Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Why be a Vegetarian or Vegan ?

I've been a vegetarian for longer than I can remember, I've also been known to go months at a time eating nothing but a raw food vegan diet. I still lean toward raw food but I must admit it's easier not to be, so out of sheer laziness I will forgo the raw food and eat whats convenient. But just the same I thought I would add this in here to help those out who are looking for direction.

A few good reasons to be Vegetarian or Vegan

  • Shed extra pounds, yep on an average vegans and vegetarians are up to 20 lbs lighter than meat eaters
  • Every vegetarian saves more than 100 animals a year
  • A Vegan diet is great for your health, vegetarians are less likely to develop heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or high blood pressure than mean eaters and that's a fact.
  • Meat is often contaminated with feces, blood, and other bodily fluids all of which make animal products the top source of food poisoning in the USA. In fact scientist at John Hopkins Bloomberg school of Public Health tested supermarket chicken flesh and found that 96 % of Tyson chicken was contaminated with camplylobactor, a dangerous bacteria that causes 2.4 million cases of food poisoning each year.
  • It takes tons of crops and water to raise farmed animals in fact it takes 16LBS of grain to produce 1LB of animal flesh! All that plant food could be used more efficiently if it were fed to people directly and help feed the world.
  • Adopting a vegan diet is more important to than switching to a greener car in the fight against global warming because the meat industry is the cause so much pollution and waste.
As for B12...

It is true that very low B12 intakes can cause anemia and nervous system damage.

The only reliable vegan sources of B12 are foods fortified with B12 (including some plant milks, some soy products and some breakfast cereals) and B12 supplements. Vitamin B12, whether in supplements, fortified foods, or animal products, comes from micro-organisms.

Most vegans consume enough B12 to avoid anemia and nervous system damage, but many do not get enough to minimize potential risk of heart disease or pregnancy complications.

To get the full benefit of a vegan diet, vegans should do one of the following:

  1. Eat fortified foods two or three times a day to get at least three micrograms (mcg or µg) of B12 a day or
  2. Take one B12 supplement daily providing at least 10 micrograms or
  3. Take a weekly B12 supplement providing at least 2000 micrograms.

If relying on fortified foods, check the labels carefully to make sure you are getting enough B12. For example, if a fortified plant milk contains 1 microgram of B12 per serving then consuming three servings a day will provide adequate vitamin B12. Others may find the use of B12 supplements more convenient and economical.

The less frequently you obtain B12 the more B12 you need to take, as B12 is best absorbed in small amounts. The recommendations above take full account of this. There is no harm in exceeding the recommended amounts or combining more than one option.

Recommended movie: 'Food Inc.' See the meat industry behind the scenes.Why? because you are what you eat and maybe you'll rethink your diet for the better.

1 comment:

  1. Insightful post, thank you. You are a wealth of knowledge in this area! I still need to see this movie.