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Yay vegetarians!

Posted by Lisa T.

Vegetarian diets have been increasing in popularity for a long time now. And it’s no surprise; vegetarians typically ingest less fat, have healthier body weights, less incidence of heart disease and consume more fruits and vegetables. But it’s easy to go seriously wrong with a vegetarian diet. Eating a steady diet of bread, peanut butter and high sugar cereal is definitely not the way to do it. Because vegetarian diets exclude either one or more food group, it’s that much more important that they pay attention to what they put in their mouths. Meals should be maximized to the best potential and variety is key, as in any diet.

There are various types of vegetarian diets:

• Vegetarian – excludes meat, poultry and fish

• Lacto vegetarian – include milk products, but exclude meat, fish, poultry and eggs

• Lacto-ovo-vegetarian – include milk products and eggs, but exclude meat, poultry and fish

• Vegan – excludes any animal derived food

Vegetarians should be more aware of these nutrients:

• Protein: Without meat products to supply hefty portions of protein, opt for beans, soy products and whole grains to do so.

• Zinc: Zinc is better absorbed in the body from meat, but plenty of offered in grains like brown rice, milk and nuts.

• Iron: Can be found in spinach, fortified cereals, prunes and dried beans. Combine with a vitamin C source for extra absorption!

• Calcium: If not consuming dairy, get calcium from broccoli, fortified juices and breakfast cereal and beans.

• Riboflavin: Could be tricky depending on what type of vegetarian you are. Riboflavin is found in milk products, eggs and grains.

• Vitamin B12: Only found in animal products such as meat, poultry, eggs and milk products. Also can be found in fortified ready to eat cereals.

• Omega 3 fatty acids: Rich sources can be found in nuts such as almonds, enriched eggs, vegetable oils and flaxseed.

To avoid any deficiencies vary your diet and eat plenty!

The most extreme vegetarian diet, the vegan, is very restrictive and should be paid special attention to. I feel it’s only for those serious about eating and are willing to do the necessary planning and work to ensure they’re getting all the required nutrients. Because children are small and eat small amounts of food, I don’t feel a vegan diet is necessarily reliable for a growing child.

Comments (3)
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That was helpful! Thanks Lisa. I have been a vegetarian for a few years now, its always good to remember the things I need to make sure my body still gets enough of.
You are welcome Karine! You should check out the latest news on being veggie on my latest posting. There are so many benefits to a veggie diet.
It's great to hear different ideas and I'm sure you would find even more in UKbride's too, especially different health tips! Do you have any specail receipes ideal as alternatives for veggies at a wedding?
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