The vegetarian way of eating can be a very healthy style of eating. The rules still apply to healthy eating, although you should add variety, balance, and moderation. A vegetarian avoids all types of meat, whether it be hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken, or even fish. Vegetarians are also sometimes classified by the type of food they are or aren't willing to eat. For example, Lacto-Ovo vegetarians will avoid animal flesh, yet they will eat eggs and most dairy products. On the other hand, a Vegan will avoid all food that has any trace of animal origin. Because they don't eat meat, vegetarians will often wonder how they'll get enough protein. Although you may not realize it, the average American actually consumes more protein than needed. For the Lacto-Ovo vegetarian, dairy products are an excellent source of protein. On the other hand, Vegans get their protein from nuts, seeds, and soy products. Along the lines of beans, there are several to choose from, including green or red lentils, peanuts, split peas, pinto, soy, kidney, and many more. You are already familiar with some of them, such as kidney beans in chilli, refried beans in Mexican dishes, red beans and rice, and pinto beans. Although some beans taste good, others are available with different flavors to help enhance their taste. Nuts are high in protein, although they deliver a lot more fat than beans, which means you should enjoy them in moderation. By having one cup of cooked beans, you'll get the same amount of protein as eating two ounces of meat! The nutrients concern for vegans, who avoid all types of animal food, are vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin D. In the average North American diet, the primary source for B12 is animals. To have an adequate intake of B12, vegans should regularly consume vitamin B12 supplements or foods which contain vitamin B12, such as soy products or milk. Vegans can rely on orange juice or soy milk for calcium, as they are fortified with calcium. Beans and leafy green vegetables will also contain some calcium as well. Although all types of vegetarians rely on simple food groups, controlling your vitamins and calcium intake is something you should always do. This is very important for eating healthy, as well as staying fit. If you control what you eat, you'll have many years of healthy eating ahead of you.
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