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Vegetarian and Vegan Diets: Nutritional Disasters Part 1 …

Posted: November 3, 2015 at 2:49 pm


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Over the years since the publication of my first book, I have been asked time and again if there is a vegetarian version of The Paleo Diet. Ive got to say emphatically No! Vegetarian diets are a bit of a moving target because they come in at least three major versions. We all know in principle that vegetarians do not eat meat, poultry or fish this is the first and foremost characteristic of vegetarian diets. Less restrictive are lacto/ovo vegetarians who limit their animal food choices to dairy products and/or eggs, whereas vegans eat plant foods exclusively. A recent study published by Vegetarian Times Magazine revealed that 3.2% of U.S. adults or 7.3 million people follow a vegetarian-based diet.127 Approximately 0.5% or 1 million Americans are vegans. The study also indicated that over half (53%) of current vegetarians ate their plant based diet to improve overall health. Additional reasons underlying their vegetarian lifestyles were: 1) animal welfare cited by 54%, 2) environmental concerns named by 47%, 3) natural approaches to wellness mentioned by 39%, 4) food safety issues brought up by 31% and 5) weight loss and weight maintenance issues were cited by 25% of the respondents.127

First, let me say I respect everyones choice to eat whatever diet they like and those foods that they feel are best suited for themselves and their families. I also respect peoples decisions to abstain from eating meat for religious, moral, and ethical reasons. Nevertheless, as a scientist, I hope that we all try to make dietary decisions based not just upon philosophical and ethical issues, but also upon foods that are good for our bodies and long term health. Accordingly, I simply cant lend my support to any version of vegetarian diets that people may adopt for the mistaken idea that these diets improve overall health.

Although vegetarianism has deep historical roots dating back at least to 500 BC with such ancient Greeks as Pythagoras, Porphyry and Plutarch,106, 115, 134 this manner of eating has only been with us for the mere blink of an eye on an evolutionary timescale. In our comprehensive analysis of 229 hunter-gatherer diets, my research group and I showed beyond question that no historically studied foragers were vegetarians.26 In fact, whenever and wherever animal foods were available they were always preferred over plant foods.26 The chart to the left shows the overwhelming preference for animal foods in all 229 hunter-gatherer societies that we studied. Notice that not a single foraging society fell into the (0 5%) animal subsistence category.

Most (73%) of the 229 hunter-gatherers consumed 46% or more of their daily energy as animal food.26 The compelling reason for their preference of animal foods over plant foods was because hunter-gatherers got more bang (food calories) for the buck (their energy expended to obtain the food), as verified by optimal foraging theory.

Human preference and appetite for meat, marrow and animal food has an incredibly long history in our ancestral line.18, 33 Fossils of butchered animals with stone tool-cut marks on their bones were discovered in Africa dating back 2.5 million years.33 These definitive smoking guns in the archaeological record leave little doubt that all human species ate animal foods from the very get-go of our existence. Scientists are able to determine the relative percentage of plant and animal food in extinct human (hominid) species by analyzing elements called isotopes within their fossilized bones.10, 104, 105 Every single hominid skeleton examined since the emergence of our own genus (Homo) 2.5 million years ago show an isotopic signature characteristic of meat based diets.10, 83, 104, 105, 124 Further, if we compare our biochemical and anatomical machinery to cats, who are absolute carnivores, we both share evolutionary enzyme pathways characteristic of processing lots of meat.27 If you are interested in these details, I have written about them in my debate with the noted vegetarian, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study.27Download the Full Debate Here

If we accept the idea that vegetarianism represents an ideal human diet, then this manner of eating must be part of a much larger or ultimate mechanism governing human biology. What Im getting at is the question of Why? Why would a vegetarian diet, or for that matter, any diet represent an optimal nutritional road map for our species? Any unified theory of human nutrition is a detective story in which scientists attempt to reveal or uncover biological systems that have been designed by, and put into place by evolution through natural selection. Accordingly, hypotheses regarding what we should and shouldnt eat must be consistent with the system and ancient environments that engineered our current genes. If we are to buy into vegetarianism, then the system, evolution via natural selection, which shaped our present genome necessarily had to be conditioned over eons by a plant based, vegetarian diet. Otherwise, there is no rationale alternative hypothesis to explain why humans would prosper and thrive on vegetarian diets.

