written by Lisa Luck
The simple definition of a vegetarian is a person who doesn’t eat any meat, seafood or poultry. There are three subdivisions of vegetarians, the first one is called Lacto-ovo vegetarian, and they eat milk products and eggs besides vegetables. Another division is called Lacto vegetarians; this group eats milk products but no eggs or other sources of meat. The final division is vegans; this group is the ultimate vegetarian. Vegans don’t eat any food that comes from an animal in anyway; this includes milk products, eggs, honey, and gelatin.
The health benefits for vegetarianism vs veganism
A vegetarian diet has more health benefits due to its higher dietary fiber, vitamins, less unsaturated fat and cholesterol. Though vegans tend to be thinner, they also typically have a lower blood pressure and cholesterol level. Unfortunately, a vegan diet can fall short of many nutrients that the body needs. Unless vegans eat foods that are enriched with certain vitamins, fatty acids, iron and zinc, they will need to take supplements to make sure their body has the required amount it its system. In general, vegetarians and vegans have a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers compared to those who follow a more standard diet.
Why would you choose to be a vegetarian or vegan?
There are several reasons as to why a people might lean towards a vegetarian diet. For many vegetarians and vegans, they feel that they are taking better care of the earth’s natural resources and protecting the animals by switching their dietary habits. Meat is fairly expensive at the grocery store, so some people turn to a vegetarian lifestyle to save more money. Another reason some people can become vegetarian is that they are allergic to or simply dislike the taste of meat.
Becoming a vegetarian of any division can be a challenge. If you choose to be a vegetarian or vegan, make sure to consult with your doctor to make sure it is the best option for you. Vegans need to be extra careful of their diet because they often face the difficulty of not getting enough nutrients in their daily meals. As long as your body is getting the right amount of nutrition, choose which ever might be the best for you!
If you are looking to try a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, here is one fresh recipe to get you started!
Caprese Eggplant Rollup
Makes 8 Roll-Ups
Eggplant sliced lengthwise into 8 ¼ slices
8 fresh basil sprigs
8 thick half slices of tomato
32 thin lengthwise slices of red bell pepper
2 cloves of garlic
4 Tbs of extra virgin olive oil
4 slices of fresh mozzarella, halved
1. Preheat oven to 350°
2. Press garlic and mix with 4 Tbs olive oil and place 1 Tbs of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat.
3. Add 2 eggplant slices, 2 at a time, and cook until tender, browning on both sides. About 4 minutes per side.
4. Repeat with garlic oil and eggplant until all 8 slices are tender.
5. Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray and line with eggplant slices. Place 4 slices of red bell pepper and 1/2 slice of mozzarella in each slice of eggplant rollup.
6. Bake rollups for 20 minutes.
7. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes.
8. With a toothpick, pin one half slice of tomato and one basil sprig to the top of each eggplant rollup.
To make this dish vegan, do not include mozzarella.
NUTRITION PER ROLLUP (With Cheese): Calories, 188; Carbs, 4g; Fat, 12g; Protein, 5g; Sodium, 87mg; Sugar, 3g (Without Cheese): Calories, 118; Carbs, 4g; Fat, 7g; Protein, 0g; Sodium, 2mg; Sugar, 3g