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Category : Vegetarianism

The Vegetarian Diet: A Beginner’s Guide and Meal Plan

The vegetarian diet has gained widespread popularity in recent years.

Some studies estimate that vegetarians account for up to 18% of the global population (1).

Apart from the ethical and environmental benefits of cutting meat from your diet, a well-planned vegetarian diet may also reduce your risk of chronic disease, support weight loss and improve the quality of your diet.

This article provides a beginner's guide to the vegetarian diet, including a sample meal plan for one week.

The vegetarian diet involves abstaining from eating meat, fish and poultry.

People often adopt a vegetarian diet for religious or personal reasons, as well as ethical issues, such as animal rights.

Others decide to become vegetarian for environmental reasons, as livestock production increases greenhouse gas emissions, contributes to climate change and requires large amounts of water, energy and natural resources (2, 3).

There are several forms of vegetarianism, each of which differs in their restrictions.

The most common types include:

Vegetarian diets are associated with a number of health benefits.

In fact, studies show that vegetarians tend to have better diet quality than meat-eaters and a higher intake of important nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, vitamin E and magnesium (4, 5).

A vegetarian diet may provide several other health boosts as well.

Switching to a vegetarian diet can be an effective strategy if youre looking to lose weight.

In fact, one review of 12 studies noted that vegetarians, on average, experienced 4.5 more pounds (2 kg) of weight loss over 18 weeks than non-vegetarians (6).

Similarly, a six-month study in 74 people with type 2 diabetes demonstrated that vegetarian diets were nearly twice as effective at reducing body weight than low-calorie diets (7).

Plus, a study in nearly 61,000 adults showed that vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) than omnivores BMI being a measurement of body fat based on height and weight (8).

Some research suggests that a vegetarian diet may be linked to a lower risk of cancer including those of the breast, colon, rectum and stomach (9, 10, 11).

However, current research is limited to observational studies, which cannot prove a cause-and-effect relationship. Keep in mind that some studies have turned up inconsistent findings (12, 13).

Therefore, more research is needed to understand how vegetarianism may impact cancer risk.

Several studies indicate that vegetarian diets may help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

For instance, one review of six studies linked vegetarianism to improved blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes (14).

Vegetarian diets may also prevent diabetes by stabilizing blood sugar levels in the long term.

According to one study in 2,918 people, switching from a non-vegetarian to a vegetarian diet was associated with a 53% reduced risk of diabetes over an average of five years (15).

Vegetarian diets reduce several heart disease risk factors to help keep your heart healthy and strong.

One study in 76 people tied vegetarian diets to lower levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol all of which are risk factors for heart disease when elevated (16).

Similarly, another recent study in 118 people found that a low-calorie vegetarian diet was more effective at reducing bad LDL cholesterol than a Mediterranean diet (17).

Other research indicates that vegetarianism may be associated with lower blood pressure levels. High blood pressure is another key risk factor for heart disease (18, 19).

A well-rounded vegetarian diet can be healthy and nutritious.

However, it may also increase your risk of certain nutritional deficiencies.

Meat, poultry and fish supply a good amount of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as micronutrients like zinc, selenium, iron and vitamin B12 (20).

Other animal products like dairy and eggs also contain plenty of calcium, vitamin D and B vitamins (21, 22).

When cutting meat or other animal products from your diet, its important to ensure youre getting these essential nutrients from other sources.

Studies show that vegetarians are at a higher risk of protein, calcium, iron, iodine and vitamin B12 deficiencies (23, 24, 25, 26).

A nutritional deficiency in these key micronutrients can lead to symptoms like fatigue, weakness, anemia, bone loss and thyroid issues (27, 28, 29, 30).

Including a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein sources and fortified foods is an easy way to ensure youre getting appropriate nutrition.

Multivitamins and supplements are another option to quickly bump up your intake and compensate for potential deficiencies.

A vegetarian diet should include a diverse mix of fruits, vegetables, grains, healthy fats and proteins.

To replace the protein provided by meat in your diet, include a variety of protein-rich plant foods like nuts, seeds, legumes, tempeh, tofu and seitan.

If you follow a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet, eggs and dairy can also boost your protein intake.

Eating nutrient-dense whole foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains will supply a range of important vitamins and minerals to fill in any nutritional gaps in your diet.

A few healthy foods to eat on a vegetarian diet are:

There are many variations of vegetarianism, each with different restrictions.

Lacto-ovo vegetarianism, the most common type of vegetarian diet, involves eliminating all meat, poultry and fish.

Other types of vegetarians may also avoid foods like eggs and dairy.

