Vegetarian diet is a topic that has been controversial for years. On the one hand, vegetarianism has many supporters, on the other hand, it is considered a diet that can cause many side effects. What does vegetarianism really mean? Why does it evoke such extreme emotions? What are its main principles and what should a vegetarian pay special attention to? Answers to all the above-mentioned questions can be found in the article.

Vegetarian diet – types
The name vegetarianism derives from the words vegetare, vegetabilis and vegetator. These words, in turn, mean growing, vegetative and giving life. In our country, a vegetarian diet is often called a vegetarian diet. Vegetarians adhere to a philosophy that says that all products from the slaughter of animals are excluded from the diet. For this reason, vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, seafood and all other products whose production is associated with the deprivation of life of living beings. As in the case of elimination diets, also vegetarianism has several varieties. They were created on the basis of vegetarian dietary preferences and are divided into several groups created on the basis of the elimination of individual product groups.

Laktoovovegetarianism – also known as owolaktarianizmu. Due to the guidelines, this diet is considered the least restrictive form of vegetarianism. It consists in strictly excluding the following meat, poultry, fish and seafood products from the diet. However, it allows the consumption of other products of animal origin, i.e. eggs, milk, dairy products and honey. Although dairy consumption is allowed, this is a debatable topic. In dandy there is enzyme rennet, which is produced as a by-product of the slaughter of pigs. Lacto-vegetarians should therefore pay special attention to reading the labels of the products they buy. If the information about the content of rennet appears on the packaging, you should not buy such products. Due to the high diversity of animal protein in the diet of lacto-ovo-vegetarians, balancing the diet seems relatively easy.

Lactovegetarianism – is more restrictive than lacto-ovo-vegetarianism, because it additionally excludes eggs, being a great source of food protein. Laktowegetarians must remember not to eat not only eggs cooked or fried – it is also forbidden to eat cakes, cookies, breads, desserts that contain eggs.

Ovovegetarianism – is a complete adversity of lactovegetarianism. It is allowed to eat eggs, but it is strictly forbidden to eat milk and its products. This time, you should also attach great importance to reading labels, because milk can be hidden under different names.

In addition to the three most common varieties of vegetarianism, there are many other significantly different ones. Some of them have more strict rules than the ones mentioned above, some allow for greater freedom when making food choices.

For the more raw varieties we can certainly include veganism, a diet that excludes the consumption of any food products of animal origin. Veganism is a lifestyle that prohibits the use of animal raw materials. Another very raw version of vegetarianism is raw food – a diet based on eating only raw vegetables and fruits. In this way, no processed food or heat treatment is consumed at a temperature higher than 40 ° C. Another variation of the vegetarian diet is fruitarianism, people who use this diet only eat products that do not lead to the death of plants, that is, those that fall from the tree to the ground.

Vegetarian diet – what to pay special attention to?
Opponents of vegetarian diets believe that diets based on plant products can not be balanced and instead of providing health benefits, they increase the risk of food shortages.

The most frequently mentioned problems with the vegetarian diet include
– shortages of full-value animal protein – they have to be replaced by products of plant origin such as tempeh, tofu, legumes, eggs, some dairy products;

– calcium and iron deficiency in the diet – calcium is supplemented in the vegetarian diet with kale, soy, figs, poppy seeds. The iron must be supplemented with leguminous plants, dried fruit, spinach or iron-enriched plant products;

– deficiencies of vitamin D and B12 – vitamin D should be taken along with algae and sea algae, a good idea is also supplementation with vegetarian supplements and medicines, while vitamin B12 can be introduced into the diet with enriched eggs, fortified cereal flakes and some soy products;

– harmful effects of pesticides for plant protection,

– negative effects of anti-nutritive substances contained in plants.

Before introducing a vegetarian diet, it is good to consult your choice with a dietitian or doctor. The knowledge of these people will certainly prove helpful in the selection of an appropriate diet and vitamin and mineral preparations that will avoid the risk of developing health deficits that are hazardous to health.

Is the vegetarian diet healthy and will work during weight loss?
Reports from scientific research differ from those of opponents of a vegetarian diet. The Polish Institute of Food and Nutrition presents its opinion on vegetarianism

Properly balanced vegetarian diets (lacto-ovo-vegetarianism and lacto-vegetarianism) provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of many diseases (such as obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, hypertension, some cancers, degenerative conditions, gout) especially in adults.

Due to its unique health properties, a vegetarian diet can be used as a diet helpful in slimming. It contains large amounts of dietary fiber, which provides a feeling of fullness for a longer time. In addition, it has huge amounts of antioxidants and vitamins that support the proper functioning of the whole body. A well-balanced vegetarian diet along with physical activity is an effective measure in the fight against excessive kilograms. According to research conducted in the largest scientific centers of the world, vegetarians are much less likely to have problems with obesity and overweight.

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