Vegetarianism or vegetarian diet is one of the oldest, most well-known, well-studied types of diets. It has been around for centuries starting mainly in India and Greece then spreading all over the world and gaining peak popularity during the 20th century with the rise of the human rights movements, environmental protection, and ethical concerns. More than one billion people around the world are following a vegetarian diet in its many varieties and forms.
Types of vegetarians:
Vegetarianism in its definition means abstinence from eating all sorts of meat (red meat, poultry, seafood, insects …) and all animal by-products (eggs, dairy products, honey …) but there are many variations to this definition nowadays. some of the important vegetarianism derivatives are :
- Lacto Vegetarianism: in which you abstain from eating red meat and egg, but you can consume dairy products
- Ovo vegetarianism: in which you are abstinent from eating meat and dairy products, but you can eat eggs.
- Ovolactovegetarians: in which you abstain only from meat-eating,but you can eat milk and eggs
- Fruitarianism:in which you can eat only hand-picked fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts without causing any harm to the plant
- Macrobiotic diet:in which you consume only whole grains and beans
- Raw veganism:in which you can only eat fresh uncooked fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
- Pescetarianism: in which you are semi vegan you don’t eat meat and byproducts, but you can have fish and seafood andoccasionally can have eggs or dairy products.
- Pollotarianism:in which you are semi vegan you don’t eat red meat or seafood, but you can eat poultry mainly chickens
- Pollo Pescetarianism:in which you abstain only from having red meat but can have poultry and seafood which are considered to be white meat.
- Flexitarian:in which you are mainly eating a vegan diet on a day-to-day basis but can occasionally have meat, poultry or seafood, dairy, eggs but in small amounts.
Reasons for turning vegan:
Going vegan is an important decision to make as it is associated with many health benefits but at the same time, it can have health risks so it is not for everyone, whether you are doing it for religious or cultural reasons or doing it for ethical reasons to save the animals from slaughter as some view it as an unethical inappropriate human behavior or doing it to be healthy and lower your risk of having chronic diseases like obesity and hypertension or for the environment to lower the co2 emissions related to deforestation even for saving money. It is definitely a way of living that is worth the try and as mentioned above there are plenty of variations that you can make to tailor this eating plan for your own preferences and needs to enhance your quality of life.
Benefits of vegetarianism
1) Good for heart health:
Red meat is full of saturated fats that are known to cause cardiovascular diseases and atherosclerosis through their harmful effect on the lipid profile and blood pressure as it is also high in salt content so cutting off red meat makes your cardiovascular risk way lower than those who consume it regularly like those on a western diet. You will have lower blood pressure levels, lower cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoproteins LDL levels, higher high-density lipoproteins HDL levels, lower inflammatory markers, and higher omega3 fatty acid levels so your heart and vessels will get healthier and your lifespan would increase than the average person.