As I have extensively pointed out,26, 27 there is no credible fossil, archeological, anthropological or biochemical evidence to show that any hunter-gatherers or pre-agricultural humans ever consumed all plant based diets. This information should be your first clue that there just may be some problems with vegetarian dietary recommendations created by humans for humans. What is that expression? We are all human, we all make mistakes. Let us not depend upon human frailties for dietary advice, but rather let us fall back on the wisdom of the system, again, evolution via natural selection, that designed the diet to which we are genetically adapted.

If you are considering adopting a vegetarian diet because you think it may improve your overall health and wellbeing, my immediate advice to you would be to forget it. I urge you to always let the data speak for itself, and dont listen to me or anyone else until you have carefully scrutinized both sides of this or any other nutritional argument. I can guarantee you that the assessment of positive health effects, or lack thereof, caused by vegetarian diets is not just a straight forward matter involving objectivity and a mere sifting of scientific facts. Rather, this inquiry is politically charged involving charismatic individuals and well known scientists promoting a vegetarian viewpoint that is frequently at odds with the best science.

If you are currently a vegetarian or vegan, one of the most powerful health expectations for adopting this lifestyle is that you will outlive your hamburger eating neighbors by escaping cancer, 72 heart disease,69, 71 and all other causes of death (mortality).69, 71 In fact, if truth be told, your lifelong dietary deprivations will not prolong your lifespan, but rather will produce multiple nutrient deficiencies that are associated with numerous health problems and illnesses. If you have forced plant based diets upon your children, or unborn fetus they will also suffer. Not a pretty picture. Now lets let the data speak for itself and get into the science of vegetarian diets and health.

In their 2009 Position Statement on Vegetarian Diets,28 The American Dietetic Association tells us,appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain disease. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes. I dont know what planet the authors of this paper came from or what scientific journals they have been reading, but these statements simply are not supported by the data.

To start with, if vegetarian diets are so healthful, then any reasonable person might expect that people eating plant based diets would have lower death rates from all causes than their meat eating counterparts. This question was never fully answered until 1999 when Dr. Key and colleagues at Oxford University conducted a large meta analysis comparing overall death rates between 27,808 vegetarians and 48,364 meat eaters.69 I quote Dr. Keys study, There were no significant differences between vegetarians and non-vegetarians in mortality from cerebrovascular disease, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer or all other causes combined. I have underlined and bolded the last words of this sentence to emphasize the fact that vegetarians do not fair any better than their hamburger eating counterparts when death rates for all causes are considered. A more recent 2009 analysis (The EPIC-Oxford Study), employing the largest sample of vegetarians (33,883) ever examined came up with identical conclusions.71 I quote the authors, Within the study mortality from circulatory diseases and all causes is not significantly different between vegetarians and meat eaters. The results of this study71 and the earlier meta analysis,69 fly directly in the face of the American Dietetic Associations suggestion that vegetarian and vegan diets may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain disease.28

The American Dietetic Association (ADA) advises us that, appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets are healthful and nutritionally adequate28 This view is also shared by the USDA Choose My Plate guidelines which counsel us that, Vegetarian diets can meet all the recommendations for nutrients.142 The American Dietetic Associations quote28 is a craftily written statement that is deliberately misleading and one sided. Taken at face value, it would appear that all vegetarian diets including vegan diets are nutritionally sound all by themselves and dont require any additional nutritional supplements.

In order to get to the true meaning out of the ADAs position statement, we need to dig deeper and determine what they mean by an appropriately planned vegetarian diet. The ADA further hedges this statement by telling us that key nutrients for vegetarians include protein, n-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, iodine, calcium, and vitamins D and B12. A vegetarian diet can meet current recommendations for all of these nutrients. In some cases, supplements or fortified foods can provide useful amounts of important nutrients.28 Lets dissect this masterly deceptive statement even further. The last line informing us that supplements and fortified foods sometimes are useful, is an outlandish understatement. In reality, it is not just in some cases that supplements and vitamin fortified foods are required, but rather in all cases for vegan diets and in most cases for lacto/ovo diets.Without supplementation vegetarian diets simply dont work and invariably cause multiple nutrient deficiencies that not only adversely affect our health and wellbeing, but also that of our children.

Even informed vegetarians wont argue that virtually all plant foods contain no vitamin B12 and that meat and animal foods are the only significant dietary source of this crucial nutrient. Additionally, we cant synthesize B12 in our bodies. Consequently, if you decide to become a vegan, by default you will become vitamin B12 deficient unless you supplement your diet with this essential vitamin or eat B12 fortified foods.

