Thursday, February 23, 2017

Vegging Out

            “You don’t eat….BACON?” is a common question most vegans and vegetarians get especially when going out to breakfast. I know it may be shocking, but there are about six to eight million adults in the United States who don’t eat meat, fish or poultry. Although there is a lot of negative stereotypes around vegetarianism there are a lot of health benefits to this type of lifestyle.
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Although there is not outstanding evidence that being solely vegetarian (i.e. no drinking, smoking etc.) can help prevent chronic illnesses, there is increasing research that may influence you to change your diet slightly. According to Harvard Medical School there was a combined analysis of data from five studies involving 76,000 participants that showed that vegetarians were 25% less likely to die of heart disease. The Harvard Health Publications also mentioned that eliminating red meat would lower if not eliminate your risk of colon cancer, which is also a benefit. Finally a particularly relevant disease, type 2 diabetes, can also be reduced by using a primarily plant based diet.
If you do ever try to become a vegetarian it is important that you are getting a lot of protein! You can get this in a variety of forms such as quinoa (8 grams of protein per 1 cup) and rice and beans (7 grams of protein per 1 cup). However, the most important part is deciding if being a vegetarian is right for you and your body. There are also a lot of different varieties on the scale of vegetarianism such as being a pescatarian, which is someone who doesn’t eat meat but does eat fish.
            Although there are a lot of studies that have proven a number of health benefits it is important to recognize that all of these studies are based on vegetarian diets that are “appropriately planned” as said by the American Dietetic Association. This means that just because you are not eating meat doesn’t mean you can eat candy and pizza all day and expect these reductions in health risks. Trust me I wish that ice cream could lower my risks of heart disease or cancer, but unfortunately that’s not the case.

Posted By: Kate Masterson

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Pictures:
https://www.pinterest.com/alexca/vegetarian-vegan-101/

8 comments:

  1. Wow, I had no idea of the health benefits of being a vegetarian. I have often thought of being a vegetarian, but as a gym enthusiast I felt it counter productive to eat as a vegetarian due to the stereotype that you eat a lot less protein than if you were not a vegetarian. I was just wondering, have you ever tried being a vegetarian? If so, do you feel any different being a vegetarian? For example do you feel more or less tired, or do you feel like you have more or less energy. I am just wondering because the health benefits of being vegetarian are insurmountable, but I don't want to feel run down and sluggish because I am not getting enough protein so I was just wondering your thoughts on that. Great post, enjoyed reading very much.

    Posted by: Nicolas Baltayan (Group A)

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    1. Thanks for your comment Nicolas! I have actually been a vegetarian my whole life, which is very surprising to most people. With that being said I know that it is a lot harder to start the vegetarian lifestyle if your body is already so used to consuming protein in the form of meat. However, with everything your body probably will need a little time to adjust and again it is so important to listen to your body and do what is best for your lifestyle. But back to your question I have always been so active throughout my whole life whether it’s doing sports or just going to the gym and have never felt “slower” compared to people who do eat meat. I will admit that there are times where if I haven’t had enough protein that week I will feel a little faintish, which is definitely the downside to being a vegetarian as protein sources are not always as readily available. For me personally it’s hard to answer your question about energy levels because I don’t know what it’s like to not be a vegetarian. I will tell you that when there are times where if I don’t workout for a long period of time I feel myself getting really run down and irritable! I do sympathize with your protein concern and so if you are going to start this lifestyle you have to make sure you’re getting all the right nutrients for your body!

      Posted by: Kate Masterson

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  3. I myself am a vegetarian and runner. Of course running is a little different than being a gym enthusiast but, it still require lots of energy. On top of this, over the summer I reformed the way I ate as well. I cut out almost all sugary foods like chocolate, candy, donuts, ice cream, as well as carbs. Since I've done this I've been able to run better and I've been able to feel better! Being vegetarian isn't something everyone can do. It takes a while for your body to adjust to it and it takes awhile for you body to adjust and once you've adjusted, it can take awhile to revert back. My personal opinion, if you've never tried it, you will probably be perfectly fine eating the way you eat now. THere are so many ways to adjust your diet to trigger decreased health risks.
    Post by Anna Potorski

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    1. Thanks for your comment Anna! I really admire your determination to cut out sugary foods as sugar is so bad for our bodies! Whenever I'm eating really clean I feel like my workouts are 10x more effective as well. I want to experiment with cutting out dairy as much as I can and see how my body feels. I do agree with you that your body does need time to adjust and that in the beginning it can be challenging! Thanks for your comment.

      Posted by: Kate Masterson

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  4. I like the point about making sure to eat a balanced diet! I'm vegetarian and have never had problems, but I think there's common misconception that a vegetarian diet automatically means a healthy diet. The post also shows that it's not so intimidating to be vegetarian, because it shows how many options you still have and assures that with a proper balanced diet, you can still be happy and healthy. On the other hand, I wish ice cream lowered risks of heart disease too.

    Posted by: Haley Huang, Group A

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    1. I completely agree that there are a lot of misconceptions about being vegetarian and/or vegan. The meals in our society are usually always based around meat and I think that these societal norms contribute to these misconceptions! However, there are so many other way to get your sources of protein. I also think that if you do enjoy eating meat it's important to make sure you're getting good meat that isn't filled with hormones or other growth factors that could be damaging to your body. Thanks for your comment Haley!

      Post by: Kate Masterson

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