The Vegetarian Advantage. Dr Bevan D Hokin PhD Director of Pathology Sydney Adventist Hospital. The Vegetarian Advantage. Material sourced from: Published peer reviewed scientific papers from reputable Journals Publications from the Adventist Lifestyle study
Dr Bevan D Hokin PhD
Director of Pathology
Sydney Adventist Hospital
Types of vegetarian diets
Understanding an individual’s definition or degree of ‘vegetarian diet’ is
extremely important. Theoretically, this term refers to someone who chooses no meat, fish or poultry. But there are many variations to this basic definition.
The term “plant-based diet” describes the eating patterns of those who decrease their use of animal products and increase their use of plant foods even though they do not intend to become vegetarians.
A semi-vegetarian diet may include fish and/or chicken but no red meat.
A pesco-vegetarian includes dairy products and eggs, but no animal flesh
with the exception of fish.
A lacto-vegetarian diet includes dairy products, but no animal flesh, eggs
or products containing eggs.
An ovo-vegetarian diet includes eggs, but no animal flesh or dairy products.
V egan Diet (‘Strict’ or ‘Total’ Vegetarian Diet)
A vegan diet only includes plant-based products including cereals and grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. It is devoid of any animal derived foods including meats, fish, chicken, eggs, dairy products.
Macrobiotic Diet (‘Zen’ Diet)
People who choose a macrobiotic diet avoid meat, chicken, sometimes fish, dairy products, eggs, vegetables of the nightshade family (potatoes,
tomatoes, green capsicum, eggplant), tropical fruits, and processed sweeteners. A macrobiotic diet generally promotes the use of wholefoods and also incorporates Asian sea vegetables.
Fruitarian diets include fruits as well as vegetables that are botanically classed as fruits (such as tomatoes, eggplant, avocado, zucchini), nuts and seeds.
Raw Food Diet
These diets include vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, sprouted grains, sprouted beans all consumed in the raw state.
Environmental Concerns: Many people now give consideration to the
environmental aspects of food production and choose a plant-based diet for the more favourable environmental effects, such as increased sustainability from the production of plant-based foods.
Animal Rights: Concern for animal welfare has created another group of vegetarians, some of whom accept dairy and eggs (because an animal has not been slaughtered in their production), while others totally exclude animal products in the name of preventing cruelty to animals and as an
objection to inhumane farming practices.
Weight Control: Some people (often teenage girls) may choose to become vegetarian with the intention of controlling their weight. As with other extreme diet changes, the sudden adoption of restrictive vegetarian diets may be masking the signs of an eating disorder.
Religious Beliefs: Some religions such as Buddhists, Hindus, Jews and Seventh-day Adventists include vegetarian dietary practices as part of their religious belief system.
Religious Beliefs:After the flood, God permitted the consumption of flesh food…”for your lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning; of every beast I will require it of man.” Gen 9:1-5
Aesthetics: The thought of eating dead animals doesn’t appeal.
Mary-Tylor Moore was a vegetarian because she could not stand the thought of “eating anything with a face.”
Health:Some perceive the avoidance of red meat as a healthy dietary option (due to the reduced intake of saturated fat and cholesterol), while others focus on the health benefits of a plant-based diet providing plenty of vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, antioxidants, and phytochemicals, many of which are found exclusively in plant foods.
Health: Studies have shown that vegetarians have lower rates of many diseases, and have an improved life expectancy:
cardiovascular disease obesity
some cancers kidney stones
type 2 diabetes gall stones
Health benefits of a vegetarian diet