The term "vegetarian diet" has become a more commonplace phrase in recent years. As people begin to take their health into their own hands and as awareness for how food is manufactured becomes more widespread, more and more people are choosing to cut meat out of their diets. Vegetarianism is defined as a diet that consists solely of plant-based foods; however, there are many types of vegetarians that still choose to eat some animal products.
People choose to adopt a vegetarian diet for a variety of reasons. Many cite health as the main reason they have chosen not to eat meat. Studies have shown that diets that are high in fatty meats and animal products, especially red meat, are at a higher risk of developing some health conditions like hypertension, high cholesterol, and obesity. A typical vegetarian diet is considered to be healthy and nutritious, though those following stricter diets, such as vegan, need to be mindful of some nutrients they may be missing out on.
Others, however, choose a vegetarian diet because they think it is unethical to eat animals due to the manner in which animals bred for food are treated. Many others contend that a vegetarian diet is eco-friendly, since plant-based foods are more sustainable and cause less waste to produce than animals.
If you are new to vegetarian cooking, it may be difficult learning which foods are best for your new diet, but the benefits that are associated with this way of eating are enough that people don't mind the slight inconvenience.
No matter what your reason for wanting to give a vegetarian diet a try, it is important that you consult with your primary care provider first to ensure you are healthy enough for an alternative diet.