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book vegetarian low carb   R. Robinson
Carb Conscious Vegetarian:  At last, there's a delectably enlightened way for America's 12 million vegetarians & millions of of other health-conscious individuals who want to up their fiber and reduce their cholesterol -- to reap all the benefits of a carb-conscious lifestyle.

SBP Vegetarian Cookbook:  For the millions of readers who have adopted a vegetarian lifestyle, this cookbook contains 371 healthful and delicious recipes. Sample items include: risotto with sun-dried tomatoes and gorgonzola cheese, Middle Eastern lentils with vegetables, Szechwan tofu with green beans, mushrooms and... Read more


Famous vegetarians include: Leonardo Da Vinci, Leo Tolstoy, George Bernard Shaw, Mahatma Gandhi, Isaac Bashevis Singer (Nobel Prize winner), Albert Einstein (Nobel Prize winner), Janet Jackson, Mr. Rogers, Clara Barton, k.d. lang, Paul McCartney... and even Benjamin Franklin ate tofu!  Visit our complete list of 100s of famous vegetarians!

International Vegetarian Union Youth Pages

National Association for Humane and Environmental Education

Vegetarian Society of the UK Youth Pages

Vegetarian Youth Network resource for Organic information)

Bobbi Pasternak

Body Mass Index Calculator

COOL (Vegan Portal)


Eco Directory

Educators For Animal Rights (humane education laws)

eVeg Auctions (auction site "for vegans, vegetarians, and earth friendly folks")

Global Vegetarian (vegetarian fast food foodservice for colleges)

Message Checks (VRG Be Kind to Animals - Don't Eat Them checks)

Mother's for Natural Law (Genetic engineering)

Planet Veggie (UK) (Vegetarian Portal)

Simple Living Network

The Theosophical Society (on vegetarianism)

The Veg Blog (web log about vegetarianism.)

VegEmail (free email)

Vegetarian Image (pro-veg necklaces and pins)

VegFamily (Online resource for vegan families)



(See Position of The American Dietetic Association: Vegetarian Diets, JADA, November, 1997, and "A Vegetarian Sourcebook" by Keith Akers, Vegetarian Press, 1993.)

Breier, Davida Gypsy; Vegan and Vegetarian FAQ--Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions, The Vegetarian Resource Group, 2001.

Position of The American Dietetic Association: Vegetarian Diets, Journal of The American Dietetic Association, November 1997.



Vegetarian Meal Plans for Diabetes

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What is a "vegetarian?"

The generic term "vegetarian" covers more than one type of a non-meat way of eating.  All vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, and poultry.

People become vegetarian for many reasons which may include health benefits, ecological,  religious reasons, dislike of meat, compassion for animals, belief in non-violence, or even for economic reasons.

The American Dietetic Association agrees that a vegetarian diet can meet all known nutrient needs but it is not as simple as just not eating meat.  You still need protein from other sources. The key to a healthy vegetarian diet, as with any other diet, is to eat a wide variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, plenty of leafy greens, whole grain products, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Persons who have diabetes should also strive to limit processed and refine carbohydrates and fatty foods.

Types of vegetarians

Courtesy Vegetarian Paradise

    "LACTO-OVO VEGETARIAN: Eats no meat, poultry, or fish, but includes dairy products and eggs in the diet along with plant-based foods.

    LACTO VEGETARIAN: Excludes all animal products except dairy products. Includes all plant-based foods in the diet.

    OVO VEGETARIAN: Excludes all animal products except eggs. Includes all plant-based foods in the diet.

    VEGAN OR PURE VEGETARIAN: Vegan is pronounced "vee gun." Some people distinguish between vegan and pure vegetarian, considering the pure vegetarian one who eats no animal flesh, no dairy products, or no eggs, and follows a strict plant-based diet for dietary reasons only. While vegans follow a diet consisting of plant-based foods only, they are further committed to a philosophy that respects animal life and the ecology of the planet.

    As a result, vegans also do not eat honey because many bees are killed in the process of forced procreation to maintain the beehive and the continued production of honey.

    Vegans do not eat refined cane sugar, because it is clarified over animal bone char in the final steps of the process that makes the sugar white. Instead, vegans choose unrefined sweeteners such as evaporated cane juice, maple sugar, maple syrup, date sugar, Sucanat, and agave nectar.

    Vegans also avoid gelatin which is made from the bones, skin, and connective tissue of animals.

    Because vegans consider the ecology of the planet a priority along with concern for animal rights, they shun the use of leather, wool, silk, goosedown, and any foods or goods that have been processed using animal products. Their concern is that the planet's future resources have been harmed and animals have suffered in order for these products to come to market.

    FRUITARIAN: The fruitarian has a simpler diet consisting only of seed-bearing fruits that include whole fresh fruits and some vining foods that are technically considered fruits, but have been used as vegetables. These vegetable/fruits comprise cucumbers, tomatoes, squashes, peppers and olives. Avocados, technically a tree fruit eaten as a vegetable, are also embraced. Fruitarians may also include coconuts, nuts, and seeds and some greens that they carefully harvest in a manner that allows the plant to continue producing leaves.

    LIVING FOODS DIET: Those who follow the living foods diet call themselves live fooders or live foodists and eat a broad variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, soaked nuts and seeds, soaked and sprouted grains and legumes, and sea vegetables. They also include cultured foods such as live vegetable krauts, fermented nut and seed cheeses, and other cultured foods that contain friendly bacteria. Green drinks and soups, along with wheatgrass juice are encouraged, while stimulating and salty foods may be consumed sparingly. Food combining is important to maintain good digestion and a vigorous constitution. In addition, live fooders will warm some of their foods in a dehydrator with a temperature regulator. In order to preserve the valuable enzymes that raw foods contain, some foods may be warmed to temperatures no higher than 105 degrees, while others will tolerate a little higher heat up to 115 degrees.

