Many things have changed in the world in recent years. In fact, an ever greater health and environmental awareness has grown and an ever greater health and environmental awareness has grown and an ever greater health, environmental and animal rights awareness has grown. Respect and care for one’s body, for the environment and for animals have entered, in an ever increasing way, and in the conscience of many people. Almost all of us are now careful about what we eat, we want to be healthy and beautiful. It is not just a matter of aesthetics but we talk about the combination of beauty with health. Most people are now looking for both things also because newspapers and televisions have taught everyone what are virtuous behaviors for their health. We have learned that sport is very useful or, at least, a little exercise to be practiced daily, that one must not exceed with calories. In fact, a lean body but not too much more attractive is also healthier in fact overeating causes obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and many other diseases.
BEWARE OF CHOLESTEROL
Those of normal weight have a longer life expectancy and to obtain this result they should not exceed carbohydrates and limit fats especially saturated ones which are mainly those of animal origin. Saturated fats produce an increase in cholesterol, in particular LDL cholesterol also called “bad” cholesterol because it has a high tendency to deposit on the walls of the arteries, reducing their caliber and hindering blood flow as well as increasing the risk of thrombus and ischemia. In addition to being harmful to health, saturated fats are also harmful to aesthetics because they promote adipose accumulations on the body, therefore avoiding or reducing the consumption of meat and cured meats will also have positive effects on the physical aspect.
ATTENTION TO THE ENVIRONMENT
Many people now do not eat meat or even animal products such as milk and eggs. These people are usually well informed on what to eat to follow a complete diet so they know what ingredients to buy and have learned to cook many delicious vegetarian recipes that do not at all regret “omnivorous” cuisine. Following a proper vegetarian diet that is tasty and healthy is easy when you live at home and you can buy a wide variety of ingredients in supermarkets or specialty shops but it can be complicated when we go on vacation.
NEW VEGETARIAN TRENDS
Due to the growing popularity of vegetarianism, almost all restaurants have portions of raw vegetables or even grilled vegetables on their menu, so vegetarians can order these dishes as well as some cheese. In American metropolises, in many European countries but also in India and Israel, vegetarian restaurants are very common in fact eating vegetarian is becoming not only a healthy habit but also something refined.
These vegetarian restaurants do not have the same diffusion in every part of the world in fact there are nations with a strong carnivorous tradition such as Argentina and Spain as well as many nations of Eastern Europe. Often hotel chains, resorts or cruise ships are well organized to provide vegetarian menus to their customers. Travel agencies increasingly specify the provision of a vegetarian menu if requested. The continuous search for vegetarian and vegan restaurants has led to the creation of websites dedicated to providing information to those looking for the possibility of eating dishes in which meat is not present abroad.
One of the best known online services is “HAPPY COW” which has an international database where you can locate all the vegetarian or vegan restaurants near the place where you want to spend your vacation. This service also exists as a free app. This app also allows you to track down other places where you can get food such as bakeries, herbalists, pubs. There is also an app called VEGANAROUND also free available for Android. If you have to travel long distances by car, my advice is to always have a supply of bars or snacks with you as you may have difficulty finding vegetarian restaurants or shops in a new city or on a highway.
The spread of vegetarian dishes can also vary depending on where we are and can change even within the same country. In Italy, for example, there are regions such as Puglia that have an ancient tradition of excellent vegetarian dishes based on products grown on its territory and seasoned with an excellent extra virgin olive oil produced on its soil. When you go on vacation, intestinal problems due to a change in diet are frequent because the new food can alter the composition of the intestinal bacterial flora accustomed to feeding on other foods therefore a vegetarian diet or in any case rich in vegetables would have a high preventive effect against intestinal disorders. So I recommend that you inquire about the typical dishes of each location before organizing a trip so that, if you are a vegetarian, you will not encounter any nasty surprises.
FLEXIBILITY IN FOOD CHOICES
The secret of a good traveler is always to be flexible and adaptable and therefore not to have absurd claims on the variety of foods that you want to order but to inquire before departure on the availability of food in the place where you want to spend the holiday and, in the worst case scenario settle for grilled vegetables, salads, pasta or rice with vegetables, fried or baked potatoes even if excellent vegetarian or even more elaborate vegan dishes are available almost everywhere. The abundance of vegetables typical of vegetarian and vegan foods will have the advantage of providing a high amount of fiber that will nourish the intestinal bacterial flora and promote peristalsis by improving intestinal regularity avoiding unpleasant constipation problems that could ruin the holiday.
doc. Massimiliano Mangafà