Keeping my Bowel Healthy: Finding the Balance as a Vegetarian with Lactose Intolerance
The vegetarian lifestyle has been on the rise for the past few decades. According to a poll taken in 2016 from The Vegetarian Resource Group, 12 percent of today’s vegetarians are also millennials. This is a huge spike in numbers, after we consider the fact that only 3.3 percent of the general adult population follows a vegetarian lifestyle (Palmer, S. 2017).
The rising interest that individuals have been taking on vegetarian and vegan diets has been leaning us towards a more positive, ethically wholesome way to consume the food we eat. This is because plant-based and meatless diets are both ways to alleviate the tragedy that is animal cruelty throughout the agriculture business. A vegetarian diet can be practiced and maintained in many different ways. One may say it is more of an umbrella term for any meatless diets. For starters, here are some of the more common approaches to vegetarian lifestyles:
As a picky-eating, lactose intolerant vegetarian, my own digestive system has taught me that not all bowel movements are created equal. Lactose intolerance is caused by the body’s inability to absorb lactose, which leads to the inability of the intestines to entirely digest it (Symptoms & Causes of Lactose Intolerance, 2018). It’s one thing to have to endure the symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, nausea, abdomen pain, gas, and sometimes even vomiting after eating a cheesy or cream-based meal; so living with an already restrictive diet can be difficult for those still learning how to eat mindfully. The great news is that I am here to provide anyone who might benefit from this information a little bit of insight. However, please be mindful of your own body and the way it reacts to certain foods! Meatless diets may not be sufficient enough for those who have allergies to nuts and/or soy. If you are worried you might be allergic to something, never hesitate to ask your primary doctor for an allergy test!
Dhingra, D., Michael, M., Rajput, H., & Patil, R. T. (2011). Dietary fibre in foods: a review. Journal of food science and technology, 49(3), 255-66.
Harvard Health Publishing. (2014, April). Is a vegetarian or vegan diet for you? Retrieved November 8, 2018, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/is-a-vegetarian-or-vegan-diet-for-you
Nutrition and Plant-Based Milk Substitutes: Enjoy plant-based beverages; but be aware most are not equivalent to milk. (2018). Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, 36(11), 6. Retrieved from http://jpllnet.sfsu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,cookie,url,uid&db=a9h&AN=132634750&site=ehost-live
Palmer, S. (2017). Young Vegetarians On the Rise. Environmental Nutrition, 40(2), 2. Retrieved from http://jpllnet.sfsu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,cookie,url,uid&db=a9h&AN=120674920&site=ehost-live
Symptoms & Causes of Lactose Intolerance. (2018, February 01). Retrieved November 8, 2018, from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/lactose-intolerance/symptoms-causes
Vegetarian Diet. (2018, March 01). Retrieved November 8, 2018, from https://medlineplus.gov/vegetariandiet.html
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