Archive for July, 2008

Meat vs. Meatless: Should I become a Vegetarian?

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

We all have thought about becoming a vegetarian at some point in our lives. Maybe we considered it in order to lose weight or as a concern about animal rights. Perhaps it’s the taste of meat that may turn us away, or it might just seem to be a more healthy way of life. There really is no right or wrong answer, just the answer that works for you.

The good news is many meat substitutes and analogs exist so that you do not have to go hungry or bored if vegetarianism is for you. The key is to be open to trying new tastes and textures. Below are examples of types of proteins used as meat substitutes

• Soy Protein-this includes tofu, tempeh, veat, and other textured vegetable proteins made from soybeans
• Seitan-a wheat gluten product with a chewy, meat-like texture
• Mycoproteins-substitutes made from fungi (such as mushrooms, truffles, and morels); this is the primary ingredient found in Quorn brand products
• Legumes, nuts, seeds and vegetables

Its is often thought that being a vegetarian offers a healthier option against disease; however, vegetable proteins may have more additives, food colorings, and sodium despite being lower in calories and saturated fat. One should not forget that meat is an excellent source of important nutrients such as protein, iron, and zinc.

So should you become a vegetarian? It depends on each individual. One possibility is for you to incorporate vegetarian options into your meals, without eliminating meat from your diet. Chicken, fish, eggs, and red meat have a place in the diet and are just as essential as soy and seitan.