“A vegetarian is a person who eats no meat, fish, or poultry and no by products from those sources” (Havala) such as chicken broth. There are many different forms of vegetarians “Lacto Ovo vegetarian excluded meat, fish, & poultry but includes dairy products and eggs. Lacto vegetarian eats no meat, fish, and poultry, but does include dairy products and eggs to some extent in the diet. A vegan is someone who eats no meat, fish, poultry, eggs, or dairy products and who also avoids the use of other animal products, including wool, silk, leather, and any nonfood items made with animal by-products.
A semi-vegetarian is someone who is cutting back on meat in general. A Pollo vegetarian avoids red meat and fish but eats chicken. A Pesco Pollo vegetarian avoids red meat but eats chicken and fish” (Havala). Humans are omnivore; our bodies are equipped to consume both meat and vegetables. We have teeth that are designed to cut into flesh, however we don’t’ need a diet with meat to function on a daily basis. My paper will be on a vegetarian who eats no meat, fish, poultry or by-products. Vegetarians who have well-planned diets meet the same dietary recommendations for the same essential nutrients as meat eaters do.
A Vegetarian diet also has many health benefits to the human body. 1. Health A vegetarian diet consists of mostly plant products. Some might think that it’s not health to cut out meat all together because “eliminating meats such as beef, increases the risks for deficiencies of vitamin B12, (leading to anemia, irreversible damage to the nervous system, and causation of nerve deterioration), copper, iron, and zinc, which build the bodies immunity, red blood cells, and strengthens blood vessels. ” (Vegetarian Sourcebook) but in fact vegetarians are much healthier than most people.
There are lot of non-meat foods that offer protein, iron, and b12. “A vegetarian diet is a powerful way to protect health. Vegetarians have lower rates of cancer, particularly colon and lung cancer, less heart disease, lower blood pressure, less diabetes, fewer gallstones, less kidney disease, and less colon disease. Vegetarian diets are generally lower in fat, higher in fiber, and higher in key vitamins and phytochemicals, or plant chemicals, that are protective” (Messina) . “A vegetarian diet can prevent 97 percent of coronary occlusions.
The rate of colon cancer is highest in regions where meat consumption is high, and lowest where meat-eating is uncommon. A similar pattern is evident for breast, cervical, uterine, ovarian, prostate, and lung cancers”( The Case for Vegetarianism). 2. Protein Protein is an essential nutrient, it’s needed for the structural parts of the body- such as the bones and muscles- and it’s also “needed to produce the enzymes and many hormones that are necessary for the processes that support life” (Sizer&Whitney). Protein is found in all foods except fats.
Americans typically eat about twice the RDA of protein because animal products are high in protein. “Having a diet high in animal protein may raise the risk for a number of chronic diseases” (Messina). Too much protein is a bad thing; especially protein from an animal. “Proteins from animals cause the kidneys to let more calcium pass into the urine. High intakes also cause higher blood cholesterol levels and more coronary artery disease, as well as a greater incidence of some types of cancers” (Havala). Vegetarians find protein in peanut butter, oatmeal, rice, black beans, pasta, vegetables, cheese, and fruits.
Since vegetarians get proteins from vegetables and fruits they have a moderate protein intake. By having good intakes of protein and not over doing it is why most vegetarians have health kidneys. And, by having health kidneys vegetarians they have less kidney stones and disease. 3. Fiber Foods rich in fiber help maintain weight. Fiber helps you feel full before you consume too many calories. Fiber aids in maintaining the health of the digestive tract, and helps to prevent or reduce the risk of colon cancer, high cholesterol, obesity, and other diseases. Fiber also helps regulate blood glucose levels.
Fiber in the diet also removes cholesterol from the blood stream, which helps prevent atherosclerosis. “Dietary fiber is the part of a plant that is only partially digested in our bodies, or it’s not digested at all” (Havala). 4. Iron Most people associate iron with animal product, but, like protein and calcium, iron is also found in foods of plant origin. Iron is important because it carries oxygen as part of the hemoglobin in blood. You can find iron in clams, beef, black beans, spinach, and enriched cereal; it is also available everywhere you look in the plant world.
Rich sources include whole or enriched breads, leafy vegetables, and some dried fruits. “Iron is an essential mineral in all cells of the body and is a component of hemoglobin, which carries protein in the red blood cells. ”(Nutrition for life) “Iron is found in foods in two forms: heme and nonheme iron. the iron found in meat, poultry, and fish is the heme form. Heme iron is found in meat and easily absorbed than iron obtainted from plant sources. When meat is in the diet it increases the amount of iron that you absorb from plant foods.
The form of iron found in plants is called nonheme iron. Nonheme iron is absorbed less efficiently than heme iron. Certain foods help the absorption. The most potent enhancer of iron is vitamin c. fruits and vegetables are a good source of vitamin c broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupe, cauliflower, green papers, honeydew, kohlrabi, papaya, potatoes, strawberries, tomatos”(Havala). 5. B12 B12 play a role in the body that is crucial to life. It is needed for cell division, and deficiency symptoms show up in the red blood cells, which divide very rapidly.
It has a key role of co-enzymes, which is needed for new cell synthesis that helps to maintain nerve cells. “The RDA for B12 is just 2 micrograms per day, WHO says less than 1 milligram a day” (Havala). B12 comes from bacteria. Neither plants nor animal can synthesize it. But plants can be contaminated with b12 when they come in contact with soil bacteria that produce it. Animal foods are rich in b12 because animals eat foods that are contaminated with it or because bacteria living in an animal’s intestines make it.
Vegetarians and vegans especially are at a great risk for B12 deficiency and are strongly advised to take a supplement. “Some of the deficiencies include: anemias, nerve damage, inflammation of the tongue and mouth, irreversible nerve damage, and possible onset of dementia” (Nutrition for life). “One of the first symptoms of deficiency is tingling or numbness in your hands, fingers, or toes”(Havala). “Deficiency doesn’t seem to show up for at least several years after a person stops consuming foods sources of vitamin B12, and it can actually take as long as twenty years,”(Messina).
There however are many places you can find b12 you can get b12 from milk (1 cup contains 1 milligram) eggs (I large . 56 micrograms) “Vegetables that were grown in night soil- which is sail heavily fertilized”(Havala). Whose diets better? Vegetarians or Meat Eaters? After doing this research paper I feel vegetarians have a healthier diet. By consuming almost all your nutrients by plants vegetarians have a have a lower fat intake, lower rates of cancer, coronary artery disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, gallstones, and kidney stones.
Although vegetarians take a risk of having deficiencies iron, zinc, protein, vitamin D and B vitamins plants and supplements provide them with the nutrients they need. When if one choices not to become a vegetarian I would say lower your meat intake. When eating moderate portions of meats, you significantly reduce the risk of chronic diseases associated with omnivorous diets. I really enjoyed this project and it opened my eyes to how unhealthy meat is to your body.