Vegetarian Nutrition

Studies have confirmed that vegetarians tend to have a decreased risk of cancer, a decreased risk of death due to heart disease, a decreased mortality rate, lower LDL cholesterol, and lower blood pressure.

These findings, however, may also be attributed to the life that vegetarians are more likely to lead. Although people become vegetarians for a number of reasons including animal rights or a distaste for animal products, vegetarians do tend to live healthier active lives without cigarettes or alcohol abuse.

Many animal products provide nutrients that are very healthy for you. So as a vegetarian you might want to investigate how to get these nutrients in other ways either through alternative food sources or supplements.

  • Fish provides omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
  • Eggs provide protein and vitamin A
  • Dairy provides the best source of calcium and vitamin D
  • Beef provides iron and zinc
  • Meat provides creatine for muscle growth

Many vegetarians eat eggs and dairy. For these people, the following Food Guide Pyramid can be used as a guideline for weekly servings.

Vegetarian Food Pyramid

Vegans

Vegans are the orthodox of vegetarians. They don't eat any animal products. No eggs, no dairy, nothing made of batter containing eggs or dairy, no fish, no honey... If you are a teenager and a vegan you have an exceptional challenge in front of you to acquire all the nutrients you need to grow and remain healthy during adolescence. In order to receive enough calcium, protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12, magnesium, zinc, iron, etc. you most likely need to take a multivitamin daily. We recommend consulting a nutritionist to determine the best supplements for your diet and lifestyle.

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