There are a variety of dietary restrictions that impact people’s day-to-day lives and how they choose, or have, to eat. This impacts their decision on every store in which they food shop, every restaurant or other establishment they choose to eat, and every foodservice provider they choose to hire. Those who don’t accommodate these restrictions are driving people away. It plays so much into their everyday lives because of both personal feelings and health reasons.
One of those dietary restrictions is vegetarianism. There are two different types of vegetarians, lacto-ovo, which essentially means that those who choose this lifestyle do not eat direct animal products, but still are able to have animal byproducts; and there’s strict, which is a vegan lifestyle, which means absolutely no animal or animal byproduct is ingested. This article is going to specifically focus on the branch that is lacto-ovo vegetarianism. We’re going to dive into the global reasons, health reasons, and some deeper medical reasons that this branch of vegetarianism brings (WebMD).
1. Medical Reasons
There are some medical reasons behind why some people are vegetarians. There are certain benefits for the prevention of chronic illnesses that come into play, such as: diabetes, obesity, hypertension, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. If you’re prone to one or more of these ailments, you’re likely to benefit from switching to a vegetarian diet. Of course, this is assuming the vegetarian diet you’re following is balanced and consists of healthy fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
2. Health Benefits
Piggybacking off of the previous point, there are more health benefits than just using this diet for preventative measures for chronic diseases. A vegetarian diet can be one of the most vitamin/nutrient rich diet you can follow, thus avoiding potential illnesses; there is an especially low chance of contracting any foodborne illnesses, to be exact. Not only this, but many people find that weight loss is an added bonus to starting and maintaining a vegetarian diet. Vegetarian diets are known to supply to body with far more energy due to the high complex carbohydrate percentage.
3. Global Benefits
Now onto what is likely the most popular reason for people to switch to vegetarian diets -- the global benefits. Around ten billion animals are unfortunately inhumanely slaughtered each year, and this makes for a huge selling point for vegetarianism. Not only this dedication is a global benefit, but the EPA, or the Environmental Protection Agency, reported that animal waste runoff was responsible for 173,000 miles of waste polluting rivers and streams, inherently impacting the quality of our waterways.
There are numerous reasons as to why people choose to partake in a vegetarian diet. All are great reasons, and it’s important that foodservice providers accommodate this diet. That’s why at GKM, we conform our menus and train our chefs to prepare food for vegetarians and many other dietary restrictions. Let's have a conversation about your specific facility's needs.
**This diet may not be for you, and it’s important to note that every body is different! What works for one person may not work for another, so we suggest consulting a doctor to find out the best diet for your personal needs!