Honestly, I’m not a vegetarian but I like vegetarian eating. There is a controversial issue whether vegetarian diets are always healthful. However, many studies found that vegetarians have much lower cholesterol levels than meat eaters, and heart disease is less commnon in vegetarians.
Vegetarian meals are typically low in saturated fat and usually contain little or no cholesterol. Since cholesterol is found only in animal products such as meat, dairy, and eggs, vegans consume a cholesterol-free diet.
Also, vegetarians have lower blood pressure than nonvegetarians and vegetarian diet helps prevent cancer.
People might think being a vegetarian is hard because of diet limitations. However, it is easier than you might think. Vegetarian Times and the physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine suggest the 3-step way to be a vegetarian.
- First, think of three vegetarian meals that you already enjoy. Common ones are tofu and vegetable stir-fries, vegetable stew, or pasta primavera.
- Second, think of three recipes you prepare regularly that can easily be adapted to a vegetarian menu.
- Third, check out some vegetarian cookbooks from the library and experiment with the recipes for a week or so until you find three new recipes that are delicious and easy to make.
One of the big issue regarding vegetarianism is protein. People are concerned that vegetarian diet never get too much protein. However, many nutrition authorities, including American Dietetic Association, believe protein needs can easily be met by consuming a variety of plant protein sources over an entire day. Orr, a professor of nutritional science in University of Texas at Austin, said,
“Most vegetarians have to use complimentary meal plans, mixing different types of plant-based protein together to make centric amino-acid. For example, corn and beans. Those have differnet amino-acid but you put them together and then make centric amino-acid.”
If you make your own dishes at home, it would be fine. But if you plan to eat out, you definitely want to find a restaurant serving vegetarian dishes. Vegetarian eating is on the rise nationwide, so it should come as no surprise that many Austin restaurants are catering to this increasing demand. I know Veggie Heaven and Kerbey Lane cafe offer vegetarian menus. But there are many vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Austin. Check the list :)
But keep in mind that anything done in extreme is things to avoid. Professor Orr said,
“Meat, eggs, and milk have lots of good nutrition. So avoid any extremes, and middle of the road.”