Any lifelong dietary plan that requires nutrient supplementation on a regular basis makes no sense from an evolutionary perspective. You dont have to be an evolutionary biologist to realize that wild animals dont take nutritional supplements, nor do they normally develop vitamin deficiencies when living in their native environments. You will recall that not a single hunter-gatherer society consumed a vegetarian diet.26 This choice was not just a haphazard decision on their part, but rather was dictated by evolution through natural selection. If our ancestral foragers didnt eat B12 containing animal foods, they developed vitamin B12 deficiencies which in turn impaired health and survival thereby worsening their chances of reproducing. Accordingly, any behavior that favored all plant diets would have been quickly weeded out by natural selection because of our genetic requirement for vitamin B12. Unlike modern day vegetarians, hunter-gatherers couldnt simply pop a vitamin pill to make up for nutritional shortcomings in their diets. Without B12 supplementation, every hunter-gatherer who ever lived would have become vitamin B12 deficient if they didnt eat animal food.

I want to emphasize that this flaw in nutritional logic is not just a minor point to be shuffled under the rug as the ADA28 and the USDA142 have done, but rather represents a colossal error in judgment for recommending vegan diets. To fully appreciate this massive breakdown in reasoning lets examine the history of vitamin B12. Because it was the last vitamin to be discovered (1948), vitamin B12 only became available as a commercial supplement in the 1950s. Consequently, every person on the planet who consumed a strict lifelong vegan diet before B12s discovery in 1948 would have been deficient in this critical nutrient. I wonder if the ADA28 and USDA142 would recommend vegan diets to U.S. citizens living prior to 1948 or only after 1948? This case in point shows how absurd their rationale for vegan diets appears vegan diets are deadly before 1948 because they have no vitamin B12 but are healthful and nutritionally adequate28 after 1948 because we can supplement this vitamin. OK no big deal nothing to get too excited about just follow the ADA recommendations and make sure your vegetarian diet is appropriately planned.28 Right?

Unfortunately, most of the worlds vegetarians and vegans have not been able to figure out just exactly what an appropriately planned28 vegetarian diet consists of, as almost all of them maintain deficient or marginal vitamin B12 concentrations in their bloodstreams. A 2003 study by Dr. Hermann and colleagues of 95 vegetarians revealed that 77% of lacto/ovo vegetarians were deficient in vitamin B12 whereas a staggering 92% of the vegans maintained deficiencies in this essential vitamin.52 The elegance of this study was that the researchers employed a powerful new procedure to precisely monitor vitamin B12 status in their subjects.50, 52 The simple measurement of vitamin B12 in the bloodstream often is misleading and doesnt reflect true levels of B12 in our bodies.22, 64, 113 Nevertheless, a study (The EPIC-Oxford Study) which examined simple B12 concentrations in the blood of 231 ovo/lacto vegetarians and 232 vegans verified that B12 deficiencies were widespread within these groups.46 If we use the normal cutoff point (150 pmol/liter) as the measure for vitamin B12 deficiency in the blood, then the data from the EPIC-Oxford study shows that 73% of the vegans and 24% of the lacto/ovo vegetarians had vitamin B12 deficiencies.46 These two scientific papers are representative of nearly all other studies reporting vitamin B12 in vegetarians.1, 109, 118, 121 When this many people who follow vegetarian or vegan diets become vitamin B12 deficient, it is beyond comprehension to me why governmental agencies and national dietary organizations still stubbornly cling to the belief that plant based diets are healthful.

Even more disturbing is a report by Dr. Corinna Koebnick and co-workers in Germany showing that long term ovo/lacto vegetarian diets impair vitamin B12 status in pregnant women.74 The problem here is that maternal B12 deficiencies can then be handed down to the unborn fetus and to nursing infants who frequently have no other source of nutrition except for their mothers vitamin B12 depleted milk.89, 107 B12 deficiency in pregnant women is not just a simple benign nutritional problem, but rather has potentially disastrous health outcomes for both mother and child. B12 deficiency in pregnant women is known to cause spontaneous abortions, weak labor, premature and low birth weight deliveries, birth defects, and the condition preeclampsia where mothers experience high blood pressure and damage to the liver, kidneys and blood vessels.7, 86, 87 Infants born from mothers with vitamin B12 deficiency frequently suffer from congenital malformations, irritability, failure to thrive, apathy, mental retardation and developmental problems.35 These data hardly support the ADAs position that Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood.28 In reality, the ADAs recommendation of vegan and vegetarian diets during all states of the life cycle28 is not only irresponsible, but in many cases is life threatening for mother, fetus and infant.