A vegan diet is the most restrictive form of vegetarianism because it bars meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy and any other animal products.

Depending on your needs and preferences, you may have to avoid the following foods on a vegetarian diet:

To help get you started, heres a one-week sample meal plan for a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet.

Most vegetarians avoid meat, poultry and fish, though some also restrict eggs, dairy and other animal products.

A balanced vegetarian diet with nutritious foods like produce, grains, healthy fats and plant-based protein may offer several benefits, but it may increase your risk of nutritional deficiencies if poorly planned.

Be sure to pay close attention to a few key nutrients and round out your diet with a variety of healthy whole foods. That way, youll enjoy the benefits of vegetarianism while minimizing the side effects.

The Vegetarian Diet: A Beginner's Guide and Meal Plan

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Paul McCartney Keeps Tabs on The Simpsons to Make Sure Lisa Is Still Vegetarian – LIVEKINDLY

Lisa Simpson is still vegetarian because of Paul McCartney.

According to The Simpsons creators, the former Beatle agreed to guest star in the popular animated sitcom under one condition: Lisa remained vegetarian for the duration of the shows run.

David Mirkina showrunner at the time and fellow vegetariantold the Radio Times that even now, McCartney still checks Lisa is meat-free when they bump into each other. He always checks,he said.And hes always surrounded by nine or ten lawyers so its quite frightening.

McCartney appeared on the show back in 1995, alongside his late wife Linda McCartney. The episode, titled Lisa the Vegetarian, saw the eldest Simpson daughter bond with a lamb at a petting zoo. She then decides to stop eating meat, helped along by Kwik-E-Mart shopkeeper Apu and the McCartneys.

Watched by 14.6 million viewers on its first airing, the episode received critical acclaim. It won an Environmental Media Award, for highlighting environmental issues, and the Humane Societys Genesis Award, for highlighting animal welfare issues.

Lindawho was passionate about animal rightstold Entertainment Weekly that the episode gave them a chance to talk about vegetarianism with a wider audience.

Yeardley Smiththe voice of Lisaexplained in the recent Radio Times interview: Lisa is a really effective way of getting a sophisticated and adult message across.

Smith believes her character has always been ahead of her time; she was raising awareness about climate change long before Greta Thunberg was even born. With that in mind, Smith says the show would love to get the 17-year-old vegan climate activist to guest star.

Itd be great if Greta plays herself,she said.Shed be passing through Springfield and find that she has so much in common with Lisa. But the heartbreaker would be when Greta moved on to her next stop.

She continued,Lisa would be with all those people in the town who wish shed just keep her trap shut. Shed have to carry the torch for the rest of the time on her own.


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Paul McCartney Keeps Tabs on 'The Simpsons' to Make Sure Lisa Is Still Vegetarian


Paul McCartney is the reason Lisa Simpson has stayed vegetarian for so long. The musician starred in "The Simpsons" 1995 episode "Lisa the Vegetarian."


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Paul McCartney Keeps Tabs on The Simpsons to Make Sure Lisa Is Still Vegetarian - LIVEKINDLY

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Study reveals biggest motivation for people to consider turning vegetarian – The Indian Express

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Published: April 7, 2020 3:50:20 pm According to a 2019 study published in Journal of the American Heart Association, middle-aged adults who consume more of plant-based foods and less of animal products are likely to have a healthier heart. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

At a time when many people around the world are considering a more ecologically-conscious way of living, what with turning to plant-based foods and living in tandem with nature, vegetarianism is naturally on the rise. For non-vegetarians, there is a lot of interest in the vegetarian way of life. But more than anything else, it is the health factor which is acting as the biggest motivation for people, a study has found.

The study co-author Christopher J Hopwood, a professor at the University of California, in the US was quoted as saying that the most common reason for people to consider turning vegetarian has to do with health, and not so much to do with the environment or the rights of animals.

ALSO READ |Eat real food, its your best natural defence to fight any virus

According to the researchers who worked on the study, eating is a basic behaviour, notwithstanding individual differences and/or social dynamics. For the study published in the journal PLOS ONE, some 8,000 people of different ages and ethnicity in the US and Holland were surveyed, so as to understand why some non-vegetarians decide to turn vegetarian.

The researchers developed, what is called the Vegetarian Eating Motives Inventory (VMI), to measure the three main motives environment, animal rights and health. It was found that the one clear winner was health, when it came to peoples motivation, ahead of the other two motivations. But, it was also found that the people who are most committed to vegetarianism were more motivated by environmental factors or animal rights.

