Nutrient Deficiencies with this diet: Protein, Iron, Zinc, B-12, Omega 3’s, Calcium, Vitamin D. Again, make sure you are getting these nutrients from other food sources or through supplements.

  1. Pescatarian Vegetarian: A pescatarian is someone who does not eat meat (beef, chicken, pork, turkey, wild game, lamb) but does eat fish and seafood to a vegetarian diet. Some people choose to add fish to a vegetarian diet so they can get the health benefits of a plant-based diet plus heart-healthy omega 3’s.  Many Pescatarian’s also eat dairy and eggs.  This diet varies widely just as Vegetarian diets do.

Vitamin Deficiencies with this diet: B-12.  Make sure you are getting these nutrients from other food sources or through supplements.

  1. Pollotarian Vegetarian: A Pollotarian is someone who eats poultry but does not red meat or pork. People may follow this diet to help them ease into a more formal Vegetarian diet or eat for ethical reasons. This diet is considered to be a semi-vegetarian style of eating.  Pollotarians generally eat all forms of poultry, including turkey and duck. Many may eat dairy and eggs while some do not.  Some Pollotarians may choose to eat seafood and fish- in this case they are called Pesce-Pollotarians.  The Pollotarian diet emphasizes plant-based foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats. There are no set guidelines regarding the types and amounts of poultry to consume, the nutrients consumed in this diet can vary greatly by every Pollotarian.

Vitamin Deficiencies with this diet: B-12, Calcium, Omega 3’s. Once again, make sure you are getting these nutrients from other food sources or through supplements.

  1. Flexitarian: This diet is a style of eating that encourages mostly plant-based foods while allowing meat and other animal products in moderation. If a person is looking to add more plant foods to their diet but doesn’t want to completely cut out meat, going flexitarian may be an option. Since flexitarians eat animal products, they’re not considered vegetarians or vegans. Focus is on incorporating certain amounts of meat into the diet per week. Created by dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner, this diet is more of a lifestyle rather than a diet. There are also no real rules or restricted calories to count. It’s based on the following principles:
  • Eat mostly fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.
  • Focus on protein from plants instead of animals.
  • Be flexible and incorporate meat and animal products from time to time.
  • Eat the least processed, most natural form of foods.
  • Limit added sugar and sweets.

Possible Nutrient Deficiencies:  B -12, Zinc, Iron, Calcium, Omega 3’s.

  1. Veganism: Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose. There are many ways to embrace vegan living. Yet one thing all vegans have in common is a plant-based diet avoiding all animal foods such as meat (including fish, shellfish and insects), dairy, eggs and honey - as well as avoiding animal-derived materials, products tested on animals and places that use animals for entertainment.

~ vegansociety.com

The Vegan Diet~

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that, when properly planned and executed, vegan diets are “healthful” and “nutritionally adequate.” The respected authority also points out that vegan diets are “appropriate for all stages of the life cycle,” including pregnancy, childhood, and older adulthood.

This means you can start any time. Eating more plant-based foods and fewer animal products will positively affect your health whether you’re a college freshman or a retiree.

~Alive Magazine, PUBLISHED ON January 1, 2020   WRITTEN BY Karina Inkster, MA, PTS

           There are FIVE types of Veganism:

  1. Dietary vegans.Often used interchangeably with “plant-based eaters,” this term refers to those who avoid animal products in their diet but continue to use them in other products, such as clothing and cosmetics.
  2. Whole-food vegans.These vegans favor a diet rich in whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
  3. Junk-food vegans.Some people rely heavily on processed vegan food, such as vegan meats, fries, frozen dinners, and desserts, including Oreo cookies and non-dairy ice cream
  4. Raw-food vegans.This group eats only foods that are raw or cooked at temperatures below 118°F (48°C).
  5. Low-fat, raw-food vegans.Also known as fruitarians, this subset limits high-fat foods, such as nuts, avocados and coconuts, instead relying mainly on fruit. Other plants are occasionally eaten in small amounts.

So whether you decide to join the Yogic path and eat a diet that encourages compassion for all living things, eat meat, or become a partial vegetarian or vegan, remember that it is important to listen to your body. On the advice of his doctors, even the Dalai Lama does not practise Vegetarianism though many of his followers do.  When one wishes to commit to the road of Vegetarianism, don’t force yourself to eat differently before your ready to! The concept of wanting to promote non violence (through vegetarianism or veganism) includes not only not wanting to refrain from harming living creatures, but also refrain from harming yourself. Eliminate meat from your diet gradually.  Read as much as you can how to utilize protein from other sources. You’ll be surprised. Benefits of a plant based diet includes:

  • Increased energy
  • You will have an easier time maintaining your weight
  • Cravings for junk food will decrease
  • Helps to prevent and treats heart disease
  • Digestion disorders
  • Helps diabetes and hypoglocemia and more.

According to Yogic scriptures, food can affect us in three ways: 

  • It provides nourishment for energy, strength, and emotional balance
  • It can be the source of illness and mental confusion
  • It can impede function which leads to sickness and even death

You don’t have to become a Yogi or a follower to appreciate the benefits of such a diet! So remember:

 People who eat well, feel good.   Feeling good is the essence of life.  Our lives become more enjoyable when we feel good.  This feeling in itself, sends out a positive energy to create a better life not only for

So eat your greens and be well!!!

Michelle Mitchell/June 19th, 2020

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