    NATURAL HYGIENE DIET: Those who follow the natural hygiene regimen consume a diet of whole, organically grown fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds in their raw, natural state, often eating only one food at a meal until sated. They place a strong focus on proper food combining for optimal digestion and employ occasional water fasts. Natural fats such as avocados, nuts and seeds are eaten in small quantities, while extracted vegetable oils are discouraged. Certain strong tasting foods are eschewed, such as: garlic, onions, sea vegetables, salt, fermented foods, and supergreen foods, such as bluegreen algae. Other principles important to the lifestyle include fresh pure air, pure water, moderate sunshine, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and fasting when ill.

    RAW FOODIST: Proponents of the raw food diet often refer to themselves as raw fooders or raw foodists. Included in their regimen are all fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds (raw as well as soaked and sprouted), and soaked and sprouted grains and legumes. Many enjoy low-temperature dehydrated crackers, cereals, sprouted raw breads, and fresh fruit and nut-based desserts. Those who follow the raw food diet are more flexible and inclusive of flavor-enhanced foods such as marinated fruits and vegetables. Surprisingly elegant gourmet foods have emerged from the raw food kitchen, yet many prefer simpler foods that require little preparation. Further, the raw foodist never cooks or warms the foods on a stove, but eats them only in their natural, raw state in order to preserve their valuable enzymes."


Vegetarian nutrition basics

Following a vegetarian plan can be healthy.  It can help improve cholesterol levels, be an effective way to manage weight, and when accompanied by tight blood glucose control can help lower the risk of kidney complications for persons with diabetes.

In order to ensure your body gets vital  nutrients (especially important to persons with chronic diseases like diabetes) you have to have a basic understanding of what your body needs.  Becoming vegetarian is not complicated, but you also cannot just give up meat.


Vegetarians easily meet their protein needs by eating a varied diet, as long as they consume enough calories to maintain their weight. It is not necessary to plan combinations of foods at every meal. Mixing proteins throughout the day will provide enough essential amino acids that are not otherwise being supplied by consuming meat.  

Good protein sources include:

  • lentils
  • tofu
  • low-fat dairy products
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • tempeh
  • peas

Other foods that can help round out your daily need for protein include whole grain bread, greens, potatoes, pasta, and corn.

Meeting your requirements for iron

Good sources of iron include:

  • dried beans
  • spinach
  • chard
  • beet green
  • blackstrap molasses
  • bulgur
  • prune juice
  • dried fruit

To increase the amount of iron absorbed at a meal eat a food containing vitamin C, such as citrus fruit or juices, tomato, or broccoli. Cooking food in iron cookware also adds to iron intake.  If you choose to supplement with iron pills, know that they are not all equal.  Taking iron supplements may cause stomach upset or constipation (which may not be a problem for persons eating vegetarian because of the high fiber content typical in vegetarian plans).  Try slow-release iron (like Slow-Fe) because it will be gentler on your stomach and the body can only absorb a certain amount of iron at a time.  Taking excessive amounts all at once will not help your iron stores and could cause dangerous side effects.

Have your doctor check your iron levels if you are feeling tired and run-down.

Important IOH Medical Tip:  Persons who have "bronze diabetes" (hemochromatosis, or iron overload) need to be careful about iron intake.  Before making any changes in your nutritional plan be sure to talk with your doctor or registered dietitian.


Good calcium sources include:

  • collard greens
  • broccoli, kale
  • low fat dairy products
  • turnip greens
  • tofu prepared with calcium
  • fortified soy milk

Vitamin B12

The adult recommended intake for vitamin B12 is very low. Vitamin B12 comes primarily from animal-derived foods, however, new research does support that a person who does not eat meat can still meet their B12 needs.  Diabetics, especially those with type 2 and on Glucophage often have low levels of B12.  So if you do go vegetarian, be sure to pay special attention to the unique demands on the body of those with diabetes and make sure you get enough B12 each day.

Foods that contain B12 include:

  • dairy products
  • eggs
  • fortified foods (some cereals, nutritional yeast, soy milk, soy analogs)

It is a good practice for all persons to thoroughly read food labels so while checking fat, calories, fiber, and carbs, also be on the look out for foods that contain B12.

If you do not eat eggs or dairy, seek the advice of a registered dietitian that works with persons with diabetes to help you find sources of B12 from foods and supplements.

Special considerations for diabetic children and vegetarianism

According to The American Dietetic Association, vegetarian diets can meet all nitrogen needs and amino acid requirements for growth. A vegan diet, to be on the safe side, should be well planned, and probably include fortified soy milk.  If your child has diabetes, please, seek the advice of a registered dietitian before putting them on a vegetarian plan.  

Persons with chronic disease often have special dietary needs.  Those with diabetes need to watch fat, protein, and count carbohydrates. They also have an increased need for certain nutrients and a strong need to maintain a healthy body weight. Growth problems can result in children on insulin; a condition that will only be made worse by a diet of any type deficient in your child's nutritional needs.

Since celiac disease (also called gluten intolerance, or sprue) is often diagnosed with diabetes type 1, a vegetarian diet high in grains may be unhealthy for your child. Pay close attention to any changes in mood and bowel habits when switching your child to vegetarian.  Call your doctor if your child complains of problems like bloating, gas, or abdominal pain.

Celiac sprue requires a very special diet and requires to advice and support of a trained health professional.

The Vegetarian Resource Group, a nonprofit organization, offers free training materials, information online, a book store, and even scholarships. Some for-sale publications offered on their website include:



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