There are over 7 million people who follow a form of vegetarian diet according a study conducted by “The Vegetarian Times” with 1 million of them following a vegan diet. Meaning all animal products are absent from their diet. One you’ve become used to the change, being a vegetarian is easy enough to stick to but getting started can be rather overwhelming. Here we have our Beginner’s guide to becoming a vegetarian.
Types of Vegetarian Diets
Choosing your diet is a personal choice and choosing how strict you are as a vegetarian is what you can decide. When you first start this food plan its best to figure out what foods you are comfortable with eating to help determine the ideal meal plan. For example an ovo-lacto vegetarian can consume eggs whilst a lacto-0vegetarian will need to find an alternative source of protein as they do not consume eggs. Vegans also do not consume any product derived from an animal including honey.
Easy Vegetarian Meals
Once you start to ease yourself into this new way of eating things will become easier and you’ll adapt into the new ways of eating well. It is all about swapping and find alternatives to meats you would usually have. For your standard Chilli instead of using beef mince, remove the meat and replace with beans. Instead of using mince in your lasagne, layer roasted vegetables. Try topping your pasta with leafy greens such as kale, spinach and rocket with a strong cheese. Just be careful that when swapping your breakfast you don’t fall into the carb trap with bagels, toast and muffins. Instead why not try eggs or Greek yoghurt for your protein.
Even in a vegetarian diet you still need 5.5 ounces of protein a day based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. You can obtain this from plant proteins such as soy, seeds, nuts and whole grains. You should also aim to get your iron from dark green leafy vegetables and dried beans. Try fortified cereals and soy beverages to obtain the iron needed. If you are vegan and avoid dairy products then try and get your calcium from plant sources sucg as spinach, kale, broccoli and fortified soy products.
Pick Healthy Foods
It is easy to think that the less meat you eat the healthier your diet then becomes. This is not always necessarily the case if you replace your diet with cheese, processed snacks and sugary desserts. Try and make fruits and vegetables the basis of your diet and use low fat or fat free dairy.