People explore a vegetarian lifestyle for many reasons. Animal cruelty and environmental impact are issues that many vegetarians feel strongly about. A vegetarian diet can be beneficial for your health, too. The Oxford Vegetarian Study showed that vegetarians have lower “total and LDL-cholesterol concentrations” than meat eaters. Also “was mortality lower in non-meat eaters than in meat eaters.” Though they may abstain from animal products, there are many foods suitable for a vegetarian lifestyle.
types of Vegetarians
To understand which foods are good for vegetarians, you must first know that there are different groups of vegetarians.
Vegans are people who do not eat any food that comes from animals. Not only avoids making the meat, they also avoid milk and any milk-based products, honey and eggs.
Lacto-vegetarians do not eat meat, but they use milk and milk products. They do not eat eggs, however.
Lacto-ovo vegetarians eat everything except meat and meat-based products. These include fish, red meat, pork, poultry and other animal meat.
Flexitarians mainly eats a plant-based diet, but will occasionally partake of meat or fish.
Vegetarian diet Pyramid
To ensure proper nutrition, each meal should contain fruits or vegetables, whole grains and legumes or beans. Vegetarians should make sure that they eat nuts or seeds, egg whites, soy or dairy products, and vegetable oils daily. Whole eggs and sweets should be eaten sparingly. Vegetarians, like all people, should drink at least six to eight glasses of water daily and exercise consistently.
Vegetarians are often concerned about the lack of protein. However, meat is not necessary to obtain adequate protein. Some other good sources include eggs, nuts, tofu, legumes and lentils, and whole grains. Many meat replacement products also have plenty of protein.
Vegetarians may have trouble getting enough of this vitamin, which is found only in animal products. B-12 is found in many non-meat foods such as eggs, milk and milk-based foods. Vitamin B-12 prevents anemia, so it’s important to make sure you eat foods that contain it, or you can take a vitamin supplement or look for it in some fortified cereals and soy foods.
It’s easy to eat naturally enough foods containing iron in a vegetarian diet. Beans and lentils, dark green leafy vegetables, fortified cereals and whole-grain breads and foods have all iron. Also citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes and broccoli contain iron and vitamin C.