The study also stated that the people who reason environment or animal rights for their transition are more curious, interested in the arts and open to experiences.

ALSO READ |Craving comfort food? This corn chaat is the answer

Health benefits

According to a 2019 study published in Journal of the American Heart Association, middle-aged adults who consume more of plant-based foods and less of animal products are likely to have a healthier heart, with a lower risk of heart diseases. And according to the American Heart Association, eating less meat can also reduce the risk of a stroke, high cholesterol and blood pressure problems, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Additionally, experts say that a plant-based diet also offers better weight management, given that water content and fibre in fruits and vegetables can make a person feel fuller and increase energy.

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Vegetarianism The Basic Facts

bhofack2/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

While some meat-eaters stereotype the motivations of vegetarians, the truth is the decision to adopt a meat-free diet is a complex, multi-faceted dietary choice.

People of all ages and backgrounds are vegetarians. People who follow a vegetarian diet never eat meat, fish or poultry. Instead, they rely on a variety of plant-based foods for good health and eating enjoyment.

There are many types of vegetarians. Some eat dairy foods, such as cheese or eggs, while others abstain entirely from any food product that comes from an animal.

A lacto-ovo vegetarian, for example, consumes milk and dairy foods, eggs, grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds, but abstains from meat, fish and poultry. A lacto-vegetarian follows a similar diet, but does not eat eggs. Meanwhile, a vegan stays away from animal-based products entirely, which, in addition to meat, also includes milk and dairy products, lard, gelatin and foods with ingredients from animal sources. Some vegans also do not eat honey.

People choose vegetarian diets for many reasons, including personal preference, health concerns, dislike for meat or other food from animals, or they believe a plant-based diet is healthier.

Some adopt a vegetarian lifestyle for ethical reasons. Many vegetarians, for example, avoid meat because they do not want animals killed or harmed. These individuals may object to the treatment of animals raised on industrial farms.

The environment is an additional concern for some vegetarians. Issues have been cited concerning all aspects of the environment, such as animal waste from factory farms polluting the land and water or forests that are cut down to make room for grazing cattle.

Religious beliefs also can play an important role in vegetarianism. For instance, followers of Jainism practice nonviolence (also called ahimsa, meaning "do no harm"), and do not eat meat or certain vegetables, such as onions, potatoes and garlic. Hindus also believe in ahimsa and are the world's largest vegetarian population. They believe in the dietary customs of self-control and purity of mind and spirit. Seventh-day Adventists practice a vegetarian lifestyle, while Buddhists also support the concept of ahimsa (although some eat fish or meat).

Many people make the switch to a vegetarian diet because of the potential health benefits. Vegetarian eating patterns have been associated with improved health outcomes including lower levels of obesity, a reduced risk of heart disease and lower blood pressure. Also, vegetarians tend to consume a lower proportion of calories from fat and fewer overall calories, and more fiber, potassium and vitamin C than non-vegetarians. These characteristics, plus lifestyle factors, may contribute to the health benefits among vegetarians.

Note: A healthy eating pattern is essential in order to obtain the health benefits of becoming a vegetarian. The Dietary Guidelines and MyPlate provide guidance for planning a well-balanced vegetarian or vegan diet.

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Vegetarianism The Basic Facts

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Eating meat is inhumane, bad for the environment, and harmful to my health. I still can’t give it up. – Business Insider Australia

Welcome to First Off, Insiders new essay series. Were asking writers to reflect on the firsts, both big and small, in their lives. From their first child to their first grown-up purchase to their first act of rebellion, we want to know how these experiences shaped them.

For our second essay, Sarah Miller writes about how a bad date and a juicy steak ruined all her efforts to give up meat for good.

I was in my late 20s the first time I became a vegetarian. This was the 90s, and I was a Park Slope-living, Chardonnay-drinking, early Brazilian wax-adopting freelance writer who still hung out with all my best friends from college.

I was about two steps to the left of basic, and one of those steps was Jivamukti Yoga, my cramped and unfussy studio that smelled like an old pair of tights. I went almost every day.

I was both intimidated by and girlishly obsessed with the studios lithe, graceful, and terrifying cofounder, Sharon Life. She used to give talks before practice about how yoga applied to life. These talks, like yoga itself, were a stunning mix of profound and ridiculous, and I always listened intently. A week or so before Thanksgiving, Sharon told us how terrible it was to eat animals.

When you eat animals, she explained, you eat the fear that animal felt when it died. That fear goes into your own body and sets up shop in your very cells. Oh boy, I thought. I do not like the sound of that. Im never eating meat again.

