Most people have heard of a vegetarian diet, as this way of eating is becoming more and more popular with every passing year. While it is gaining prominence in the United States, it has been a practice for centuries in many other countries and cultures as well. There are many reasons to incorporate vegetarian meals into your weekly or even daily routine, no matter what your motivation. Understanding vegetarianism and its many benefits can be a great start to making this positive change to your dietary habits.
Understanding the Difference Between Vegetarian and Vegan
While one person’s motivation for choosing to eat vegetarian foods can differ from another’s, the basic definition of the practice is not consuming any meat from an animal. However, a vegetarian meal may incorporate some other animal products, such as eggs or dairy. Vegetarianism and veganism are not the same dietary styles, as a vegan meal does not include any animal products of any kind. When looking for recipes and foods that are approved for either a vegan or vegetarian diet, it can be helpful to search for online resources, such as The Kitchen Community, that provide plenty of information and meal ideas.
The Perks of Eating Vegetarian Meals
For some people, vegetarian eating comes from a desire to be kinder to animals. While this is a noble and worthy cause, there are many other benefits to be had from choosing this style of eating, even if you do not have any moral or ethical concerns about consuming meat.
Improve Your Health
Animal meats can be a good source of protein, but they are also often very high in fat, including saturated fat. For those who are trying to improve cardiovascular health and lower their cholesterol, limiting fatty meats, especially beef and pork products, can offer significant health benefits.
Meat is a costly ingredient and it is significantly more expensive than most other types of protein. This is one of the main reasons why so many cultures around the globe do not consume much meat if any at all; it simply isn’t an affordable option. Swapping out just a few meat-centered meals for vegetarian ones can save you a lot of money each month.
Support Local Farmers and Food Growers
When you consume more plants and plant-based proteins, you’re taking steps to support farmers across the country and the globe. However, if you shop locally for products from farms and markets in your community, you can help sustain the work and livelihood of people who depend on sales to maintain their business in your neighborhood. Farming will always be essential to the health and nutrition of humans everywhere, so taking steps to support this vital work is incredibly important.
If you’re looking for an easy way to improve your health, save money, and make a positive impact on the planet and your community, consider swapping just a few meals a week for a vegetarian alternative. With so many delicious recipes and ideas for vegetarian dishes, you just might find that you and your family can benefit from transitioning to this dietary lifestyle completely.