Did you know that several celebrities are vegetarians or vegans? Some of the famous vegans are Alicia Silverstone, Brian Adams, Eric Roberts the actor, Fiona Apple the singer, Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran and Natalie Portman the famous actor.
Some of most famous vegetarians include Albert Einstein; Aristotle the famous Greek philosopher, Billie Jean King and Chris Evert the famous tennis stars of the yesteryears, Dr. Dean Ornish and many others.
One the most articulate advocates of vegetarianism is Tobey Maguire and he said that, ’I don’t like eating dead carcasses pumped full of chemicals and hormones. It’s not a moral thing. It’s logical to me not to eat that shit, since I would get nauseated.’ Tobey Maguire doesn’t mince words when it comes to his food and lifestyle choices
With more and more studies coming out in recent times supporting a vegetarian way of life, the eternal debate rages on whether vegetarianism is indeed superior to a non-vegetarian diet.
Types of vegetarians:
There are three types of vegetarian:
- The Vegans are the strictest type of vegetarians and they will not eat animal food or produce. They live entirely on plant foods. They take pulses, nuts, grains, fruits and vegetables.
- Vegetarian who drink milk and eggs. These are called, asLacto-Vegetarians will not eat animal flesh. They will, however, eat animal produce such as milk, cheese, eggs and four main groups.
- Vegetarians who take eggs only. These are called asLacto-ovo-vegetarians will not eat animal flesh but will eat eggs in their diet.
Advantages of a vegetarian diet:
- Vegetarian diets are high in: vitamin C, fiber and folate.
- Vegetarian diets are low in: calcium, protein, iron, zinc and vitamin B-12
- It is possible to obtain all essential nutrients by eating a completely plant-based diet; however proper dietary planning is critical to the health.
- Vegetarian diets are typically higher in fiber, lower in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Vegetarians typically have less risk of CHD, cancer, obesity, high cholesterol and hypertension.
- Vegetarian lifestyles are usually healthier because of lesser smoking, more exercise and less alcohol ingestion.
Disadvantages of a vegetarian diet:
Some nutritional authorities feel that Vegetarians (vegans) find it difficult to get certain nutrients like:
- Vitamin B-12. These are found more in fortified cereals and soy products
- Vitamin D. Soymilk and cereals are rich sources.
- Iron & zinc. These are found in whole grain, soy foods, beans, dried foods, nuts and seeds.
- Calcium. Good sources are cereals, juices, beans, tofu, soy foods, figs and other dried fruits.
Slowly the wheel is turning in favor of vegetarianism. According to a statistics from the recent – Consumer Attitudes to Food Standards Survey, 4% of households reportedly contained at least one vegetarian member. 5% contained at least one person who ate no meat, but did eat fish.
Some authorities on nutrition do not recommend a vegan diet for very young children because it is very difficult for them consume pulses, cereals nuts etc and achieve optimal growth without consuming animal products.