In Vegetarian and Vegan Diets: Nutritional Disasters Part 2, well discuss why Vitamin B12 deficiencies are just as devastating to adults as they are to infants and expectant mothers.

Cordially,

Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus

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76. Kornsteiner M, Singer I, Elmadfa I. Very low n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid status in Austrian vegetarians and vegans. Ann Nutr Metab. 2008;52(1):37-47

77. Krajcovicov-Kudlckov M, Buckov K, Klimes I, Sebokov E. Iodine deficiency in vegetarians and vegans. Ann Nutr Metab. 2003;47(5):183-5.

78. Krivoskov Z, Krajcovicov-Kudlckov M, Spustov V, Stefkov K, Valachovicov M, Blazcek P, Nmcov T. The association between high plasma homocysteine levels and lower bone mineral density in Slovak women: the impact of vegetarian diet. Eur J Nutr. 2010 Apr;49(3):147-53

79. Kumar J, Garg G, Sundaramoorthy E, Prasad PV, Karthikeyan G, Ramakrishnan L, Ghosh S, Sengupta S. Vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with coronary artery disease in an Indian population. Clin Chem Lab Med. 2009;47(3):334-8.

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Vegetarian Recipes | Taste of Home

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Heirloom Tomato Salad Heirloom Tomato Salad

This is a simple yet elegant dish that always pleases my guests. Not only is it tasty, but it is healthy, too. The more varied the colors of the tomatoes you choose, the prettier the salad will be. Jess Apfe of Berkeley, California

What is it about sweet potatoes that unnerve some people? For those who firmly state they hate a yam because of the color or texture, the rich addition of coconut, bourbon and spices might just win them over. Rebecca Anderson, Driftwood, Texas

The changes in this made over recipe cut the calories by a quarter and the fat, saturated fat and cholesterol by half. But the make over scones still have a tender texture, an appealing orange flavor and tart bursts of cranberry goodness.Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Fat-free half-and-half cream lends a rich flair to Barbara Richard's healthy recipe. "The thick and tasty soup is especially satisfying on cold winter days," she writes from Houston, Ohio.

These onions were served at a restaurant I visited in Florida, and the chefs assistant shared the recipe with me. They make a unique side to many entrees.Dixie Terry, Goreville, Illinois

Lightly coated in reduced-fat tarragon mayonnaise, this refreshing three-bean salad perks up summer meals. Every bite bursts with flavor. Suzanne Banfield, Basking Ridge, New Jersey

The way I came upon this mix is very fittinga friend gave me a container of it as a gift one Christmas. The next year, I gave it to many friends, all dressed up in decorated mason jars. Every single one asked for the recipe! I learned to cook through trial and error. I've been doing it for 30 years...it's my favorite pastime. My husband and I live on a 50-acre farm, where we breed and race horses. We also raise chickens and lambs. Our six children are grown, and now we're t

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Vegetarian Recipes | PBS Food

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if you look, they are about half one way and half the next.

you pat the dough into a foil lined loaf pan...no rolling.

I watched S3Ep07 Jan. 2014 Re "Fried Okra." Picture has a sauce but nothing in the recipe. Martha, could you have someone email me recipe or link for dipping sauce? thank muchly.Kate Starr, Rockport, MA

Some cooking directions would be nice...

So the cookies won't be gritty.

Yes it should work great, just be sure they're baking pears (bosc, bartlett) and not eating pears. Eating pears might turn this into a bit of a mess. 🙂

And furthermore, the Celts were persecuted to a close extinction, forbidden to access education (aka passage of knowledge), particularly in Ireland. So tales of cannibalism and sexual activitiy with animals abound in modern Norman and Roman mythology.

Actually, France was populated by the Gauls who were Celts. Another area were Celtic roots remain today is Galicia in North Western Spain, meaning that most of Western Europe at one point was mostly populated by Celts. Eventually the Romans pushed the Gauls north and colonized the territory we know today as France. Brittany is the only remaining stronghold o

Shut up dummy..ur what's wrong with the world today...sensitive little cry babies...You really think that he going to intentionally promote drinking and driving...dummy...it's Texas! Love the show Aaron!

