Switching to a Vegetarian Diet

Although switching to a vegetarian diet can seem daunting at first glance, it’s actually more accessible than many people think. In addition, the myriad of benefits that favor a meat-free diet make it a worthwhile pursuit. Here’s an introduction to making the switch and some related information on the diet.

What Is A Vegetarian Diet?

First off, it bears mentioning that there are different kinds of vegetarian diets that one can pursue. The following information will focus on the most common type of vegetarian diet, which is called lacto-ovo vegetarianism. This refers to those who do not eat meat, but do consume animal products such as dairy and eggs.

What Are The Benefits Of A Vegetarian Diet?

One of the most commonly cited reasons for adhering to a vegetarian lifestyle is its health benefits. Numerous studies have shown that a diet high in plants and low in animal products can reduce the chances of contracting heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.(1)

Another reason some people choose a vegetarian lifestyle is its positive impact on the environment. One example of this is in the conservation of clean water since crop production makes much more efficient usage of water than livestock. For instance, it takes 2,400 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef, whereas a pound of wheat takes only 180 gallons to produce.(2)

Two other popular reasons for following a vegetarian lifestyle are religious convictions and the pursuit of the ethical treatment of animals.

How To Get Started

The simplest way to get started with new diets such as vegetarianism is to simply dive right in. Of course, when ditching meat this can be easier said than done. Many people who try the cold-turkey approach find themselves returning to their meat-eating ways before too long.

A popular way to avoid this relapse is by starting to follow a vegetarian lifestyle on only certain days of the week. Many people start off by practicing “meatless Mondays”. Once they feel confident in their ability to restrain from eating meat on one day of the week, they increase their days of vegetarianism until they’ve completely transitioned.

In a world searching for new diets that can prioritize healthy and environmentally-conscious eating, vegetarianism is becoming an increasingly popular nutritional choice. The information above outlines some of the ways and reasons why one might pursue a meat-free diet.

References

(1) https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/becoming-a-vegetarian

(2) https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/animals-used-food-factsheets/vegetarianism-environment/