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Vegetarian diet has benefits

Meet with registered dietitian Debbie Petitpain to learn more about eating vegetarian or just for tips for getting more delicious, packed with nutrition, fruits and veggies into your daily diet. Stop by the Wellness Wednesday table in the lobby of the Children’s Hospital from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 24.

by Debbie Petitpain
Bariatric Surgery Team Registered Dietitian
A vegetarian menu is a powerful and popular way to achieve good health and is based on a wide variety of foods that are both satisfying and delicious.
Vegetarians do not eat meat of any kind, including beef, pork, fish and poultry. Vegetarians who eat dairy products and eggs are called lacto-ovo vegetarians; while vegans eat absolutely no meat, fish, poultry, eggs, or any dairy product; and they avoid other animal products or derivatives such as bee honey.
Well-balanced vegetarian meals are rich in vegetables, legumes, fruits, and whole grains, and typically are low in sugar, total fat, and saturated fat; usually containing little or no cholesterol.
Following a vegetarian diet may reduce your risk of hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, kidney stones, gallstones, and osteoporosis.
Planning a vegetarian diet should include protein and iron (whole grains, dried beans, nuts and seeds, soy products, tofu, edamame, soy milk) and low fat dairy. Some protein- and iron-rich foods include green leafy vegetables, beans, lentils, and tofu; and nuts, which also are excellent sources of calcium. All of these foods are also high in fiber, water content, phytochemicals and other essential vitamins and minerals.
For additional information, visit

Editor's note: The preceding column was brought to you on behalf of Health 1st. Striving to bring various topics and representing numerous employee wellness organizations and committees on campus, this weekly column seeks to provide MUSC, MUHA and UMA employees with current and helpful information concerning all aspects of health.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.