On the way home I probably ate a gyro or a piece of pepperoni pizza. Or maybe I ate it the next day. Still, Sharons talk freaked me out. Do you think you can eat fear? I asked anyone who I thought might actually give this question serious thought. Most people thought you could not.

At Thanksgiving dinner, where I ate turkey like everyone else, my friend Melissas cousin Serena confirmed that, yes, it was true: you ate an animals fear when you ate its flesh. Was Serena a vegan? She was. (She still is.) She could also pull off complicated yoga poses unassisted, so I thought she might be right.

That might have been the end of it, but a few nights later, I passed by an overflowing garbage can. It was home to many disgusting things bags of dog shit, napkins smeared with blood and mustard, an answering machine with its own exposed, multi-coloured guts.

But its most prominent resident was an enormous turkey carcass. The ribcage hung with leftover bits lacy, intricate, disgusting. I couldnt stop looking at it. I couldnt even move. The full horror of what meat was everything Sharon Life had said about it, what other vegetarians I knew had said, reservations I had about eating it hit me all at once. I thought of the turkey alive, walking, looking around, doing whatever it was turkeys do. Then I thought of it dying, being dead, its flesh being eaten and washed down with beer, wine, Coca-Cola, Crystal Light.

I boarded the F train in a daze of horror, repulsion, and shame. I could not believe that I ate meat, that I had been eating it my whole life, that my body was made out of fowl and fish and fauna, and, of course, fear. I was horrified. Meat, I said to myself, I renounce you forever.

I went to brunch with my friends and I told all my friends I was a vegetarian now. Melissa, who was brassy and contrarian, told me I wouldnt stick with it. No, I swear, I said. The turkey carcass I saw it was life-changingly disgusting.

All meat is disgusting, Melissa said. It doesnt prevent people from eating it. She told me a story about how her husband was a vegetarian for 20 years. One night he went to a party and smelled sausages and ate seven of them and never looked back.

I thought to myself that perhaps Ben did not have a lot of a lot of fortitude, and how I was not going to be like Ben.

It did not occur to me to give up dairy this was the 90s, and being a vegan was considered radical. I tried to engage with people in what I told myself was a tone of innocent curiosity. In reality, my questions were obnoxious.

I was just wondering does it bother you that animals live terrible lives before theyre killed? Do you ever think about the fact that it was painful to be slaughtered, and no judgment here while youre chewing, do you ever think, This used to be someones leg?

The following fall, I went out to dinner with a guy I met at a coffee shop. We were sitting in a nice restaurant and I thought to myself, I am so bored, we have no chemistry. And then a waiter passed by bearing a platter of sliced grilled steak. It looked so good. It looked so much more interesting than the conversation I was trying to have. So I ordered a steak, and just like that, I was no longer a vegetarian.

One problem was the fading importance of the feelings that made me decide to stop eating meat. I thought the repulsion Id felt upon seeing the turkey carcass would always feel as visceral as it did in the moment. I imagined that the magic I saw in the chain of events that came beforehand Sharons talk, the way I only half took it in at the time, the way the rotting garbage heap drove home the point for me, my vegetarianism as yogic destiny would always feel that magical.

I never cut ahead to the part of the story where the initial motivations were no longer strong and there was meat everywhere and I wanted to eat it. I was so sure my smelling-the-sausage-moment would never come that I hadnt planned for it.

Years passed. I moved to California. I continued to eat meat while thinking about not eating it. In the back of my mind, I knew some charismatic megafauna would come along and spur me to renounce meat again. I did not imagine that it would be a male writer from Brooklyn, who, years later, was mocked for writing ridiculous emails to Natalie Portman.

Earlier, my concerns lay with the poor animals and how they lived and died. This time, I worried that livestock and poultry were pumped full of unhealthy chemicals and antibiotics. Worse yet, the environment the entire plant and animal kingdom was under grave threat from the massive resource drain and pollution from factory farming.

This was far more upsetting than the post-Thanksgiving carcass, but as I knew, shock and outrage diminish over time. I needed a sound strategy for getting me through the tough and not-so-tough moments when meat enticed me, and that initial buzz of pure resolve was nowhere to be found.

I took a photo of a page from Jonathan Safran Foers book Eating Animals that contained a graphic description of factory farming and made it the display on my phone. I doubled down on asking people obnoxious questions in the same manner as before, except now they were more like: This is neither here nor there, but do you know how many gallons of water went into making that sandwich? or What images pop into your mind when you hear the words deforested for ranching?

