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Why Should You Celebrate “Vegetarian Awareness” Month?


October is Vegetarian Awareness Month so I thought it would be a good time to write about the many types of vegetarian diets, how they improve your health and how you can start adding one vegetarian meal into your weekly menu.

A lot of people believe that going vegetarian means eating a lot of salads and not eating any meat. There are actually different levels of vegetarian. Here is a list for you –

Lacto-ovo-vegetarian: This diet includes dairy products and eggs in it.

Lacto-vegetarian: This diet includes dairy products, but no eggs in it.

Ovo-vegetarian: This diet includes eggs, but no dairy products in it.

Pesci-vegetarian: This diet includes fish.

Semi-vegetarian: This diet includes both fish and poultry.

Flexitarian: Those who eat vegetarian most days of the week but will eat meat when out or with friends.

Vegan: This is the most restrictive diet and only includes food from plant sources.  No eggs, dairy products or honey are consumed.

While you may view a vegetarian diet as more restrictive than what you’re used to, there are many benefits that these diets can provide.
A vegetarian diet has been proven to help with weight loss, lower cholesterol, lower blood glucose levels and decreases the risk of cancer. 

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics have stated that a properly planned vegetarian diet is “healthful, nutritionally adequate, and provides health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”  The reason for this is that vegetarian diets offer lower levels of saturated fats, cholesterol and have higher levels of fiber, along with important antioxidants like vitamins C, E and phytochemicals that come from fruit and vegetables.


 I am not trying to convert you to become a vegetarian but how about trying 1 meatless meal a week. Why not start with “Meatless Monday”. Here is a great recipe from Fruits & Veggies–More Matters–Caramelized Mushroom and Onion Risotto.  It’s delicious and it’s easy enough to prepare on a busy weeknight.  Start experimenting with meatless recipes like this and try to get your family eating a meatless entree 2 or 3 nights a week.  Not only will you be eating healthier, I’ll bet you’ll see your grocery bill shrink as well!


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