Why not try it out? Some people may choose vegetarianism for religious reasons and others for health reasons, and some just to try something new. Vegetarianism offers many health benefits, given the diet is not a diet of fried donuts and chocolate! A balanced vegetarian diet may help prevent heart disease, improve digestion and lower blood pressure. Is it possible to get enough protein on a vegetarian diet? Yes.
A well planned vegetarian diet can have enough protein from plant and dairy sources and eggs. If you are considering becoming vegetarian, do it in the duration of time that works best for you. Some people can become vegetarians instantaneously and others in gradual stages.
There are several types of vegetarians. In general, a vegetarian is someone who avoids some or all of the following: seafood, meat, eggs, dairy products, or poultry. Here are more specific terms for the different levels of vegetarians:
- Vegan: avoids meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy products and any animal-derived food.
- Lacto-vegetarian: avoids meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs, but consumes dairy products.
- Lacto-ovo vegetarian: avoids meat, poultry, and seafood, but consume eggs and dairy products.
- Pescetarian: eats seafood, but avoids all other animal products.
Vegetarians have a variety of food options that vary slightly, depending on the specific type. Foods allowed can range from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, eggs and dairy. If you have never tried vegetarianism, it can be fun to try it out for a few days. Menu options can include items such as: dahl and rice, quinoa with yogurt, whole grain pasta with tomato sauce, cheese and broccoli, etc. Ethnic foods have a wide selection of meatless options such as Indian, Italian, Japanese, and Thai, so options are limitless!
Nada Jawahery is the Registered Dietician at Royal Bahrain Hospital and is a member of, and licensed by, the American Dietetics Association. For more information call 17246832 or email: Nada.Jawahery@royalbhrn.com