There is no doubt that fruits, vegetables, and other non-animal products make up an important part of anyone’s diet. However, most nutritional guides recommend a certain amount of meat and dairy each day, which makes a vegetarian diet a daunting prospect for many people.
However, a healthy vegetarian diet is not as hard as most people think! While eating well without meat takes a little bit of planning, vegetarians can get the same nutrition as anyone else, and usually be a lot healthier. The key to a healthy vegetarian diet is knowing what nutrients people usually get from meat, and how to find good substitutes for them in vegetarian foods.
The number one myth about vegetarianism is that complete proteins are extremely difficult to fit into a vegetarian diet. In fact, the reality may be the exact opposite; while vegetarians eat less protein on average, meat eaters tend to eat more than the recommended amount of protein. Eating proteins found in plants is typically a healthier source of protein, because it is decoupled from the high levels of fat and cholesterol that are found in meat. A vegetarian plan gets proteins from beans, grains, nuts, and seeds. There are even vegetables that contain reasonable amounts of protein, such as corn.
Calcium is a big concern people bring up when considering a vegetarian diet. Everyone has heard the milk commercials stating that milk is the best source of calcium, which is required for strong bones and teeth. However, calcium can be gotten from a number of sources, not just dairy products. Vegetarians can be very successful using leafy green vegetables as a sole source of calcium. Broccoli can also be a great source of calcium, as well as beans, including soy beans. Soy products such as soy milk and tofu are a great way to get a daily dose of calcium.
Another common concern of a vegetarian diet is vitamins. Luckily, vegetarian diets tend to contain more vitamins than ordinary diets, since fruits and vegetables have high levels of most major vitamins. However, there are a few rarer vitamins that are mainly found in meat, and that vegetarians need to take special care to get enough of.
Vitamin B12 is a compound typically found in eggs, dairy, or meat. While a vegetarian who is okay with eating animal products like eggs and dairy will probably get enough B12, vegans typically need to take a supplement. Vitamin D is another compound typically found in dairy, which is lacking from many vegan diets. The body creates vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight, which can help mitigate this problem. There are also vitamin D supplements for those who experience a deficiency.
Vegetarian diets do not have to be unhealthy and lacking in essential nutrients. With a little care and thought, a vegetarian diet can be healthier than a meat eater’s diet. Careful meal planning can solve the problem of protein and calcium, and there are supplements to provide vitamins to vegetarians experiencing deficiencies.
Also by switching to a vegetarian diet in the first moment you may need advice from a nutritionist as well as an opinion from your doctor about receiving supplements in a diet for the compensation of certain vitamins and minerals that can not be found in a vegetarian diet.
Thanks for reading!