I absolutely love this show...I stumbled across it. I didn't know the show existed. I just watched the episode showcasing casseroles which aired in Chicago the end of October. I think that it was in extremely poor taste for the guy to inform Vivian that there was a bad review regarding Vivian's hair, just as much as it was for the person to make th

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Vegetarian Recipes – Better Homes & Gardens

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Vegetarian or not, you'll love feasting on these vegetarian recipes! We have an amazing variety of fantastic flavors and plenty of options to choose from. If you're just trying to cut back on the amount of meat you eat, a good place to start is with meatless versions of old favorites. If you're among those who love Mexican cuisine, try our meatless enchiladas, tacos, burritos, or nachos. If Italian pasta recipes are your weakness, try our delicious vegetarian dishes for creamy Alfredo pasta, layered lasagnas, and saucy stuffed shells the whole family will love. As a bonus, many of our pasta recipes can be whipped up quickly for busy weeknights. For more weeknight fare, use our collection of quick and easy vegetarian dinners. You'll find recipes for soups, sandwiches, salads, stir-fries, and more that go from prep to plate in about 30 minutes or less. Slow cooker meals also make easy work of family meals. Simply add your ingredients in the morning and come home to a dinner that's warm and ready to serve. Our top vegetarian slow cooker recipes put this easy method to work for you.

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Vegetarian Recipes - Better Homes & Gardens

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HappyCow: Vegetarian Health and Nutrition

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Eating a vegetarian diet (or vegan diet) and staying healthy can be a challenge if you don't know what foods to eat and where to search for information to help you be healthy. We, at HappyCow, have lived vegetarian and vegan for many decades combined, and we commend you for choosing a diet that will benefit you, the animals, and the planet. In this section, you will find information on vegetarian nutrition, vegetarian super foods, vegetarian protein, recipes, articles by nutritions consultant, and much more. Please feel free to contribute your nutritions expertise and experiences with us via email.

"It is the position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada that appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases... Vegetarian diets offer a number of advantages, including lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, and animal protein and higher levels of carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, boron, folate, antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, carotenoids, and phytochemicals. Some vegans may have intakes for vitamin B-12, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and occasionally riboflavin that are lower than recommended." - from Journal of the American Dietetic Association 103, no. 6 (June 2003).

Ask questions, offer opinions... Health Forum.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in articles published on happycow.net are those of the authors alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of happycow.net nor its staff. Additionally, this information is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment and services of a physician. Any recommendations and indications are at the user's discretion. For severe or life-threatening conditions, always seek immediate medical attention.

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Healthy Vegetarian Recipes and Menus – EatingWell

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Whether youre a vegetarian or looking to eat more meat-free meals for better health, these easy vegetarian recipes are a delicious way to incorporate more vegetables, beans and whole grains into your diet. More and more, people are realizing that going meatless even once or twice a week can have real health benefits, including weight loss and reduced risk for heart disease. Why? Plant-based foods, such as vegetables, beans and lentils, are low in saturated fat and full of fiber, which helps you feel satisfied on fewer calories. (Most Americans eat only about half the 25 to 38 grams of fiber thats recommended each day.) Plus, when you plan more vegetarian dinners youll save on grocery bills and reduce your carbon footprint: the worldwide meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of manmade greenhouse-gas emissions, according to the United Nations. Eating more simple vegetarian meals will help you save money too. These delicious vegetarian recipes showcase some of the staples of vegetarian cuisine and provide tasty culinary inspiration and cooking tips for every vegetable lover.

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Healthy Vegetarian Recipes and Menus - EatingWell

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Vegetarian and Vegan Diet: What’s the Difference?

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Introduction to vegetarian and vegan diets

To eat meat, or not to eat meat... This is the question on many people's mind. The negative impact of animal foods on health, the damage associated with animal foods and the environment, religious beliefs, and the desire to protect and respect animals are some of the reasons for the increase in the number of people consuming vegetarian diets. Many people express an interest in consuming a vegetarian diet but don't do so because they are unsure of how to do it or are not ready to give up meat. Fortunately, there are options and lots of great resources available to help. The key to making this diet work for you is to understand what nutrients you are missing from the foods that you are not consuming and to learn how to balance your meals without these foods.

