By Abigail Carroll. Vegetarian Lifestyle. At Friday, May 03rd 2019, 20:52:26 PM.
Appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes. However, these benefits will not immediately follow a decision to stop eating meat. Like any diet, a vegetarian diet should be part of an overall healthy lifestyle, which includes exercise and excludes unhealthy choices, such as smoking and drinking excess alcohol.
Once you become comfortable with eating no meat or poultry and regularly having fully vegetarian days, you should start to eliminate fish and seafood from your diet. An easy way to do this is to drop one serving of fish per week. However, you can move more quickly if you make sure to continue eating sources of all essential nutrients. To ensure that you do not simultaneously eliminate some essential fatty and amino acids from your diet, replace fish and seafood with plant sources of these nutrients. You can accomplish this by eating soy products instead of fish and regularly adding flax seeds to your meals.
When meat is cooked at high temperatures, certain chemical compounds called heterocyclic amines can be created that may have carcinogenic effects. Recently published research has pointed to a link between consumption of highly processed meat products and higher risk for cancer. The higher the cooking temperature of meat, the greater chance of these byproducts being created. Additionally, vegetarian diets eliminate processed meats, which are also considered carcinogenic. These include foods like packaged cold cuts, hot dogs, salami and cured meats. On the other hand, plant-based proteins offer amino acids (the specific types and amount differs from food to food) in addition to fiber and antioxidants, but without the carcinogenic effects.