People choose vegetarian diets for many reasons. Some people think it’s inhumane to eat animal meat. Some do it strictly for health reasons that they want to avoid cholesterol and saturated fats, and hormones which are often fed to animals. By eating plant food, they feel assured that they are getting the healthiest and best diet. That said, vegetarians need to pay attention to proper nutrition by ensuring that they receive adequate protein, vitamins, minerals
Types of Vegetarian Diets
There are several types of vegetarians:
* Vegans who eat only plant-based foods
* Lacto-vegetarians who consume dairy products like cheese, sour cream and milk.
* Lacto-ovo vegetarians who eat milk, eggs, cheese and yogurt, as well as plant based foods
* Flexitarians who eat primarily plant-based foods, but occasionally indulge in meat, poultry or fish.
According to a report from the World Cancer Research Fund, eating a plant based diet can reduce the risk of cancer. Many fruits and vegetables contain cancer-protective properties. Eating less fat meat, processed foods and high fat dairy products has many benefits, including reduced risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Also vegans often feel that they are creating a more humane and caring world by leaving animals to be free.
When one follows a vegetarian diet plan it takes a lot of extra work to get all the nutrition necessary for a healthy lifestyle. The main sources of vegetarian protein are legumes, like peas, lentils and other beans, and peanut butter and tofu. Many available products are conceived from soy such as tofu burgers, tofu turkey, and other texturized “meat” products. You can be creative in cooking, experiment with seasonings and have delicious and nutritious meals.
Eating fiber-rich carbohydrates are important for vegetarians. Whole grain breads, brown rice, couscous, barley and millet are just some healthy suggestions for vegetarians. Whole wheat pasta with mushrooms, crumbled tofu and tomato sauce is a combination that makes a good wholesome dinner. Add a green salad with olive oil and lemon juice salad dressing.
Vegetables, fruits and nuts
All vegetables contain healthy vitamins and minerals. Eat plenty of leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables including cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower are excellent source of vitamins. Avocado is great to make a guacamole dip with baked tortilla chips, many fruits, especially all berries are high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Fruit juice added calcium helps ensure that you get adequate calcium. Nuts are high in monounsaturated fat and rich in potassium, magnesium and vitamins.