Vegetarian Diet

Vegetarian diet is a type of diet which mainly comprises farm products and some chosen animal products like milk and honey, excluding other types of animal products like meat, poultry, eggs, etc. The practice of following vegetarians diet is called vegetarianism.

Studies show that the vegetarianism practice was evolved by people from ancient Indian and ancient Greek civilization, basically from Southern Italy and Greece, in the 6th century BCE. The practice was followed by people who believed in non-violence towards animals. And gradually, the practice was adopted by many religions and cultures and people of same belief.

People adopt vegetarianism practice in their life because of certain reasons like ethical or religious belief, health concern, environmental concern, culture, aestheticism, politics and many more.
Vegetatrians who are on strict vegetarian diet avoid all types of animal products like meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs, and honey in their meal. Although maximum number of vegetarians follows a bit easy diet that comprises few dairy products like milk, cheese, curd and animal products like honey and eggs. Vegetarians who take eggs in their diet are popularly known as eggitarians.

Strict vegetarians or pure vegetarian not only avoid intake of any animal product, but also abstain themselves from using things made of animal parts like fur, leather. Generally, they are the supporters of animal rights, who do not believe in killing animals and using their products.

Some other variants of vegetarianism are defined under the terms Lacto-vegetarianism, ovo-vegetarianism, lacto-ovo vegetarianism.

Lacto-vegetarianism includes almost every dairy product except eggs. Ovo-vegetarianism comprises eggs but no dairy products. And, lacto-ovo combines both approaches and includes egg and dairy products.

Some other types of dietary practices associated with vegetarianism are given below:

  • Fruitarianism: The diet includes fruit products that are obtained without harming plants. The diet include fruit, nuts, seeds and other products from plant which it sheds off naturally after  reaping them.
  • Su vegetarianism: It is generally followed under budhist religion, in which budhists avoid all animal products and fetid vegetables like onion, garlic, shallots, leeks and scallions.
  • Macrobiotic diet: The diet includes whole grains, beans and sometimes fishes also.
  • Raw veganism: A diet that comprises raw or uncooked vegetables and fruits is known as raw veganism.
  • Dietary veganism: A diet that excludes components of strict veganism is known as dietary veganism.

Associated terms:

Semi-vegetarian diet: A diet that mainly comprises vegetarian food and non-vegetarian foods in low portion is called semi-vegetarian diet. Although the diet mainly focus vegetarianism only, but sometimes it might include some portion of non-vegetarian foods like meat, chicken and all. It is basically consumed by people who are transforming themselves to vegetarians from non-vegetarian. As the change is happening gradually, the body will accommodate it normally in healthy way.

Benefits of following vegetarianism:

Vegetarian diet is considered very healthy to live with. But it has to be properly planned and consists components that balance each and every part of nutrional value like vitamins, proteins, fats, etc.

  • Research shows that vegetarians are at low risk of some fatal disease like cancer, heart disease, renal disease, osteoporosis, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Above all, vegetarian diet protects from many animal food scares like avian influenza from poultry, foot-and-mouth disease from sheep, PCBs from farmed salmon, or mercury from license.
  • Vegetarian diet is sometimes recommended to eradicate medical problems. Some medicines like Ayurveda and Siddha promote vegetarian diet to be followed under normal routine for healthy living.
  • Vegetarian diet is usually linked with people who follow the rules of simple living and have fair belief towards life and surrounding people. It is said that vegetarianism eradicates evil beliefs from your mind, hence makes you a person of great beliefs and simple living.