The Best Diet Food for Vegetarians

Knowing the best diet food for vegetarians will also provide many benefits on the path to a healthy vegetarian lifestyle. It is known that cholesterol, which contributes both in weight gain and in the development of heart diseases, comes exclusively from animal products. Therefore, focusing on vegetables, fruits, and alternatives for meat and dairy products, may be the key to weight loss and to healthy living. 

Finding Meat and Dairy Products Alternatives

Meat and dairy products are not only harmful because of their content of cholesterol. These foods are also high in protein and may not be recommended if you follow a low-protein diet. However, there are numerous substituents for these animal products, and you are advised to try:

  • Tempeh and tofu, which are made from soybeans, instead of cheese
  • Fortified rice milk, almond milk, or soymilk instead of cow’s milk
  • Olive oil, water, vegetable broth, fat free cooking spray, or wine instead of butter for foods that require sautéing
  • Canola oil instead of butter for foods that need to be baked
  • Commercial egg replacers, made from potato starch, instead of eggs

Assuring the Intake of Nutrients

The main goal of a vegetarian diet is to stay away from red meat and other animal products that are rendered harmful, while still being able to supply the necessary nutrients. You need to find reliable sources of protein, calcium, vitamin B12, iron, and zinc (these being mainly found in foods of animal origin). 

Proteins are required for the correct development of organs, bones, and muscles, as well as for maintaining healthy skin. Ovo-vegetarians and lacto-vegetarians rely on eggs and dairy products for getting their proteins. Vegans, on the other hand, can opt for sources of protein such as:

  • Soy products
  • Meat substitutes
  • Lentils
  • Seeds
  • While grains
  • Legumes
  • Nuts

Calcium, which is required for the development of strong teeth and bones, should come from:

  • Spinach
  • Turnip
  • Collard greens
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Fortified fruit juices and soy milk

Vitamin B12 comes mainly from milk, eggs, and cheese, so vegans will have difficulty when choosing a source. Fortunately, they can rely on:

  • Enriched cereals
  • Fortified soy products
  • Supplements that contain vitamin B12

Iron, a mineral that plays an essential part in the red blood cells, can be found in:

  • Dried beans and peas
  • Enriched cereals
  • Whole grain products
  • Lentils
  • Dried fruits
  • Dark leafy green vegetables

In order to assure the proper assimilation of non-animal iron, you need to consume foods rich in vitamins C such as:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Strawberries
  • Cabbage
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli

Zinc, a mineral that is essential in many bodily processes, is found in such foods as:

  • Soy products
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts
  • Wheat germ

You need to consume foods from all these groups in order to assure an adequate intake of minerals, vitamins, and nutrients. As you can easily observe, there are plenty of foods that promote healthy weight loss. You need to make sure to opt for low carb foods if you have high sugar blood levels, and eat foods low in calories if you want to maintain your weight (or get rid of the extra pounds). These foods, in general, are rich in elements that are essential for your metabolism and for maintaining a healthy body.. 



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