A vegetarian diet builds their diet on a variety of plants for food. These include grains, fruits, seeds, vegetables, dried beans and peas, soy foods, legumes, and nuts. Moreover, milk and cheese made from almonds, rice, and soybeans are prominent in some vegetarian diets. There is no such single type of vegetarian diet. Instead, vegetarian diet falls into the following groups defined by their types of animal-derived foods:
Lacto-ovo vegetarians are which includes both dairy products and eggs.
Lacto-vegetarians include plant foods plus dairy products.
Vegans vegetarian who eat only plant-based foods.
Health Benefits have on Vegetarian Diets.
It is documented that vegetarian diet is much healthier than those people who eat meat. Research shows that vegetarian diet is less likely to have high blood pressure, to be in low fat and cholesterol. As a result, it can help avoid coronary heart problems and even cancer.
American Institute Cancer Research claims that vegetarian diet may also reduce the risk of some cancer. The greater consumption of vegetables and fruits represents major health benefits of minerals, vitamins, dietary fiber, and cancer-fighting phytochemicals which prevent 20 percent or more of all types of cancer. Recommended energy need is five to 10 servings daily.
It also shows that vegetarians have a lower risk of type II diabetes than non-vegetarians. Vegetarian tend to be high in dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates. It has a beneficial effect on carbohydrates metabolism, lowering the blood sugar levels.
Nutrients to consider in a vegetarian diet.
Protein: Soy protein shows to be equal to protein of animal origin so it can be the sole protein source.
Iron: Liver, egg yolk, and red meat are the richest sources of iron, but all are high in cholesterol. However, spinach, dried fruits, dried beans, enriched products, and brewer''s yeast are all good plant sources of iron.
Vitamin B-12: It can be found in some fortified soy beverages, fortified breakfast cereals, some brands of nutritional (brewer''s) yeast and other foods (check the labels), as well as vitamin supplements.
Vitamin D: Sunlight is a reliable source of vitamin D. Vegans who do not get much sunlight may need a supplement.
Calcium: Green vegetable are a good sources of calcium from plant like broccoli, spinach, kale and soybean products, and some legumes.
Zinc: This vitamin is needed for growth and development. Sources include legumes, grains, and nuts. But the most excellent source of zinc is shellfish. However, take note to select supplements that contain no more than 15-18 mg zinc. Supplements containing more than 50 mg may lower HDL ("good") cholesterol in some people.
Becoming a Vegetarian.
There are no rules set in becoming a vegetarian. Adopting a healthy vegetarian can be a long process and is not as simple as what you put on your plate. It is more of a way of life and should take extra steps to ensure that you are meeting the daily nutritional needs. The key is to enjoy a wide variety of foods.