One of the most hotly debated topics in the nutrition world is the age old question: to eat meat, or not to eat meat. The choice to avoid or eat animal products is an individual one. Culture, upbringing, religious and spiritual beliefs have been reasons for majority of vegetarians in India. Personal health issues, ethical and environmental concerns are contributing to a new group of vegetarians. It is best to eat with awareness and follow your heart. Even Ayurveda doesn’t prescribe strict adherence to a vegetarian diet but there is scientific evidence to prove that vegetarian diet plays an important role in reducing risks of heart disease and cancer, that are among the common threats arising from modern day lifestyle. Hence we can say that vegetarianism is the optimal nutritional plan for health and vitality.

Reducing intake of animal products, if not possible to totally abandon them, makes sense health wise and for environmental reasons. Meal can be substantiated with good amount of vitamin and mineral rich vegetables, energy rich grains and proteinaceous pulses.

One needn’t realy miss out on nutrition by giving up on animal products. Vegetarianism in India has evolved over many millennia and thus a wide variety of choice is available. Variety beans, pulses and milk products can easily make up for daily protein requirement. Nuts and seeds also provide protein.

A person eating meat on daily basis can initially substitute vegetarian meals once or twice a week. Even while consuming animal products, one can choose those that are raised more humanely and that are free from hormones and antibiotics(that are used to increase their growth artificially). Switching to smaller helpings of meat, along with a some vegetables is also a better choice. Favouring white, lean meat is a better option than heavy, red meat.

Remember and have gratitude towards all those who have made your food possible –from the farmer to the vendor and the one who has prepared and served you.

Most importantly, eat with awareness, respect and delight. These help in awakening renewal of the body and mind.

By Editorial Team

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