Even so, popularity of vegetarianism is on the rise, according to a 2000 Vegetarian Resource Group survey. The survey found that about 6.9 million people consider themselves to be vegetarians, up from 2.7 million in 1997.
Beans, soy, tofu and liquid protein are adequate substitutes for protein in a vegetable-based diet, said Katherine Mulligan, senior dietitian at Ohio State University.
A 1997 American Dietetic Assn. report indicated vegetarians often have lower morbidity and mortality rates from several chronic degenerative diseases than people who eat meat.
But vegetarians may not harvest these benefits if their diet is full of high-cholesterol, high-saturated-fat foods such as cheese or eggs, Mulligan said.
There can be health benefits even for those who do not want to defect, Mulligan said. Consumers should replace meat with beans, vegetables or soy a few times a week, Mulligan said.
Lawrence dentist wants more people to smile
Joseph Gatti is the first -- and only -- dentist in Lawrence to offer a high-tech method to restore damaged teeth: Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, or CEREC.
Gatti, who practices at 3320 Clinton Parkway Court, Suite 110, installed the Computer Aided Design technology in his office in May 2000.
CEREC is used to perform procedures for partial and full crowns, veneers and other single-tooth restorations.
With CEREC, the dentist can do the restoration in a single session, usually less than one hour. There's no need to make an impression and send it to a lab.
The restoration -- commonly called a "crown" -- is made of tooth-colored ceramic material for a natural look.
The CEREC restoration is metal-free, precise and allows the dentist to save more of the healthy tooth.
There is no difference in cost between a traditional crown procedure and using CEREC to make a crown, Gatti said.
"We've probably done 320 (tooth) restorations on 180 to 200 patients."
For more information about CEREC, contact Gatti's office at 749-2943.