Author:

Betty is a Registered Dietitian who earned her B.S. degree in Food and Nutrition from Marymount College of Fordham University and her M.S. degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. She is the Co-Director and Director of nutrition for the New York Obesity Research Center Weight Loss Program.

Medical Editor:

Melissa Conrad Stppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/8/2015

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Vegetarian and Vegan Diet: What's the Difference?

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Vegetarian Main Dish Recipes – Allrecipes.com

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Stuffed Peppers My Way

"This is a wonderful recipe! My picky hubby already has this on the 'let's make it every week' list." strauss887

"I've made this twice now for different friends and everyone loves it. It's a huge hit with carnivores and vegetarians. Next time, I'm making one just for me!" misscoquette

Good and good for you: Easy, healthy, tasty recipes delivered to your inbox.

Penne pasta is tossed with asparagus and snow peas in this quick, light, and easy dish.

This is a great pasta dish. The hardest part of the whole recipe is cutting the escarole. It is fast, simple, and delicious! What more could you ask for? With a loaf of Italian bread it goes a long way. Enjoy!

These ribs may be made with some pretty odd ingredients, but they really taste great! They are not difficult to make, and are very forgiving. However, it takes a certain amount of trust to make them. Even if your mix looks and feels like a huge mistake, keep on going, and bake it. The first time I made these, I did everything wrong, and they were still delicious. Even my excessively carniverous husband liked them. These are great comfort food, and really stick to your ribs!

Everyone will enjoy these delicious potatoes cooked up with Indian spices.

For those vegetarians who miss the taste of meatloaf, here is a tasty vegetarian version that matches the flavor.

These black bean and corn quesadillas are really cheesy, a little bit spicy, and a little bit sweet. My vegetarian husband goes crazy over these every time! Feel free to play around and add chicken or veggies, if you desire. Don't forget the salsa and sour cream!

Get out your grater or food processor, you'll need to grate up a bunch of zucchini. But this is what makes these patties fry up so wonderfully. A nice change from potato pancakes. Serve with a bit of tomato sauce or sour cream dabbed on top.

White beans slow cooked with vegetables and fresh herbs - parsley, rosemary, lemon thyme, and savory.

For a smoky and sumptuous veggie-filled grilled sandwich, try this easy recipe. All it takes is some veggies, focaccia bread, lemon-mayonnaise dressing, and crumbled feta.

Macaroni is mixed with shredded Cheddar, Parmesan, cottage cheese and sour cream, then topped with bread crumbs and baked.

Eggplant slices are dipped in egg and bread crumbs and then baked, instead of fried. The slices are layered with spaghetti sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Quick and easy black bean burgers, spiced up with chili sauce, cumin, garlic and chili powder. A tasty alternative to the frozen kind.

These unusual burritos are made with sweet potatoes, spices and kidney beans. They freeze well and can be deep-fried instead of baked.

This savory deep-dish pie features herbed feta cheese that melts and mingles in every bite. The cheese is sauteed and mixed with spinach, mushrooms, Cheddar cheese and lots of garlic. This mixture is then combined with milk and eggs, and poured into a prepared crust. A bit more Cheddar cheese is sprinkled over the top, and then the quiche is slipped into the oven until it 's set.

Strands of baked spaghetti squash tossed with feta cheese, onions, tomatoes, olives, and basil for a Greek-inspired dish that tastes like pasta without all the calories.

Onions, bell peppers and jalapenos are heated in a skillet. Black beans come next and then cubes of cream cheese and a bit of cilantro. Scoop this wonderful concoction into a warm tortillas and try and eat just one.

This is a fabulous lasagna made with an artichoke and spinach mixture which has been cooked with vegetable broth, onions and garlic. The mixture is layered with lasagna noodles, pasta sauce, mozzarella cheese, and topped with crumbled feta.

"These really taste like crab cakes but without the crab, and are a really good way to utilize that bumper crop of zucchini!"

Sharp Cheddar and Parmesan cheese combine for this extra creamy mac n cheese recipe. Just 20 minutes to prep and 30 to bake.

It's easy to make your own falafel! Mashed chickpeas are combined with onion, bread crumbs, egg, and herbs, and fried until browned and crisp. Serve in pita halves topped with chopped tomatoes and cucumber sauce.

Breaded tofu a la parmigiana. You'll just about swear this is eggplant or veal! One of my husband's favorites, and he doesn't even suspect! Serve with a simple crisp green salad, angel hair pasta and garlic bread.

