Thinking About Going Vegetarian? Here’s Some Facts
Let’s face it – we live in a steak and potato society. People who don’t eat meat are looked at more than a little suspiciously in this country. But what are the facts? Is a plant based diet good for you, bad for you or makes no difference?
Let’s set the record straight and debunk some misinformation about vegetarianism:
Myth: Eating a vegetarian diet is healthier for you. The truth is that eating a vegetarian diet is good for you and, in general, people who don’t eat meat take in fewer calories than those who do. The bad news is that this isn’t always true. There are a ton of vegetarian recipes that contain enough calories and fat to rival a night out at McDonalds. No matter if you’re completely avoiding meat, a healthy diet means eating foods that are low in salt, fat and calories.
Myth: Going on a vegetarian diet means the end of exciting, good tasting meals. The truth is that any diet becomes boring when you eat the same things day after day. There are so many ingredients available and different ways of putting them together that, with a little imagination, you can come up with vegetarian recipes that will have your family clamoring for more.
Myth: There really aren’t many vegetarians. According to a 1994 National Roper Poll it has been estimated that about 20% of the population of the United States define themselves as vegetarian with many more describing themselves as interested in consuming more vegetarian based meals. While still in the minority, vegetarians make up a rapidly growing segment of society. If you’re still skeptical, go onto google and do a search for “vegetarian recipes” to see how many millions of hits you get.
Myth: If you go to a vegetarian diet you can forget about ever feeling full or satisfied. The truth is if you’re eating lots of plant foods, you’re also getting a lot of fiber and fiber is what makes your stomach feel full. Also, if you’re eating legumes like red, black and kidney beans you’re also getting the protein you need to satisfy your feelings of hunger.
Myth: If you go on a vegetarian diet, you’re in danger of starving yourself of the protein your body needs. The truth is that it’s very easy to get the protein you need strictly through plant based sources. Being vegetarian does not mean you won’t be getting enough protein in your diet. Since so many plant foods include protein it would actually be difficult to go on a vegetarian diet and come up short on protein. In fact, too much protein can contribute to problems with your health. Most health experts now believe that one of the benefits of a vegetarian diet is that it includes just the right amount of protein.
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