Monday, August 6, 2007

My search for info for vegetarians

My sister asked me if I knew of any good sites about vegetarian websites – I’m usually on the ball about what sites are trustworthy and which ones should be taken with a grain of salt. So, that’s today’s topic. I don’t know a lot about vegetarianism and even less about being vegan, so this is as much an education for me as for anyone else who isn’t too familiar with it.
The MayoClinic.com is one of the first places I look for information on health-related topics. Their information is very well written and easily understood by the average person who doesn’t have medical training. In this case, their section on vegetarian diets has information on diet planning and they provide this vegetarian diet pyramid . I wanted to put the image directly here but I wasn’t sure about copyright issues, so just go to the link – you’ll see it.

The Nemours Foundation is another place I frequent when getting ready to write information for the general public. Their kidshealth.org site is well organized and written for teens and kids to understand. But, it doesn’t talk down to the kids, so sometimes it’s a good source for adults too. If I’m trying to find a good way to explain something and I’m stuck, this place usually gives me some good ideas. When I offer sites for kids or teens, I like to suggest to their parents that they read them too so that they know what information their children are getting. In this case, they have a couple of pages on vegetarian diets, this one is called Becoming a Vegetarian and it discusses the necessary nutrients for the body and how best to get them. The other section is in their nutrition section and it’s called Soy Foods and Health . We often have soy milk because my 18-year-old daughter eats cheeses and yogurt, as well as other dairy products, but she’s not a big milk drinker. It’s really satisfying to know that she prefers to drink soy milk over soft drinks! Soy milk also comes in flavours, such as vanilla and chocolate.

The University of Maine has a fact sheet for parents of teens who are or who want to be vegetarian. I think something like this would be helpful for both the teen and the parents to read together and then to discuss. If you’re looking for information on different health topics, many of the universities offer these fact sheets. They’re very helpful.

The Vegetarian Resource group offers this page entitled Protein in the Vegan Diet, It seems like a comprehensive overview of how you can meet your protein needs while following a vegan diet.

There still has to be caution in following vegetarian diets, it seems. Although a healthy, well-rounded vegetarian diet is nothing to worry about, there are some concerns about children and ensuring that they receive the proper nutrition. I found this interesting warning from the Academy of General Dentistry. It’s a warning about how children who follow vegetarian diets may not get all the nutrients they need and how this can show in their teeth.

And finally, many women who are vegetarian will get pregnant at some point. Here is an article from the Cleveland Clinic on how to eat a vegetarian diet and still maintain the extra nutrients you need during a pregnancy.

I have to admit, the idea of a vegetarian diet doesn’t appeal to me personally – I like my steaks!

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1 comment:

Anja said...

Thanks you rock! I'll bring the tofurky at Thanksgiving :)