Penne pasta mingles with onion, garlic, tomatoes, mushrooms, wilted spinach and feta with a dash of red pepper flakes for zip.

This is an easy and exotic Indian dish. It's rich, creamy, mildly spiced, and extremely flavorful. Serve with naan and rice.

Serve this tasty sandwich spread on crusty whole grain rolls or pita bread, with lettuce and tomato.

A dash of mustard powder and grind of black pepper adds extra kick to a creamy cheese sauce. Stir cooked macaroni into the sauce and bake with a layer of bread crumbs over the top.

Roasted green bell peppers are stuffed with feta cheese and a mixture of rice and green onions.

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Vegetarian Main Dish Recipes - Allrecipes.com

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Healthy Vegetarian Eating – Young Women

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Posted under Health Guides. Updated 5 December 2013. +Related Content

A vegetarian is someone who doesnt eat meat, including beef, chicken, pork, or fish and may or may not choose to eat other animal products such as eggs, milk, gelatin, or honey.

There are different types of vegetarians:

Flexitarian: Flexitarians are also known as semivegetarians. They avoid animal products most of the time, but will occasionally eat fish or meat.

Pescivegetarian: Pescivegetarians eat fish, dairy, and eggs but dont eat meat or poultry.

Lactoovo vegetarian: Lactoovo vegetarians dont eat meat, but do eat eggs and dairy products (ovo means eggs and lacto means dairy). This is the most common type of vegetarian diet.

Lacto vegetarian: Lacto vegetarians dont eat meat or eggs, but do eat dairy products.

Ovo vegetarian: Ovo vegetarians dont eat meat or dairy, but do eat eggs.

Vegan: Vegans avoid eating any animal products. They dont eat any meat products, milk, cheese, eggs, honey, or gelatin. Many vegans (and some other types of vegetarians) choose not to wear clothes containing animal products, such as leather, wool, or silk, or wear makeup that may have been tested on animals.

People decide to become a vegetarian for many reasons. Some common motivators include the environment, animal rights, and health. You may have different reasons. Deciding to become vegetarian is an individual decision.

Vegetarian diets can be very healthy and may even lower the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and cancer. However, eating a balanced diet when you are vegetarian usually requires a little extra attention. Because vegetarians take out certain foods from their diets, they often need to work to add in foods that will provide the nutrients found in meat products. By eating a variety of foods including fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, soy products, and whole grains, vegetarians can get nutrients from nonmeat sources. Vegetarians, especially vegans, need to pay attention getting enough iron, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and omega3 fatty acids.

Carbohydrates provide energy and vitamins for your brain and muscles. Grain products, especially whole grains, are very important because they provide the carbohydrate, fiber, and many vitamins that your body needs. Vegetarians should be sure to eat a variety of whole grains such as whole wheat bread, pasta and tortillas, brown rice, bulgur, and quinoa.

Fat is needed by your body to stay healthy. Fat provides essential fatty acids and helps your body absorb certain vitamins. Excellent sources of healthy fats include nuts or nut butters, oils, and avocados.

Protein is needed for your muscles to grow. Vegetarians have to be careful not to just cut meat out of their diet, but to replace the meat with highprotein vegetarian foods. Nuts, nut butters (including peanut butter, almond butter, and sun butter), soy foods (such as tofu, soy milk, and edamame), legumes (such as beans, peas, hummus, and lentils), dairy foods (such as milk, yogurt, and cheese), and eggs all provide protein.

Zinc is important for growth and your immune system. Zinc is found in whole grains (refined grains such as bread or pasta made from white flour or white rice are not sources of zinc), fortified breakfast cereals, dairy products, soy foods, nuts, and legumes.

Iron is important for your blood and is found in beans, seeds, soybeans, tofu, fortified breakfast cereals, dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, and dried fruit such as apricots, figs, or prunes. Plantbased iron is different from the iron found in meat and its not absorbed as well by your body. Adding vitamin C helps your body to absorb iron, so its important to eat foods rich in vitamin C (such as citrus fruits) and certain vegetables (such as tomatoes) as well.

