Many people assume that vegetarians don’t eat meat when they say they are vegetarian. Being a vegetarian means more than not eating meat. You can be vegetarian and not eat meat, but it is possible to eat very unhealthy food.
If a vegetarian diet relies on too many cheese and eggs, it may be high in cholesterol. If it’s based on white bread, pasta, and rice, it may be low fiber. It will lack fresh vegetables, which can lead to a deficiency in vitamins and minerals. While you might be a vegetarian, it is not necessarily a healthy vegetarian diet.
It’s more than simply abstaining from meat. This means making a conscious decision to eat a variety of foods that offer a balanced mix of nutrients.
Plan your transition to a vegetarian diet. You may need to purchase new equipment in your kitchen. You may be used to convenience food and need to purchase some basics.
Next, plan your meals. Some vegetarian dishes don’t rely on milk, cheese or eggs for protein. These ingredients are important, but not essential, in a vegetarian diet. Combining grains with pulses such as beans, peas and lentils can provide enough protein. You can get all the essential amino acids you need by eating a bowl of lentil soup and a slice of bread. The combination of rice and chili beans creates what is known as a complete protein.
A diet that is mainly based on whole grains and pulses has the huge advantage of providing enough fiber. This is essential to maintain colon health. People who consume a lot of processed foods are more likely to develop colon cancer. A healthy vegetarian diet should include fiber.
It takes some time to switch to high-fiber diets. Your body will need to adapt. Take it slow at first.
Low in fat, a healthy vegetarian diet that includes whole grains, legumes, nuts, fruits and vegetables is good for the heart. Vegetable fats and oils should be used in vegetarian cooking. Butter is not an inadvisable ingredient for vegetarians, especially if it is a vegetable-derived fat.
A healthy vegetarian diet can help you maintain your weight. While you can still gain weight if you indulge in ice cream, a healthy vegetarian diet will leave you feeling satisfied and less likely to indulge in sweet treats.