The Vegetarian Society offers the following definition:
A diet of grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits with or without the use of dairy products and eggs. One which does not include any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish* or slaughter by-products
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Other definitions may be applied to variations of a the diet:
Includes dairy products and eggs (free-range please!) as part of the diet. This is the diet most commonly thought of as vegetarian.
Those practicing a full vegan lifestyle endeavour to live lives which do not cause any suffering at to animals, or exploit animals in any way. This involves not eating eggs, dairy produce, or honey; not wearing leather, wool, silk; and not using products that have been tested on animals.
Read more about a vegan diet on our 'Vegan' page.
Foods are classified according to the ancient Chinese principle of Yin and Yang, the idea is to achieve a Yin-Yang balance in the diet. Avoided in this diet are all processed foods, meat and dairy products, and refined flours and sugars.
Raw and Living Food Diets:
Includes fruits, vegetables, sprouts, nuts, seeds, grains, and sea vegetables, eaten whole or processed by juicing or dehydrating. This preserves their enzymes and nutrient values. Most raw foodists soak/sprout nuts, seeds, and grains before consuming them.
Read more about this on our 'Raw Food' page.
Fruitarians live on nuts, fruits and flowers which can be harvested without causing damage to the plant. Note: avocados, tomatoes and eggplants are considered to be fruits.
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Top reasons to go vegetarian
Lower disease risk
- such as heart disease, many types of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, food poisoning, obesity... Vegetarians pass up animal flesh that is high in cholesterol and saturated fat, and lacking in dietary fibre. Plant foods contain antioxidants and a variety of phytochemicals that protect against disease.
- a major study published in the British Medical Journal found that vegetarians outlive meat eaters by six years. The study tracked 11,125 people over 12 years and adjusted for smoking and socio-economic status.
- you won't be supporting an industry that raises animals in cramped, overcrowded spaces, separates them from their young, denies them sunlight and fresh air – and then trucks them to slaughter.
- meat production requires huge amounts of land, energy and water – which leads to habitat loss, soil erosion, water depletion, and pollution from pesticides and animal waste.
For an ocean of love
- the oceans are being overfished, coral reefs are being destroyed and sensitive seafloors are getting raked with drag nets. Many species are threatened, including dolphins, seabirds and turtles that get snagged in the nets
Expand your taste horizons
- vegetarian meals can be diverse, fast, colourful and delicious!
No more dirty dishes caked with animal grease.
Everyone wants to be sure that they are eating a healthy diet. It has been demonstrated that vegetarian and vegan diets can meet the nutritional needs for people of all ages.
Appropriately planned vegetarian diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases."
To plan your diet, take a look at the plate below:
The Vegetarian 'Eatwell Plate'
The Vegetarian Eatwell Plate is a great way to find out whether you are eating a balanced, well planned diet.
The plate shows each food group, protein, carbohydrates, fats and fruit & vegetables as a proportion of a balanced diet. It is suitable for everyone except children under two years of age, who have different nutritional requirements.
The main healthy eating messages are the same for everybody. As part of a healthy balanced diet, we should all be trying to do the following:
- eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and veg every day, choose fruit and veg of different colours and have a mixture of cooked and fresh produce.
- base about a third of meals on starchy foods such as pasta, rice, cereals and pulses such as beans, peas and lentils.
- try to cut down on saturated fat. Instead, choose foods that are rich in unsaturated fat, such as vegetable oils (including sunflower, rapeseed and olive oil), avocados, nuts and seeds.
- try to grill, bake, poach, boil, steam, dry-fry or microwave instead of frying or roasting in oil.
- eat a variety of protein foods such as pulses, soya, tofu, QuornTM, dairy products, eggs and nuts.
- cut down on sugar.
- reduce your salt intake to under 6 grams a day. Try not to add salt to your food at the table.
- drink about 1.2 litres (6 to 8 glasses) of water a day; more if you exercise.
Why not decide to make a change now and buy something new from our online shop