Calcium is required to build strong bones. Calcium is found in dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. You can also find plant sources of calcium such as broccoli, butternut squash, collard greens, black beans, white beans, soybeans, and tofu. Plant sources of calcium have less calcium per serving than dairy products and fortified foods. Some foods arent naturally high in calcium but have calcium added to them; these foods are called calciumfortified. Some products such as soy milk, enriched rice milk, orange juices, cereals, and cereal bars are calcium fortified. Look at the Nutrition Facts Label to find out which brands are highest in calcium.

Vitamin D is needed to absorb the calcium you eat and is necessary for strong bones. You can get vitamin D from the foods you eat, such as fortified dairy or soy milk products, fortified orange juice, egg yolks, or your body can make it from the sun. If you live in a place that gets very little sunshine, especially during the winter months, its harder to get enough vitamin D. To figure out if you live in one of these places, look at a map of the United States and imagine a line running between San Francisco and Philadelphia. If you live north of this line, its necessary for you (during the winter) to get your daily intake of vitamin D through food or supplements.

Vitamin B12 is only found in animal foods, so vegans must eat food fortified with B12. Examples include cows milk, eggs, nutritional yeast flakes, fortified soy milk, and fortified cereals. Your health care provider or nutritionist may also recommend supplemental vitamin B12 to make sure your body gets enough.

Omega3 Fatty Acids are essential fatty acids. Vegans or vegetarians who dont eat eggs must include other sources. You can find omega3 fatty acids in walnuts, flaxseeds, canola oil, soybeans, or tofu.

Iodine is a mineral that helps your bodys metabolism. Plantbased diets can be low in iodine, so vegans should try to use iodized salt in recipes that call for salt. Seaweed (the type that wraps up sushi) is also a good source of iodine.

Your parents may be worried that you are choosing to follow a vegetarian diet without knowing how to do it in a healthy way. If you can explain your plans to stay healthy and your reasons for wanting to become a vegetarian, your parents may be more likely to understand. You still might need to give them time to accept your new diet. Read vegetarian cookbooks or nutritional information with your parents and offer to help with the shopping and cooking.

Fruits

Dark green leafy vegetables

Dark orange or yellow vegetables

Legumes

Whole grains

Soy products

Meat substitutes

Refer to our sample menu suggestions to get ideas about incorporating enough protein and other nutrients into your vegetarian diet. You can also look at vegetarian cookbooks or websites for more ideas.

*Menus are based on a 2000-calorie diet as an example. You may need more or less than this depending on your age and activity level.

**Menu 1 illustrates use of a food (Total cereal) that is fortified with 100% the recommended intake of vitamin B12 and the minerals zinc and iron, nutrients that are more difficult to get when a teen is not eating meat. On day two, it may be necessary to supplement intake with a standard Multivitamin.

Breakfast

Snack

Lunch

Dinner

Snack

Breakfast

Snack

Lunch

Dinner

Snack

Tags: healthy eating, vitamins and minerals

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Healthy Vegetarian Eating - Young Women

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What is a vegetarian diet? – HowStuffWorks

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Vegetarianism seems more popular than ever. Veggie burgers grace menus and barbecues across the country. Children and teenagers declare themselves vegetarian to assert dietary independence from their parents. Vegetarian cosmetics and cruelty-free clothes fill corner drugstores and high-end shops. But although vegetarianism is trendy, sometimes rebellious and decidedly modern, it's actually one of the earliest diets. Some cultures have subsisted without meat for millennia. Socrates, Plato, Leonardo da Vinci, Charles Darwin and Thomas Edison were all vegetarians [source: VegNews].

The vegetarian diet is straightforward enough: Vegetarians do not eat meat. Some people who avoid beef and pork but still eat poultry or fish mistakenly consider themselves vegetarians. Although vegetarianism has varying degrees, the diet's core principle is abstention from all meat. Most vegetarians are lacto-ovo-vegetarians -- they do not eat meat but they allow dairy products and eggs. Lacto-vegetarians allow dairy, and ovo-vegetarians allow eggs. Vegans avoid all animal products -- meat, dairy, eggs, leather, wool, silk and even honey.

There is, however, plenty for vegetarians to eat. Lacto-ovo vegetarians eat fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, dairy and eggs. They eat meat substitutes like soybean-based tofu and tempeh, and seitan, a wheat protein. Ethnic cooking's growing popularity has also opened up a world of new vegetarian foods to vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Middle Eastern, North African, Indian and Asian foods are often vegetarian or easily can be made so.

In this article, we'll learn about why people become vegetarians, the degrees of vegetarianism and how the movement has evolved.

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