Health: Nutrition and Vegetarian Diet Essay examples

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Health is the level of functional or metabolic efficiency of a living being. In humans, it is the general condition of a person's mind and body, usually meaning to be free from illness, injury or pain (as in "good health" or "healthy").

The term "healthy" is also widely used in the context of many types of non-living organizations and their impacts for the benefit of humans, such as in the sense of healthy communities, healthy cities or healthy environments. In addition to health care interventions and a person's surroundings, a number of other factors are known to influence the health status of individuals, including their background, lifestyle, and economic and social conditions; these are referred to as "determinants of health".

The World Health Organization describes mental health as "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community"

Did you know these facts? * Vegetarian foods are a major source of nutrition for most people in the world. * Vegetarians have lower rates of heart disease and some forms of cancer than non-vegetarians. * Vegetarian diets can be simple and easy to prepare.
What is a vegetarian?
Broadly defined, a vegetarian is a person who does not eat meat, poultry, and fish. Vegetarians eat mainly fruit, vegetables, legumes, grains, seeds, and nuts. Many vegetarians eat eggs and/or dairy products but avoid hidden animal products such as beef and chicken stocks, lard, and gelatin.
The American Dietetic Association (ADA) classifies vegetarians more specifically in the following ways: * Vegans or total vegetarians exclude all animal products (e.g. meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, and other dairy products). Many vegans also do not eat honey. * Lactovegetarians exclude meat, poultry, fish, and eggs but include dairy products. * Lacto-ovovegetarians exclude meat, poultry, and fish but include dairy products and eggs. Most vegetarians in the US are lacto-ovovegetarians.
Why are people vegetarians?
People are vegetarians for many reasons, including concern for personal health and the environment, economic and world hunger concerns, compassion for animals, belief in nonviolence, food preferences, or spiritual reasons. People may become vegetarians for one reason, and then later on adopt some of the other reasons as well. Vegetarian diets are somewhat more common among adolescents with eating disorders than in the general population. According to the ADA position paper on vegetarian diets, however, “recent data suggest that adopting a vegetarian diet does not lead to eating disorders, rather that vegetarian diets may be selected to camouflage an existing eating disorder.” Be sure you fully understand your own reasons for choosing vegetarianism. back to top
What are the health benefits of a vegetarian diet?
According to the ADA, vegetarians are at lower risk for developing: * Heart disease * Colorectal, ovarian, and breast cancers * Diabetes * Obesity * Hypertension (high blood pressure)
This is because a healthy vegetarian diet is typically low in fat and high in fiber. However, even a vegetarian diet can be high in fat if it includes excessive amounts of fatty snack foods, fried foods, whole milk dairy products, and eggs. Therefore, a vegetarian diet, like any healthy diet, must be well planned in order to help prevent and treat certain diseases.
Are there any health risks in becoming a vegetarian?
Some vegans may have intakes for vitamin B-12, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and occasionally riboflavin that are lower than recommended. back to top
Do vegetarians get proper nutrition?
The key to any healthy diet is to choose a wide variety of foods, and to consume enough calories to meet your energy needs. It is important for vegetarians to pay attention to