Can anyone guess what happened next? If you think I stayed a vegetarian for the rest of my life, raise your hand. If you think I started telling myself it was fine to eat meat that came from local farms and then gradually started eating meat from any old place, raise your hand, and then give yourself a gold star for being correct.

It is now 2020. There are few defensible reasons to eat meat or fish. Factory farming is abundantly harmful for the animals it slaughters. Eating vegetables is easier for me than many people. The meat industry is on par with the oil and gas sectors when it comes to environmental damage.

I know all this stuff. Why dont I quit meat?

What kind of person doesnt eat meat for the better part of a year and then eats a steak because theyre bored? I will never forget what my mind did when that beautiful steak went flying past me. I thought, Wow, and then I thought, I could just eat that. There is nothing stopping me but me.

My relationship to meat is a reminder of my general hypocrisy: how there are so many things that I believe in theoretically and do nothing about. Its also a reminder that I have a tendency to put my pleasure above my beliefs.

I would love to see the commercial farming industry dismantled. I would even be happy to participate in that dismantling. But as long as meat appears in front of me and I can afford it, I will eat it.

Im willing to fail at being a vegetarian again. Im also willing to succeed, but, Im sorry to say, not in a position to expect it.

Sarah Miller has written for The Cut, the Outline, and Popula.

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Eating meat is inhumane, bad for the environment, and harmful to my health. I still can't give it up. - Business Insider Australia

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

I have never seen him eat a vegetable: With steak off the menu, officials scramble to feed fussy eater Trump in India – The Independent

Donald Trumphasembarked on his first presidential visit to India, the worlds largest democracy and home to the worlds largest population of vegetarians. Since Mr Trump is a noted beef-eater, in particular a lover of steak and burgers, gastronomically speaking, the visit will prove one of his most challenging.

Its not all bad news for Mr Trump. Indias reputation for overwhelming vegetarianism is overstated, and its thought that more families eat beef at home than generally admit it.

Nonetheless, Indian president Narendra Modi has reportedly planned to serve Mr Trump an all-vegetarian menu. Will he succeed where others have failed?

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

A person close to the President told CNN: "I have never seen him eat a vegetable."

Mr Trump was once challenged to go vegan for a month by the campaign group Million Dollar Vegan, which said it would donate $1m to a veterans charity if the president swore off animal products just temporarily. The group even promoted the offer via a full-page ad in the New York Times. Mr Trump did not take them up on it.

Instead, the presidents reputation for eating a meat-heavy, vegetable-light diet precedes him to this day.

Mr Trumps steak preferences, for instance, are well-documented: well-done and slathered in ketchup. Its an order thats earned him much derision, and its now being used against him by Democratic candidate and fellow New Yorker Michael Bloomberg.

The Bloomberg campaign recently plastered the Las Vegas strip in billboards mocking Mr Trump for various of his habits and failings. Among these was one reading Donald Trump eats burnt steak, followed by the words Mike Bloomberg likes his medium rare.

Beyond steak, Mr Trumps diet has attracted both ridicule and bemusement before. During the 2016 Republican primary, he tweeted a now-notorious picture of himself tucking into a remarkably large bucket of KFC chicken with a knife and fork.

At the time, the Washington Posts Chris Cillizza did a very deep dive into the picture and deduced not only that the bucket was a $20 Fill Up featuring not only chicken but mashed potato, biscuits and gravy.

Mr Trump also doesnt confine himself to KFC: witness this video of him serving McDonalds burgers on silver platters during the government shutdown in January 2019.

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While the president is reputed to be a teetotaller, some worrisome drinking habits are well-established, chief among them that Mr Trump consumes roughly 12 cans of Diet Coke a day. Nutritionists have raised the alarm in response, pointing to the effects of over-consuming caffeine on such a scale.

Some might point out that the presidents diet is his business alone. But his administration is hardly putting healthy eating first.

Michelle Obama spentseveral painstaking years working to promote healthy eating among children, in particular poorer children who rely on school meals for nourishment. The Trump administration, however, has been rolling back the hard-won reforms she pushed through.

If American school meals start to look more like Mr Trumps own diet, American schoolchildren will be in trouble.

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I have never seen him eat a vegetable: With steak off the menu, officials scramble to feed fussy eater Trump in India - The Independent

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Americans say this popular diet is effective and inexpensive – YouGov US

Many Americans aim to eat a healthy diet, and some might be hoping to lose a few pounds. But which diets are Americans sticking to, and which ones are actually helping them lose weight?

A YouGov poll of more than 1,200 US adults finds that a majority of Americans have changed their diet at some point in order to lose weight (56%) or improve their physical health (54%).

