poll_vegetarian.jpgSome people do it to save the environment; others to honor their religious beliefs; and still others to lose their excess belly fat. Whatever the reason, vegetarian and vegan lifestyles have certainly garnered a considerable following over the years—and in this green-happy era, show no sign of slowing down.

Vegetarians consume a plant-based diet, with or without animal by-products such as eggs, milk, and cheese, and don’t eat red meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, or any other products of animal slaughter. Vegans, on the other hand, neither use nor consume animal products of any kind. Called the “pure vegetarians,” these all-out herbivores don’t eat animal flesh or consume animal by-products such as dairy goods, honey, and rennet; oppose the use of fur, silk, leather, and wool; and contest socio-agricultural practices such as animal farming and animal testing.

And it’s not just a fad, like your parents used to say. According to the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada, vegans and vegetarians benefit from lower levels of saturated fat and cholesterol, which result in lower blood pressure and body mass index, and less incidence of heart and kidney diseases, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and some dementias and cancers. All in all, it’s an alternative lifestyle that’s good to the body!
(Photo source: sxc.hu)

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