Sunday, August 31, 2008

Pregnancy - The Vegetarian Mom-to-Be

Pregnancy - The Vegetarian Mom-to-Be

Being pregnant does not mean you have to give up your vegetarian lifestyle. However, just as with any other eating style, if you are following a vegetarian diet during pregnancy, you must ensure that you get well-balanced and varied meals. Although the typical vegetarian diet is very low in saturated fat and cholesterol, not all diets are low in calories, total fat, or sugar. Some can also be lacking in other essential vitamins and minerals unless they are properly planned.

What Type Are You?

Before discussing the pros and cons of following a vegetarian diet during pregnancy, it is necessary to be aware that there are difference types of vegetarian diets. People turn to vegetarian diets for all kinds of reasons, including religious, ethical, environmental, and personal health concerns. For some, vegetarianism is simply a way of eating while for others it is a way of life. There are different types of vegetarian eating styles, and each one differs as to what nutrients may be missing and what adjustments might be necessary to ensure optimal nutritional intake during pregnancy.

Vegetarianism is a type of eating style that is a matter of personal choice. Some people choose to avoid all animal products, while others may choose to consume some animal foods such as eggs and/or dairy products (lacto-ovo vegetarian). Only a small percentage of vegetarians are strict vegetarians, or vegans, who avoid all animal products. The majority of vegetarians in the United States fit into the lacto-ovo vegetarian category.

Vegetarians are classified into several different categories, as follows:

Vegan or strict vegetarian-Absolutely no animal foods, including meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, or other dairy products. Also, no foods made with any type of animal product, such as refried beans made with lard or baked goods made with eggs.

Lacto vegetarian-Dairy foods permitted, but no other animal foods including eggs and meat (meat, poultry, fish, and seafood.)

Lacto-ovo vegetarian-Dairy foods and eggs permitted, but no other animal foods, including meats (meat, poultry, fish, and seafood).

Semi-vegetarian-A mostly vegetarian diet (lacto-ovo-vegetarian), but meat, poultry, or fish permitted occasionally

By: Ricky Hussey
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