Intermittent fasting, a diet where you only eat during certain times of day, is one of the most popular: 24 percent of US adults say theyve tried this diet for weight loss. An equal number say theyve tried the Atkins diet, which emphasizes foods that are low-carb.

About one in five have tried Weight Watchers (21%), the keto diet (19%) and the Mediterranean diet (18%).

But which diets do Americans say have been effective in helping them lose weight?

YouGovs data finds that majorities of people who have used these diets for weight loss find them to be effective.

Almost nine in 10 (87%) people who have tried intermittent fasting to lose weight say that this diet was very effective (50%) or somewhat effective (37%) in helping them lose weight. A similar number of people who have used Weight Watchers (86%) or the keto diet (85%) say these diets were effective for weight loss.

Majorities who have used Atkins (83%), the Mediterranean diet (81%), or vegetarianism (78%) for weight loss also say that these diets were effective in helping them to lose weight.

The diet Americans say is the best weight-loss diet may also be the most affordable one.

Intermittent fasting, which 87 percent of users say was effective for weight loss, is also seen as more inexpensive (80%) than expensive (18%), according to people who have tried it.

That isnt the case for many of the other diets YouGov asked Americans about. Majorities of users are more likely to see Weight Watchers, keto, Atkins and the Mediterranean diet as more expensive rather than inexpensive. Those who have adopted a vegetarian diet for weight loss are close to evenly split: 49 percent say it is expensive, 46 percent say it is inexpensive.

But in spite of the fact that many of these diets seem to be effective according to the people who have tried them, they remain largely unappealing to the American public.

A majority (58%) of US adults say that the vegetarian diet is somewhat or very unappealing. A plurality say the same when asked about the keto diet (47% find it unappealing), Atkins (47%), intermittent fasting (47%), or Weight Watchers (47%).

The only diet of this grouping that was seen as more appealing than unappealing was the Mediterranean diet. Over half (55%) say this diet is somewhat or very appealing; 31 percent say it is unappealing.

See the full survey results and sign up to be a part of the YouGov panel.

Related: One in five Millennials has changed their diet to reduce their impact on the planet

Methodology: Total unweighted sample size was 1,241 US adults, which included 137 who have used the keto diet for weight loss, 165 who have used the Atkins diet for weight loss, 172 who have used intermittent fasting for weight loss, 120 who have used the Mediterranean diet for weight loss, 146 who have used Weight Watchers for weight loss, and 95 who have used vegetarianism for weight loss. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (ages 18+). Interviews were conducted online between January 3 - 6, 2020.

Image: Getty

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Americans say this popular diet is effective and inexpensive - YouGov US

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Balancing health with your culture – The Miami Hurricane

The 2010s saw a dramatic spike in new health trends. Specifically, more people turned to veganism and vegetarianism as a lifestyle. The biggest food prediction for this new decade is a plant-based revolution that will take the mainstream media by storm. Its no secret that eating less meat can be beneficial for your health while also helping the environment. However, with these popular food trends, it can be tricky to also honor ones culture. Cuisine is a major part of every culture and it is challenging to try new things while also staying true to your roots.

Since I was a kid Ive always been interested in plant-based food options and I would constantly drag my mom and sister to the quaint vegan cafes that began popping up throughout Miami. I think its important to try new things, especially when they can improve your health and expand your knowledge on the positive impacts eating the right foods can make. Exploring these vegan or vegetarian food trends is especially difficult when your cultures cuisine is very meat-centric. I come from a Cuban background and one of our main dishes is a bistec de palomilla, or butter-fried beef steak, usually paired with a side of rice and beans. As a person who hasnt had any type of steak in over three years, I can leave people confused.

Youre Cuban but you dont eat meat? is a question I hear a lot, but I think its important to separate heritage and culture from health choices because culture can be honored and celebrated in other ways besides food.

My best friend who is also Cuban can relate to this issue, having been a committed vegetarian for almost four years. In Cuban culture, Christmas Eve, or Noche Buena, is a big deal for us. The designated dish for this celebration is lechon, or pork, but for a vegetarian spending Christmas Eve with a Cuban family, it can be difficult to balance this tradition with personal choices.

I think the best way to navigate these situations is to remember that food is not tied to your identity, and although it may feel like food is the center of your culture, you can still express your heritage through alternate ways, including music, dress, meat-free food options and other customs that dont compromise the health-conscious decisions you want to abide by.

While I havent cut out meat from my diet entirely, I feel that cutting out red meat was the right choice for me and it has helped me feel better physically. I no longer feel sluggish after eating like I used to when I had massive cheeseburgers every other week. Now I opt for a turkey or veggie burger, and when Im really craving meat, Ill order an Impossible Burger, which is entirely plant-based but tastes and even looks like the real deal.

