Vegetarians are mostly eating foods that come from plants like fruits, grains, nuts and vegetables. A vegetarian doesn’t eat meat; some stricter vegetarians avoid more than just meat. They also avoid animal products, which are nonmeat foods that come from animals.
Identify which type of vegetarian are you?
Different types of vegetarians follow varying degrees of food restrictions. To identify yourself! Which type of vegetarians are you? Selecting a type that suits your motives and this practical will make changing and maintaining your new diet easier.
Vegan – Avoids all animal products, including meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, and gelatin. Many also do not eat honey. Some may avoid consumer animal products, such as fur, leather, silk, or certain cosmetics.
Lacto vegetarian– Eats dairy products, but avoids meat, poultry, fish, and eggs.
Ovo vegetarian– Eats eggs, but avoids meat, poultry, fish, and dairy.
Lacto-ovovegetarian– Eats dairy and eggs, but avoid meat, poultry, and fish. This category is the most common type of vegetarian in the United States.
Pesco- vegetarian – Eats fish, dairy, and eggs, but avoids meat and poultry.
Flexitarian- Does not eat meat at most meals, but will occasionally eat meat, poultry, or fish.
People who follow vegetarian diets weigh less and have and lower risks for cancer and heart disease. These potential benefits are more likely when you make nutritious choices, such as choosing nutrient-dense foods, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes and healthy fats. Also, limit your high-sodium foods and foods high in saturated fat. Keeping a list of healthy vegetarian foods handy can guide your meal planning so that you always have healthy and interesting options on hand.
Some Healthy Vegetarian Foods:
- Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables can help you control your weight and lower your risk for heart disease and osteoarthritis. They are sources of dietary fiber, antioxidants and potassium, and a 2,000-calorie plant-based diet should include at least 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables per day. Have fruit and add vegetables such as bell peppers. kale, spinach , asparagus and broccoli to sandwiches, soups and sauces.
Whole grains contain the bran, germ and endosperm components of the entire grain kernel. They are natural sources of dietary fiber, iron and antioxidants. Enriched grains also provide folic acid. Refined grains are lower in natural nutrients. Choose whole-wheat bread over white bread and brown rice over white, and look for other whole grain options such as barley, popcorn, bulgur, oatmeal, quinoa and whole-grain ready-to-eat breakfast cereals.
- Nuts, Peanuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds provide heart-healthy fats and are low in cholesterol-raising saturated fat. Other essential nutrients include vitamin E, protein and potassium. Try nut butter or peanut butter with baby carrots or celery sticks, have trail mix with mixed nuts, seeds and dried fruit or add pecans or walnuts to your oatmeal. They are high calorie, so consume seeds and nuts in moderation to reduce weight.
- Soy foods
Soy foods are plant-based. High-quality or complete protein sources. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins in foods and in your body, and complete proteins provide all of the amino acids that you need from your diet. zinc, Iron and dietary fiber are additional essential nutrients in many soy foods, such as tempeh, tofu and soybeans. Use tofu as a substitute for meat in stir-fry and salads, and use enriched soy milk and soy yogurt as alternative calcium sources to dairy products.
Legumes – beans, lentils, split peas provide dietary fiber and protein as well as zinc and iron. You can combine legumes with other sources of protein to make complete proteins. Make complete proteins by adding garbanzo beans to a couscous salad, making the minestrone soup with whole-grain pasta and kidney beans or having lentil soup with barley.
There are many advantages and disadvantage of Vegetarian food:
It’s A Complete Diet
The body requires certain amounts of specific minerals, vitamins, and nutrients in order to function properly. Protein is a big one of these. Most people are under the assumption that the only source of protein we have access to is meat, but this is simply untrue. Such as- nuts, soy and beans all provide a vegetarian with the protein that they need to function.
Great Health Benefits
Meat, while it gives us protein, it gives us some other things as well, and not nearly as pleasant. Health problems can be spurred on or even caused by the consumption of meat. Some of these include gout, heart disease gastrointestinal, cancer, colon problems. Another great thing of being a vegetarian is the simple fact that instead of indulging in fattening meats and meat centered meals, you will begin to consume more fruits, vegetables and other health effective things.
Deficiencies Aren’t Good
Many types of minerals and vitamins only obtain through animal meats. Such as vitamin B-12, provides benefits to the entire body. Some of the other types of things that can only be obtained through the consumption of meat such as omega fatty acids and other omega-3 fats, all of which play vital roles in the body’s functions.
Best Source of Protein
Protein is what gives our body the energy that it needs to breathe, move and do just about everything. Trying to find adequate alternatives to the protein can be time-consuming, expensive, and quite frankly, un appetizing. Animal products, like meat, are, cost effective, readily available, simple to prepare, and quite tasty as well.