What Type of Vegetarian are You?

by Suzie Morales (New York City, USA)

Delicious vegetarian cuisine ingredients!

Delicious vegetarian cuisine ingredients!

“What is a Vegetarian?”According to Wikipedia – “Vegetarianism is the practice of following a plant-based diet including fruits, vegetables, cereal grains, nuts, and seeds, with or without dairy products and eggs. A vegetarian does not eat meat, game, poultry, fish, crustacea, shellfish, or products of animal slaughter such as animal-derived gelatin and rennet”.

“These people don’t follow Wikipedia!”Many people think of Vegetarians as one large group that just doesn’t eat meat. But nothing could be further from the truth. There are several different categories & sub-categories of vegetarians as diverse as the reasons for going Vegetarian in the first place. Despite the fact that a vegetarian is generally defined as someone who doesn’t eat meat or fish, it is still possible that someone who is vegetarian could conceivably eat dairy products such as milk, eggs and cheese. A “lacto ovo vegetarian” doesn’t eat meat, fish or poultry, but does consume eggs, milk or cheese. A “lacto vegetarian” consumes milk and cheese products, but doesn’t consume eggs. A “Vegan” is someone who doesn’t consume any animal product or by-product, including dairy food. They eat only vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and legumes. They also don’t use animal products, such as leather. Vegans also don’t use white sugar because it’s often processed with a substance derived from animal bones that whitens the sugar. ]]> There are other categories within the vegetarian community, “fruitarians” for example, eat only fruit. Their rationale is that fruits, including fruits such as tomatoes, are self-perpetuating and don’t need to be planted to create the food source. They consider it a way of eating that’s most in balance and harmony with the earth, the most natural. All of the above will eat cooked vegetables, fruits and legumes. There is also a growing movement towards “raw foods veganism” which is the practice of eating only raw or living foods. This is based on the assumption that cooking food processes most of the nutrients out of it, and to get all the nutritional value, vitamins and amino acids from food, it’s best consumed raw, or juiced.If cooked at all, it should only be cooked to slightly over 100 degrees, so the nutrients are still retained. Authors Footnote: The more restrictive you become with your diet, however, the more educated you need to become to ensure your body is getting all the necessary Nutrition ,proteins and vitamins that you need to maintain good health, especially muscle and heart health.


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