Vegetarian and Vegan FAQ - Balancing your diet

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08-07-2004, 11:20 PM
Getting enough fibre is important in any diet. Vegetarian diets are great for this as fibre is contained in plant foods.

Insoluble fibre includes the peels of fruit and vegetables and the husks of whole grains.

Soluble fibre includes pectings, gums and musilages found in fruits and vegetables, legumes and oat bran.

Fibre keeps food moving through the gastrointestinal system and helps reduce blood cholesterol.

Increasing your fibre intake is easy - eat unrefined foods such as fresh fruit instead of fruit juices, eat whole grain bread and whole grain flour products (ie. whole wheat pasta), eat brown rice and eat fruits and vegetables with their skins intact instead where it is suitable - ie. unpeeled potatoes, apples etc. This should be done slowly so that your body will adapt to the change in your diet.

Here are some good sources of fibre:

-all bran or bran flakes cereal
-cooked broccoli
- carrots
-dried figs
-brown rice
-oat bran

08-07-2004, 11:32 PM
We all need calcium to build up strong healthy bones and to prevent osteoporosis.

Calcium can be obtained through dairy products, calcium rich foods or vitamin supplements. It is best to talk to a doctor or health professional to make sure you take the right supplements to meet your needs and to make sure they will not interfere with any medical condition you may have or any medications you are already taking.

Here are some examples of source of calcium:

-collard greens
-blastrap molasses
-dried figs
-white beans

08-07-2004, 11:42 PM
It is important to make sure that you get enough iron in your diet, whether you are a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian.

Eating iron rich foods like millet, kidney beans, chickpeas, pinto beans, spinach, swiss chard and prunes can help increase your intake:

Good sources of iron:
-winter squash
-black eyed peas
-lima beans