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August 30, 2011 at 9:36 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Is a Vegetarian Diet Healthy?

By Jessica Corwin MPH RDN More Blogs by This Author

Registered dietitian Jessica Butcher speaks on how the human species is built to favor a vegetarian lifestyle.
Host, Gerry Barnaby - Hey, what’s going on, Barnaby here.  Another HelloLife Moment.  This one having to do with vegetarianism.  Joining us know is our Registered Dietician Jessica Butcher.  So.  Vegetarianism.  Seems like kind of in my mind, kind of a passing fad.  My friends are vegetarians one day, not so much the next, is it something that’s going to take root you think? 
Health Coach, Jessica Butcher, RD – You know, I think vegetarian diets have been around far longer than any people realize, I mean, we started out following more of a plant based diet.  Especially around the globe, in countries where they can’t afford meat quite so much – maybe they don’t even have access to a grocery store, they’re going to be following a more plant based diet so certainly countries and cultures across the globe that will continue to follow a plant based diet.  Whereas here, in America, you know we have easy access to meat so it’s a little bit cheaper and it’s a lot easier for us to grab a hold of it. 
Barnaby – Well you know, there are some who say we’re not really set up to be meat eaters.  Witness our teeth (and I can’t show you my intestines) – but let’s talk about that.
Jessica –  You know, we’re omnivores.  We’re meant to have a lot of plant based foods in our diet.  That’s why we have these grinders in the back, our molars in the back of our teeth.  You know we do have some sharp teeth in the front to kind of rip the meat but we’re certainly not – our mouths are not like that of a lion.  To be ripping through meat.  We definitely need to be doing some grinding for our grains and our plants.  And, furthermore, our intestines, you know meat eating animals – those carnivores?  They have very short intestines to allow that meat to pass right through as it’s much more acidic than our own stomach and intestines.  Whereas ours are very long – we have a very long small and long intestine.
Barnaby – Alrightie.  Well, let me ask you this.  It seems that the vegetarian diet is just a tough one to follow.  Is it that tough to be a vegetarian? 
Jessica – No, not at all. I mean, if you’re a vegan, you’re only pulling out one portion of one food group.  You’re pulling out some meat, chicken, poultry – you know, your straight animal products and your dairy.  But there are so many types of vegetarians out there.  If you’re a lacto-ovo vegetarian, you’re still getting all of your egg and your dairy products.  And everything that we use to flavor all of our meats?  They’re all from plant based diet.  So there’s certainly so many choices, endless options out there for vegetarians.
Barnaby – Alrightie.  Well, thanks a lot, Jessica.  It is another HelloLife Moment because we are all about matching your commitment to a healthy lifestyle, so check back whenever you can.

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