A Balanced Vegetarian Diet

A Balanced Vegetarian Diet

By | January 10, 2017

Perhaps the most common concern about the vegetarian diet is how to ensure that you get balanced nutrition. Most wonder how vegetarians getting enough iron and protein. There are other important aspects to eating vegetarian besides these common problems, such as getting enough vitamin B12, and making sure the diet does not rely too heavily on one type of food

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protein
Many want to be vegetarians shrug off the idea of ??giving up meat for fear that they would not get sufficient amounts of protein. Truth is, vegetarians have no trouble getting enough of this vital nutrient. Balanced vegetarian diet contains plenty of protein comes from beans, cheese and other dairy products as well as grains and nuts. Protein is also rich in soy-based foods such as tofu and meat substitutes, which many vegetarians easily consume. Vegetarians watching their weight and fat intake should make sure not to rely on dairy as their primary source of protein.

Iron
Iron is readily present in beef, and while this is the most common source of nutrients, it certainly is not the only, or most abundant source. Cruciferous and green leafy vegetables contain large amounts of iron and vitamin C, which, according to the Vegetarian Resource Group, increases iron absorption. Dried beans also have high levels of iron. RDA recommends 14 milligrams of iron for adults daily, and according to the Vegetarian Resource Group, “Vegetarians do not have a higher incidence of iron deficiency than do meat eaters.”

vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is needed in very, very small doses of the body support cell production and division. According to the Vegetarian Resource Group, it is a common misconception that animals produce B12. B12 is really a byproduct of bacterial contamination. Animals eat this bacterium, and we eat these animals. By skipping the middle step, vegetarians also get adequate amounts of B12. Common sources are dairy products, vitamin supplements, fortified soy milk and nutritional yeast flakes.

Overall balance
Vegetarians who eat a large variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, as well as dairy, will have a sufficiently balanced diet that meets or exceeds the recommended daily allowances set by the FDA.

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