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Healthy Vegetarianism

Perhaps you've wondered what being a vegetarian is all about and how you maintain a healthy diet without meat.
Michelle France doesn't eat meat. She's followed a vegetarian dietfor most of her life. 

"Mainly it's fruits and vegetables, and grains and nuts and beans," France says.

She reads to make sure to stay up to speed on nutrition.

Experts say a plant-based diet can be the way to go.

"Plant-based diets are probably one of the best things we can do for our bodies," says registered dietitian Marissa Moore.  "They might reduce the risk of some cancers, plant-based diets can also be great for lowering the risk of heart disease and even helping people live a little longer."

There are no major health risks if a diet includes all the necessary nutrients.

Particularly getting enough protein, calcium, and iron. Also vitamins D and B12.

More says some good protein sources may include.."Beans, quinoa, grain, soy products, tofu."

For calcium- "Leafy greens, as well as almonds, sesame seeds, tofu, soy milk."

Those greens, whole wheat bread and fortified cereals contain iron.  B-12 is in milk, eggs and some cereals. You can get vitamin D from dairy products.  Supplements may be necessary.

In addition, flax seed has omega three fatty acids.  Experts often recommended adding it to meals.

(Susan Hendricks for CNN's Health Minute)


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