A vegetarian diet is a great way to maintain a healthy weight while protecting yourself from heart disease and cancer. There are several different types of vegetarian diets; a vegan diet forbids all meat and animal products, including foods like milk, cheese and honey, while an ovo-lacto vegetarian eats dairy products and eggs but doesn’t eat meat or fish. If you’re on an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet, try some of these tasty meat-free snacks.
1) Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches
Peanut butter and banana sandwiches are a great protein-rich, meat-free snack. Use whole grain bread, since it helps you maintain stable blood-sugar levels more effectively than white bread made from refined flour. Peanut butter and bananas are both high in dietary fiber to keep your blood-sugar levels stable throughout the day.
Popcorn is a great snack, especially if you’re trying to satisfy late-night food cravings. Popcorn is low in calories and you can stretch out eating a small serving of it so that you’ll feel full with less food.
Eggs are high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. They’re also easy to digest and an important staple of the ovo-lacto vegetarian diet. Hard boiled eggs, deviled eggs and poached eggs all contain enough protein to satisfy your hunger between meals. Avoid frying eggs, however, as this increases their total fat content.
4) Fruit and Yogurt
Yogurt makes another high-protein, tasty snack that’s appropriate for the ovo-lacto vegetarian diet. Mix fruit, like berries or chopped strawberries, kiwi fruit or bananas, into plain or vanilla flavored low-fat yogurt, or stir a spoonful of honey into plain yogurt.
Smoothies make a great snack for any diet, especially the ovo-lacto vegetarian diet, since it makes it easy to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. You can make your smoothies with or without yogurt, depending on how filling you’d like them to be. Many smoothies contain just fruit, like berries and bananas, and ice. A scoop of protein powder can give your smoothies extra punch.
Consider using a juicer to add vegetables like carrots to your green smoothies. Experiment with different combinations of fruits and vegetables, like carrot-apple smoothies.
6) Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate has a number of health benefits and can be a great energy boosting snack. The antioxidants in dark chocolate help to prevent heart disease and cancer. And since dark chocolate is low on the glycemic index, it won’t have such a negative impact on your blood sugar levels. Just remember that dark chocolate is high in fat, so don’t eat it in large quantities. It’s alright to have a few bites of dark chocolate each day, but remember to adjust your daily calorie intake accordingly.
The ovo-lacto vegetarian diet allows dairy products like cheese, which is high in protein and calcium. Try cheese and whole wheat crackers or cheese and pickles. Cheese is high in fat, so be careful to consume it in moderation.