The vegan phenomenon is often criticized because it makes people feel outcasted if they still eat meat, but I think thats the wrong angle to take. I think it all comes down to respecting peoples personal choices, whether that means having meat regularly or leaning towards a more plant-based life. And these choices dont define how strong your pride is for your culture, because it is definitely possible to strike a balance between the traditions of the past and the new ideas of the present.

Nicole Macias is a senior majoring in English.

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Balancing health with your culture - The Miami Hurricane

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Harrison Ford Ditches Meat and Dairy and Says he is Vegetarian – The Beet

Harrison Ford isn't just Indiana Jones or the most famous Wookie-loving pilot in the Galaxy. Now he is adding to his many roles. After playing heroes as lovable as Han Solo, Indie and the original Jack Ryan of the big screen, Ford just yesterday announced that he was giving up meat and dairy "to help the environment."

Speaking about his new diet, Ford said: "I eat vegetables and fish, no dairy, no meat. I just decided I was tired of eating meat and I know it's not really good for the planet, and it's not really good for me." This follows his speech last fallatthe UN Climate Action Summit where he spoke about the environmental crisis and saving the Amazon rainforests.

Always fit, always preternaturally youthful and always on the move, Ford is another "cool guy" who has joined the ranks of plant-lovers. When Arnold Schwartzenegger and James Cameron speak out against meat and dairy, and the benefits of adopting a plant-based diet for their health and performance, guys sit up and listen. There is the usual discussion of "Where do I get my protein?" and "What the heck do I eat?" which are all good questions and The Beet has complete guides to the best sources of plant-based protein and 21 days of ready-to-cook recipes as part of our 21 Day Plant-Based Challenge. But less and less, do you hear the line of resistance that goes something like: Real men eat meat. And Vegetarianism is for girls. Because it's not.

Ford says his athletic body is due to his diet more than hitting the gym, according to a recent interview, and insists he doesn't "work out" like crazy.

Making an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, he added: "I don't work out like crazy; I just, I work out a bit. I ride bikes and I play tennis and a little bit."

Meanwhile, Harrison has claimed the only people that can save the world are "angry" young people.

The Hollywood icon, now 77, appeared on Tuesday's edition of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and went into detail about delivering his speech to save the Amazon rain forest last fall at the UN Climate Action Summit.

Asked if he was nervous beforehe gave the speech, the Oscar-nominated actor replied, 'Not until I [got] there - I don't have enough sense to be.'

'I was in this room, I was on a dais ... and everybody else was a head-of-state and I thought, "Oh man they made some big mistake here,"' Ford said. 'But then they let me talk about what I wanted to talk about - which is the environment.' The Daily Mail of London broke the story.

"We've been talking about saving the Amazon for 30 years. We're still talking about it," Ford continued. "The world's largest rain forest, the Amazon is crucial to any climate change solution for its capacity to sequester carbon, for its biodiversity, for its freshwater, for the air we breathe, for our morality. And it is on fire. When a room in your house is on fire, you don't say, 'there is a fire in a room in my house.' You say, 'My house is on fire,' and we only have one house ... They are the young people who, frankly, we have failed - who are angry, who are organized, who are capable of making a difference. The most important thing that we can do for them is to get the hell out of their way."

On a lighter note, Ellen accused Ford of riding an electric-powered bike, a fact he adamantly denied.

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Harrison Ford Ditches Meat and Dairy and Says he is Vegetarian - The Beet

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A wider platter – The Indian Express

Written by Nayanjot Lahiri | Updated: February 25, 2020 2:02:33 am A promotional image for Historical Gastronomica. (File) With an impressive variety of meats, fish, and fowl, the cuisine of the Harappan city dwellers would even today be considered a gourmands delight.

Harappan food was rich in all kinds of fleshy delights. Indeed, with an impressive variety of meats, fish and fowl, the cuisine of the Harappan city dwellers would even today be considered a gourmands delight.

Before giving a graphic description of the nourishing non-vegetarian fare that they delighted in consuming, perhaps I should mention how food remains are studied. Within the material culture that has survived, there is the garbage of everyday life found at archaeological sites around the production and consumption of food vast quantities of broken and discarded pottery, chewed and charred animal bones, sundry cereals and seeds of fruits and implements used in producing and processing food. Such artefacts are now studied through scientific techniques that can even indicate whether stone tools were used to cut meat or wild grass, and whether grinding stones mashed mangoes or cereals.

