What is a vegetarian?
A vegetarian is someone
who does not eat meat or fish. There are many different types of
vegetarians. Lacto-ovo vegetarians eat eggs and dairy products, like
milk and cheese. Ovo-vegetarians eat eggs, but not dairy products.
Vegans are vegetarians who do not eat eggs or dairy products.
Why become a vegetarian?
There are many reasons to choose a vegetarian diet, including your
health, animals, the environment, and religion.
Choosing a vegetarian diet full of whole grains, vegetables, fruits,
and beans will help keep you healthy. Vegetarians have a lower risk of
obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and many other
diet-related illnesses than their meat-eating friends.
eating habits are formed in early childhood, choosing a vegetarian diet
can give your child the opportunity to enjoy a variety of nutritious
foods—and to carry those healthy eating habits into adulthood. A
well-balanced vegetarian diet is safe and healthy for any person at any
stage of life, including infancy, childhood, and adolescence.
Vegetarian diets provide all the essential nutrients, vitamins, and
minerals that growing children need.
you know that each vegetarian saves 100 lives a year? Chickens, pigs,
turkeys, and cows undergo great stress before they show up in neat,
tidy packages at the grocery store or your favorite restaurant or
One of the best things you can do for the
environment is to go vegetarian. About 80 percent of the farmland and
nearly half the water used in the U.S. are used to raise animals for
food. These animals produce thousands of pounds of waste, which often
spill into lakes and streams and contaminate them.
is a growing trend. There are around 1.4 million young people ages 8
to18 who call themselves vegetarian. Famous vegetarians include Avril
Lavigne, Gwyneth Paltrow, Natalie Portman, Andre 3000, Tobey Maguire,
Notes on Spatulatta's Vegetarian Recipes
Back to School Wheat- and Lactose-Free
Some people have difficulty digesting certain foods, like wheat or
milk. People with celiac disease are sensitive to the proteins found in
wheat, barley, and rye. Eating these foods can make people with celiac
disease very sick, so they must take care of their digestive systems by
avoiding these foods.
who are lactose intolerant can not digest milk and other dairy
products. At least 75 percent of the world’s population is lactose
intolerant. These people can become sick to their stomachs if they
consume milk, cheese, or other dairy products. They can avoid having an
upset stomach by leaving dairy out of their diets. They can choose
healthy, non-dairy alternatives, such as soy and rice milk and
non-dairy cheeses, yogurts, and ice creams.
Millet is one of the world’s oldest and most important grains. It was
considered one of the five sacred crops by the ancient Chinese. Warrior
farmers valued millet so much that in preparation for the long, severe
winters they would bring the grain indoors. Millet is low in fat, high
in fiber, and an excellent source of protein.
The word edamame means “beans on branches.” Better known as the
soybean, edamame is eaten as a snack, a vegetable dish, and is used in
soups or processed into soy milk, soy cheese, and sweets like soy ice
cream. Edamame is packed with many of the basic nutrients that keep us
healthy, including calcium, iron, potassium, and folate.
Teddy Bear Tea (fruited tea with raspberries)
Raspberries are a fruit that grow on a prickly shrub, like
blackberries. Raspberries come in many colors: red, black, purple, and
gold. Raspberries have no fat, cholesterol, or sodium and they contain
lots of vitamin C.
Carrots are a root vegetable. The orange part that we eat grows
underground. The first carrots grown by humans were purple and yellow.
People used them for medicine. Today, they can still be used as a
medicine: Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which our bodies convert
to vitamin A. Beta-carotene, which gives carrots their orange color,
helps our bodies fight disease.
as the name suggests, is actually a flower. The part of the plant we
eat is the head of the underdeveloped flower. Cauliflower is white
because while it is growing, the head is surrounded by large green
leaves that shield it from sunlight. Cauliflower contains sulphorafane
and indoles, which are phytochemicals (plant chemicals) that may help
reduce the risk of certain cancers.
discussion of vegetarianism and the vegetarian lifestyle is brought to
you by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is a
nonprofit organization that promotes preventive medicine, especially
good nutrition. PCRM’s main focus is on the role a vegetarian diet can
play in optimal health and disease prevention.
Download the Vegetarian Starter Kit
Read other articles about vegetarianism and health:
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine