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Dr K K Aggarwal

What type of a vegetarian are you?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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There are 4 main types of vegetarian diets:

  • Lacto–ovo–vegetarian consumes dairy products and eggs but no meat, poultry, or seafood
  • Lacto–vegetarian eats dairy products but not eggs, meat, poultry, or seafood
  • Ovo–vegetarian eats eggs but no dairy products, meat, poultry, or seafood
  • Vegan does not eat any animal products, including meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products; many vegans will also avoid honey.

Vegetarian and plant–based diets are associated with a reduced risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer as well as increased longevity. Vegetarian diets are typically lower in fat, particularly saturated fat, and higher in dietary fiber. They are also likely to include more whole grains, legumes, nuts, and soy protein, and together with the absence of red meat, this type of eating plan may provide many benefits for the prevention and treatment of obesity and chronic health problems, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Diet in Jainism

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As per Samani Charitra Prajna the core principle of Jainism is Nonviolence and it is recommended in the scriptures to live nonviolent life. Food is the main source of energy to survive in the world. Bhagwan Mahavir talked about two types of diet – Hitkari (Beneficial) and Mitkari (Moderate). Jains are lacto vegetarian and even many are vegans. Many avoid root vegetables in their diet. Among the seven prohibited addictions, alcohol is one.

Fasting is considered a way of penance for purification of consciousness, Atma that is bound with karmas. There are many ways of fasting like abandon of all kinds of food for a day or more, unodari – that means eat less than hunger, ras parityag – give up food like butter, milk, oil for few days etc.  All these are methods to make our self-healthy as even today recommended by doctors.

 Control over diet or fasting means give rest to digestive system so that it can function smoothly. If digestive system is healthy, it will keep other parts of the body healthy. In Jainism, there is a mention of abstinence from night eating. Acharya Hemchandra, in his Yoga Shastra, says that the digestive system becomes inactive after sunset. So this time is not suitable to eat. Eating at night makes a person unhealthy. All Jain monks and Nuns do not eat after Sun gets down. Evan many lay followers do follow.