Tips For Cooking Balanced, Healthful Vegetarian Meals

Cooking for a vegetarian lifestyle can pose challenges because vegetarian meals take careful planning to ensure that all the necessary nutrients are included. Some nutrients come naturally from animal products, such as chicken and fish, but if your vegetarian lifestyle does not include those items, you need to plan for the nutrients you’re missing.

It is easy when removing meat from your diet to lose nutrients, such as protein and vitamins D and B12, not to mention your necessary omega fatty acids. To replace these requires planning and careful steps to make sure that your diet is well balanced.

Simple things that you can do to make sure that your diet is well rounded include:

Get Your Vitamins

Using soy products fortified with vitamin D, vitamin B12, and calcium are an easy way to make sure you’re not vitamin deficient.

Get Your Protein

Use tofu as a meat substitute, because soy is high in protein.  Remember that tempeh is also an option as a protein substitute.

Eat Your Vegetables

Make sure your diet includes plenty of dark leafy greens and other vegetable varieties, which will help you maintain nutrient balance.

Get Your Omegas and Healthy Fats

Add nuts and seeds to salads and soups, and throw in a little flax seed oil for good measure.  The healthy omega fatty acids found in nuts and seeds are important to your overall health.

Avoid Bad Fats

Limit your use of butter, and instead opt for olive oil.  You should also focus on using low or non-fat dairy products when possible.

In addition to following the tips above, it is important to add dietary supplements to your diet. When planning your low calorie vegetarian menu, the most important thing is to make sure essential nutrients are included. Cooking for a healthy vegetarian lifestyle entails more than simply cutting out meat. It requires thoughtful planning to account for necessary proteins and vitamins that aren’t prevalent in a strict vegetarian diet.


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  • hanna

    This is extremley helpful. I have just recently given up red meat and I am afraid to give up chicken and fish because of lack of protein. The vitamens are also very helpful! I just made a post at my blog about my new veggie experience and I would love for you to comment on it if you have any other recipes or tips.
    thanks! (: