Going Vegetarian? Some Points to Consider

Platter of Vegetarian Delicacies

Vegetarianism has long been considered by the general public to be something for skinny people. Truth is, it is just as easy to be an overweight vegetarian as it is to be a hefty meat-eater. In fact, it can also be easier to suffer from vitamin deficiencies if the vegetarian fails to supplement their daily intake of food. But by keeping a few things in mind, anyone who wants to try vegetarianism, even if it is a part-time thing, can do it and do it as a healthy lifestyle change.

Saturated fat and carbohydrates are still no-no's for the vegetarian diet, as it is for the meat-eater. A Mediterranean-style diet is a great choice for the vegetarian. In fact, it is one of the best cuisines for tasty vegetarian options. Losing the vitamins and minerals that come from meat (or those that are the easiest to get from meat) can be one of the biggest problems for achieving balance with a vegetarian menu plan.

Calcium intake is tough to replace for those who are giving up dairy. If there's no dairy in the diet, it can be found in fortified-foods like soy milk or fortified orange juice as well as some breakfast cereals. These are the foods that are marked calcium fortified on the product packaging. Some nuts, seeds, tofu, some leafy greens, and certain legumes also contain some calcium. Normally, supplements are the best option to ensure you are consuming the nutrients your body needs.

Vitamin D has a similar challenge as calcium. For people who are not eating dairy, fortified soy milk, breakfast cereals, and supplements are the main options.

Iron must be replaced but is found in enough quantities in plant foods such as peas, lentils, dried beans, iron-fortified grain products, and leafy green vegetables such as spinach. It is important to be sure vitamin C is part of the daily diet, as it helps the human body absorb iron.

Vitamin B12 can also pose problems for vegans, as it is derived from animal sources. They must rely on fortified foods, particularly during pregnancy.

Replacing protein just takes some careful choices, such as beans, grains, nuts, seeds, and soy. Omega-3 fatty acids come from a wide variety of foods such as flaxseed, some nuts and certain leafy vegetables.

At the Metabolic Research Center, we help vegetarians (and meat-eaters) reach their weight loss goals through eating real foods combined with specific nutrient supplementation. Check out this websites Recipes section for mouth-watering vegetarian dishes. Then, contact the MRC weight loss center nearest you for a FREE consultation to discuss how our personalized menu plan can help restore your good health.


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