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How to Do Vegetarianism Well

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I became a vegetarian in college for largely ethical reasons—the treatment of animals, the scarcity of land for grazing animals to live on, our inability to feed the world with such quality meat, as well as health reasons—more energy, lighter energy the Food, less animal fats and saturated fat.

I still feel best on a lower meat diet. But I now understand that the success of a vegetarian diet will vary dramatically from person to person. This can be based on a number of things including:

– Genetic predisposition and background

– Blood type

– Metabolic tests

– Ability to tolerate and digest beans, soy and grains

– Accurate monitoring of energy levels related to specific foods

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A vegetarian diet has been linked to preventing heart disease and cancer. Some of the benefits include reduced constipation, less exposure to foodborne toxicity like foodborne illnesses and antibiotics, more antioxidants, and even better athletic performance for some individuals.

However, there is also a growing body of literature showing the importance of saturated fats, even those from animal products. The bottom line is that there is no one diet that works for everyone.

For those who are vegetarians or want to become one, here are five ways to make sure you’re doing vegetarianism well:

1) Pay attention to calcium: milk eaters can use yogurt, non-dairy eaters should have plenty of vegetables, almonds, tofu, figs, kidney beans, etc

2) Use a B12 supplement: B12 is found in animal foods and is needed for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis

3) Get Vitamin D: Proper amounts can be achieved with limited daily sun exposure

4) Get iron: Make sure your diet includes iron-rich foods like soybeans, lentils, spinach, tofu, chard, black beans, and quinoa

5) Include Zinc: No single plant food is high in zinc, but good amounts can be found by combining whole foods like nuts, seeds, whole grains, and leafy greens

If you can happily eat beans, lentils, quinoa, brown rice, nuts, seeds, and generous amounts of greens on a daily basis, you can meet all of your nutritional needs as a healthy, happier vegetarian.

If you cut out meat, only to replace it with bagels and cream cheese, peanut butter sandwiches, pasta and ice cream, you would be missing out on some key health nutrients.

By incorporating these five key nutrients, you can eat a diet that is good for the earth and good for your body.

Thanks to Laura Peifer

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