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Types of vegetarian diets benefits and disadvantages

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Vegetarian Food Pyramid



For people who have a very strong will and the will to be a good student vegetarian diet is recommended.
A vegetarian diet relies mainly on plant as their source of nutrients.

Vegetarian diets encompass a continuum from diets that allow some animal sources of nutrients to those that not only exclude animal source of nutrients permitted.We will first look at the advantages of the diet then we will look at the four types vegetarian diets starting with the least strict to the most strict diet .


The benefits of a vegetarian diet

Close to 17 million people in the US are vegetarian with about over 7 million being vegans and all are reaping the benefits of the vegetarian diet .

1. According  to the  American Dietetic Association(1)   a well planned nutritional vegetarian or vegan diet has the following benefits over non vegetarian :

  • low risk of death from heart disease
  • low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels
  • low levels of  type 2 diabetes
  • lower blood pressure
  • lower hypertension and type 2 diabetes


2. A study was done at Ullevaal University Hospital, Oslo, Norway(2) to see if vegetarian diet can be used to treat  rheumatoid arthritis since they found that fasting worked but the patents would go relapse after returning to their old diet . What that after 4 week on the diet patients with  rheumatoid arthritis were experiencing less pain and swollen joints .

  • it can help reduce the effects of  rheumatoid arthritis

3. There are some studies which show there is a link between vegetarian diet and a low risk of cancer(3)

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The types of vegetarian diets and the need to know when choosing them.

Ovo Lacto Vegetarian diett

Depending on the particular pattern of consuming eggs (ova ) and milk (lacto) or using one but not the other, ovalactovegetarian can be an extremely sound approach to healthful eating during the entire course of the adult years. An octolactovegetarian diet provides the body with essential amino acids while limiting the high intake of fats seen in more conventional diets.
The exclusion of meat as protein reduce the intake of fats while consumption of milk or eggs allow for an adequate amount of saturated fat to remain in the diet. The consistent use of vegetable products as the primary source of supports the dietary recommendation for an increase in complex carbohydrates and an increase in fiber.
Meat like products composed of textured vegetable protein are available in supermarkets. Nonmetallic bacon strip s, hamburger and chicken patties and link sausage can be used by people who want to retrieve their meat intake but still want a meat like product. Soybeans are a primary source of this textured vegetable protein.

Two relatively minor concerns associated with some ovolactovegetarian diets are those of zinc deficiency and overuse of a wide variety of dietary supplements. Because of zinc role in the body’s use of iron, ovolactovegetarian may need to take this mineral in supplement form. However, the general use of large quantities of dietary supplements may be harmful or at best , unnecessary.

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Lactovegetarian and Ovovegetarian diets

People who include dairy products in their diet but no other animal products such as eggs and meat are lactovegetarians. Like with your ovalactovegetaran diet plan minor risk is associated with dietary pattern. In contrast people who exclude dairy such as milk and cheese, yet consume eggs are ovavegetarians. Both diets carry advantages of ovalactovegetarians but are a bit more demanding because of the elimination of one of the two nonmetallic sources of animal products.

Vegan  diet

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Vegan food pyramid

This is a diet which not only meat but other animal products such as milk cheese and eggs are removed in the diet regime. In comparison to the particular ovalactvegetarian diet the vegan diet requires a higher level of nutritional understanding to avoid nutritional inadequacies .

One potential difficulty is that of obtaining all of the essential amino acids . Since a single plant source does not contain all the essential amino acids vegan must consistent employ a complementary diet . By carefully combining various grains, seeds and legumes , amino acid deficiency can be prevented.
In addition to the potential amino acid deficiency the vegan can also have some difficulty in maintaining the necessary intake of vitamins B12.
Possible ramifications of inadequate B12 intake could include depression ,anemia ,back pain and menstrual irregularities. Research has also shown that pregnant women who are vegan are at a great risk of have birth defects (4)

Vegans often have difficulty maintaining adequate intakes of iron,zinc and calcium. Calcium intake must be monitored closely by vegan. In addition vitamin D deficiency can occur . Supplements and daily exposure to sunshine will aid in maintaining adequate levels of this vitamin.

Another study had shown that the in a small link between this diet and boys born with Hypospadias
A final area of potential difficulty for vegan is that of an insufficient caloric intake of the point that proteins stores (muscle mass) are used for energy.

When practice knowledgeable vegan, vegetarians is sound virtually for all people including pregnant and breastfeeding women ,infants, and children non frail older adults and athletes . Of course people in  each group must be sure all their nutritional needs are met .


 However because of of the limitations mentioned some nutritionist do not recommend the vegan diet even for adults.

However persons who wish to adapt a vegetarian or vegan diet should not make the decision overnight. A sudden elimination of most or all meat product can sometimes be too drastic of a change to adhere to so it is best to cut back on them gradually. This should also be discussed with your doctor since it can affect people who are pregnant , nursing or having health problems.


Mediterranean diet

Is Mediterranean diet healthy?

"Depression in women" by Irais Esparza - Own work Naucalpan de Juárez, Edo. México. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

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