Vegetarianism has become one of the most popular diets in the world, but does it really have benefits? Does it increase the risk of nutrient deficiency? To answer these questions, we put in your hands this guide that covers the most important questions about the vegetarian diet in order to follow it in a healthy way.
Follow us to learn more about the vegetarian diet for beginners.
In this Article
What is Vegetarian Diet
It is a healthy alternative to traditional nutrition based on animal sources. Today, it has become easy to obtain nutritional requirements from non-animal sources, thanks to the availability of a wide range of vegetarian alternatives for each of meat, eggs, milk and its derivatives. In addition, there are plenty of recipes and cookbooks on vegetarian diet that you can easily find online.
Classification of Vegetarian Diet
We can classify vegetarians into three groups:
Pure Vegetarian Diet
In which you must exclude all animal products, such as animal meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk and its derivatives and honey.
You also exclude animal meat, poultry, fish and eggs, but you can include milk and its derivatives.
Dairy and Egg Vegetarian
You exclude the meat of animals, poultry and fish, but you can include eggs, milk and its derivatives.
Also read: Food to Lower High Blood Pressure Naturally
Benefits of Vegetarian Diet
In fact, there are no downsides to a vegetarian diet! Rather, the vegetarian diet has many healthy benefits, as you get nutrients from plant sources, not animal, it will get rid of most of the saturated fat and cholesterol found in a diet based on animal sources, as it contributes to lowering your cholesterol levels and blood pressure. In addition to maintaining your weight without excess, and these benefits, in turn, reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Does Vegetarian Diet Provide All the Necessary Nutrients?
Yes. but you must follow a well-thought-out and balanced vegetarian diet that contains the required amounts of carbohydrates, protein, calcium, iron, fat, fiber and other nutrients. This is because an imbalance can cause you to gain weight, hypertriglyceridemia and high blood glucose levels.
Vegetarian Diet Elements
As for the nutritional element and what you should know about them,they are:
Often the first question people ask about a vegetarian is, “How do you get enough protein when you don’t eat meat?” They don’t know that protein is available in most vegetarian diets. Protein-rich plant foods include nuts, seeds, legumes, lentils, tofu, and many foods made from soy and wheat gluten (protein from wheat). You can find all of these products in food and grocery stores.
If you are a dairy-vegetarian and a dairy-and-egg-vegetarian, then you are able to consume dairy products and its derivatives that are rich in calcium. But if you follow a vegetarian diet, you can get calcium from plant foods, represented by dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, cabbage, broccoli, tofu with added calcium, almonds and blackstrap molasses, calcium-fortified breakfast cereals and juices. And remember that the rate of absorption of calcium found in plant sources is twice as high as the rate of absorption of calcium found in cow’s milk.
You can find non-heme iron (a type of iron found in plants) in dark leafy green vegetables, dry legumes, lentils, soybeans, blackstrap molasses, and spinach.
When you take iron with vitamin C, your body absorbs it six times better than eating iron alone. For example, a dish containing beans (iron) and tomatoes (vitamin C) would be excellent.
Fortunately, many vegetables such as broccoli and spinach are rich in both iron and vitamin C, so the iron in these foods is very well absorbed.
It is the only vitamin that is not found abundantly in plant foods. But if you are a dairy-vegetarian or a dairy-and-egg vegetarian, you do not have to worry about vitamin B-12 deficiency, if you eat eggs, milk and its derivatives daily.
But if you follow a vegetarian diet (purely vegetarian), you should get it from fortified breakfast cereals and soy milk, which has a delicious taste similar to that of cheese, so you can use it as a substitute for cheese flavor in many recipes.
If you follow pure vegetarianism and your age is over fifty years, you should take a multivitamin supplement made for vegans, which contains at least 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B-12.
Foods rich in vitamin D are rare. However, you can drink milk fortified with vitamin D to avoid the risk of vitamin D deficiency. This vitamin is found in mushrooms, soy milk, almond milk, and orange juice.
If you are a pure vegetarian, you can get vitamin D through direct exposure (without protection) to sunlight for 20 minutes, or by taking vitamin D supplements.
Also read: Vitamin D Deficiency – Symptoms, Causes and Test
People may choose to follow a vegan diet for health, environmental or ethical reasons. But whatever your reason for adopting a vegetarian diet, it is necessary to consult a nutritionist to make sure that you get all the nutrients sufficiently and do the necessary medical tests every once in a while to check on your health.
Frequently Asked Questions about Vegetarian Diet
What are Vegetarian Foods?
Everything does not contain any animal derivative, such as vegetables, fruits, legumes and nuts.
What are the Things that Vegetarians Don’t Eat?
Meat and animal products such as dairy, cheese, obesity and butter.
Does Weight Decrease When a Person Becomes a Vegetarian?
Weight loss does not depend only on the type of food, but also in quantity. If a person is a vegetarian but eats more than his body needs in calories daily, then he will not lose weight. Thus, the female diet has no direct relationship to weight loss, but it might help.
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