Various ethnic diets exclude meat or certain animal products, usually for religious or traditional reasons. I-tal (from the word “vital”) is a Rastafarian term that defines the diet of some members of that group. In its purest form, it excludes the consumption of flesh, and in its less stringent forms it is a generally pescetarian (fish-eating) diet, with the exclusion of shellfish.

Human beings have rather long intestinal tracts, a characteristic common to many herbivore species, and meat stays in our digestive systems for a relatively long time compared with most carnivorous animals. Clearly, if one wants to effectively lose weight but still maintain vitality and good energy levels, one must make their body cease metabolising food at its current rate, and having it sit in the digestive tract is no way to accomplish this.

Vegan and Vegetarian Nutritional Benefits

Animal protein sources are comparatively high in saturated and unsaturated fats. Additionally vegans and vegetarians consume higher levels of dietary fiber as a necessity, plant tissue containing large amounts of indigestible cellulose tissue that serves to flush out the digestive tract with comfortable regularity.

Dietary fiber helps reduce the amount of time food material is being absorbed to be stored as fatty tissue by increasing peristalsis, as reported by the US Gastroenterology Review. When the body is not used to having its digestive organs “stretched out” by being packed with food, hunger pangs are generally reduced. Protein sources like meat require more calories to break down, which can lead to increased metabolic rate, as analyzed by the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition.

What About Protein Sources?

A crucial weight loss and accumulation factor is the consumption of protein. Many people worry about where they will find protein sources when they switch to a vegan diet. Lean proteins such as lentils, chickpeas, and other legumes are often used to replace animal-based sources of proteins with combinations of incomplete proteins.

Getting Started with a New Diet

The first priority with dieting is to identify the largest source of undesired substances in our food, and switch it for something that will let us reach our goals. An ital diet is one of the best ways to get started healthily.

Here are some additional tips and easy changes that will guarantee noticeable, if not major results in short order.

  • Make a mental running list of what protein sources are eaten during the day. Keep track of how this affects the frequency of sugar cravings.
  • Transition easily. Try switching out a large portion of meat for a smaller portion of meat accompanied by lean proteins like lentils.
  • Remember, Ital is Vital! It is a good idea to pay attention to how much more energetic one feels when not eating heavy foods like red meat.
  • Branch out! Eating new foods is one of the best ways to explore the things that may be missing out on in our current diets.

Good luck, and happy eating!

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