On Wednesday, February 15, the Indianapolis Star included a short positive article on vegetarian diets. I will paste it below. It presents a terrific opportunity for those on plant-based diets to send letters to the editor singer their praises. You might want to write about the horrors of factory farming. (See www.FactoryFarming.com for information and photos.) The Indianapolis Star takes letters at http://www2.indystar.com/help/contact/letters.html
The Indianapolis Star (Indiana)
February 15, 2006 Wednesday
FEATURES - FOOD & DRINK; Pg. 3E
Balanced vegetarian diet is possible
By Jolene Ketzenberger, Star Correspondent
Though parents may worry that a vegetarian diet isn't healthful, rest assured that kids can get plenty of protein and other nutrients without eating meat. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines state that "vegetarian diets can be consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and meet Recommended Dietary Allowances for nutrients."
According to the American Dietetic Association, "appropriately planned vegan, lacto-vegetarian and lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets satisfy nutrient needs of infants, children and adolescents and promote normal growth."
Experts warn against dropping meat without finding other protein sources.
Margie Bryan, a registered dietitian with The Care Group, a statewide network of cardiologists and primary care physicians, says that teens going veg should strive for variety:
"Kids think they're eating healthy, but they're not reading the labels. The key to a healthy vegetarian diet is variety. You have to be concerned if you're only eating salad and potato chips."
She also notes that anyone going veg should be aware of the calorie content of foods that often accompany carbs, such as high-fat cheese, dips and toppings for baked potatoes.
"We can't hang the problem just on carbs," she says. "Portion distortion becomes more the focus than overloading on carbs. The risk of increasing calories would probably come from the accompaniments of carbohydrate foods."
But there's more to going veg than simply what's on your plate. Eighteen-year-old IUPUI freshman Jessica Collins, a vegetarian who has taught a class for teens considering the switch, offers some practical advice on how to go veg:
Bring your own dish to family gatherings so you won't have to go hungry if there are no veg options. Bring enough to share -- you never know who you might inspire with delicious food.
Never make anyone feel uncomfortable while they're eating -- don't say, for example, "You know you're eating the flesh of an animal who was brutally tortured before it was murdered just so you could eat its body, right?"
Be prepared to be criticized, but we all know how it feels, and doing it ourselves is not an effective way to shed a positive light on vegetarians.
Craft a polite, constructive response to criticisms and questions about your lifestyle. For example, "I'm doing this for my health and for the animals, and I feel great."
Don't think that you're going to last as a healthy vegetarian if you live on mashed potatoes, Fritos, Sour Patch Kids and Twizzlers. Just because you're eating food sans animal products doesn't necessarily mean it's healthy. Maintain a diet full of fresh vegetables, whole grains, fruit, beans and nuts (and low-fat yogurt, cheese and milk if you're not vegan).
(END OF INDIANAPOLIS STAR ARTICLE)
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Date: Thu Feb 16 10:06:17 2006