In India, unfortunately, we dont get direct evidence of a meal, that is, of what ancient people consumed at a particular time and day because this comes from the stomachs and the excreta of past people. Neither of these have survived in archaeological contexts here.

Opinion | Harappan meat-eaters, Lutyens vegetarians

Occasionally, a single sample on a site will yield large amounts of material. At the Harappan city of Surkotada, charred lumps of carbonised seeds were discovered from an earthen pot. Two of the charred lumps yielded nearly 600 specimens, an overwhelming majority of which were from wild plants. Only about 7 per cent were identified as being of cereals. The cereals were millets, wild and cultivated, wild grasses, nuts, and weeds. This cannot give clues to the relative importance of different cereals because the sample only reflects a moment in time.

Plant remains from Harappan sites reveal the entire repertoire, from cereals and lentils to fruits and vegetables, and even the spices used. Recognising grains is easy and has been done for nearly a century since the discovery of Mohenjodaro and Harappa because burnt cereals survive rather well and sometimes also leave an imprint on clay. Among vegetables and fruits, it is usually their seeds that are identified. More recently, the archaeologist Arunima Kashyap has recovered and identified at Harappan Farmana (in rural Haryana), starch granules from pots, grinding stones, and teeth, showing the processing, cooking and consumption of mangoes, bananas and garlic. What was left over after the household ate was evidently fed to their animals since the same starch granules were scraped off the teeth from cattle remains found there.

The first thorough investigation of ancient animal remains from an archaeological site anywhere in the Indian subcontinent was done at Mohenjodaro, published in 1931 in the first excavation report of the city. Written by Colonel R B Seymour Sewell and B S Guha, no less than 37 species were identified. There were domesticated and wild animals and included a considerable frequency of humped cattle, pig, and fish. Apparently, gharials and turtles, remains of which in many cases have been burnt, indicate that such animals formed part of the food of that city. Since then, as a 1994 article by P K Thomas and P P Joglekar revealed, there have been some two dozen Harappan sites whose animal remains are reported. Interestingly, cattle bones account for more than 70 per cent of the bones and, in fact, any Harappan site where bones have been found, without exception, has yielded cattle bones. Evidently, while cattle were used for agricultural operations and as draught animals, their meat was vastly enjoyed. Mutton was the other food that was commonly consumed as were pigs.

Animal teeth have also been studied to understand when the victims were killed. At Harappan Oriyo Timbo (in Gujarat), nearly 15,000 animal bones were recovered and annular rings accurately fixed the age and season of death of fauna. The microscopic annuli on a dental substance known as cementum was carefully assessed. What these revealed was that cattle, sheep and goat were slaughtered from March to July. Usually, very young animals were not killed, and slaughtering was most common in cattle samples at 30 months and 18 months in sheep/goat. Mature animals bones were also very common which underlines that adult animals were valued for their productive capacity.

The animals that Harappans kept and consumed is rather well known. What is less known is the range of wild animals enjoyed by them and the fact that these contributed greatly to their diet. Various types of deer and antelopes were hunted, and many varieties of birds, turtles, fish, crabs and molluscs were found as Thomas and Joglekar point out, in the kitchen refuse. We also know that ancient Punjabis at the city of Harappa enjoyed marine catfish.

Among wild animals, from Gujarats Kuntasi and Shikarpur, bones of wild ass with cut marks and evidence of charring underlines that they were hunted for food. Gujarats Harappan sites, as Shibani Boses just published book on Mega Mammals in Ancient India reveals, also show the presence of rhinoceros. It is animals that are normally eaten which find their way into archaeological deposits and that is likely to be the reason why these bones are so commonly found. In the case of Nausharo in Baluchistan, rhino bones were found in a hollow along with trash. What Bose also points out is the consumption of rhino meat in historical India and that texts on Indian medicine like the Caraka Samhita attribute definite health benefits to it.

Some scriptures did frown on or had misgivings about killing and consumption of animals. The Satapatha Brahmana, an ancient Indian religious text that forms part of the Vedic corpus, is full of fine detail about sacrificial ritual, and the eater of meat is said to be eaten in his next birth by the animal killed. Regardless of these occasional scriptural impediments, the general picture is of an ancient populace not just carnivorous but eagerly so.

All this should give pause to modern advocates of vegetarianism who want to make ancient Indians in general and Harappans in particular appear to be like them. Harappans would most certainly have scoffed at such attempts, even as they chomped through chunks of roasted cattle and pig.

The writer is professor of history at Ashoka University

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A wider platter - The Indian Express

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