What is a Healthy Vegetarian Diet?

A healthy vegetarian diet, what is that?

In this vegetarian diet guide we will take a look at vegetarianism, why many people choose to become vegetarians and how to eat healthy as a vegetarian.

A Healthy Vegetarian Diet

Healthy vegetarian diet

A healthy, balanced and well-planned plant-based diet fills all your nutritional needs. Contrary to popular belief you are not deprived of anything.

As human beings we are “omnivores”, true survivors! Our teeth and digestive system is made so we can survive on almost any food source available.

However, availability in Mother Nature is not the same as availability in the supermarket!

Are You Becoming Vegetarian?

What are your reasons for choosing a vegetarian diet? Please share with us here!

In nature, animal protein is harder to get, or hunt. Grains, vegetables, fruits and nuts are far more bountiful.

If we consume too much of animal products and processed foods we get sick, very sick. 

A lot of people all over the world have chosen to become full time vegetarians/vegans.

But if all people were able to keep an adequate diet centered on plant based foods we would all be healthier, whether you are a meat-eater or not.

What is a Balanced and Healthy Vegetarian Diet?

A balanced vegetarian diet is a varied, plant-based diet including fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds, with or without dairy products and eggs.

Can Anyone Become A Vegetarian?

Yes. Unless you have some reasons of a special health concern, always consult a professional nutritionist before radically changing any kind of diet.

Why People Become Vegetarians

There are several reasons why people become vegetarians; it may be for ethical, cultural, religious or for health reasons for example. Or it may simply be that you dislike meat.

Types of Vegetarian Diets

Vegetarianism comes in many styles all over the world. What they all have in common is that the main food group is plant based. 

Raw vegan diet, Vegan, Macrobiotic, Lacto-ovo vegetarian diet…

The most common types are:

  • A Vegetarian is a person who chooses not to eat meat, fish, seafood or poultry.
  • A Vegan also avoids using any animal products or by-products at all.
  • A Lacto-Vegetarian is a vegetarian who also eats milk products.
  • A Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian is a vegetarian who eats both milk products and eggs. This is probably the easiest vegetarian diet to keep.

Benefits of Being a Vegetarian

Choosing a plant based diet is a healthier choice if you also think about what and how you eat.

But simply stopping to eat animal products does not automatically make you a healthier eater!

A healthier, more conscious plant based diet is sometimes also a necessity for health reasons. Many illnesses can be prevented and symptoms improved by adding more vegetables and fiber to your diet.

Recommended Book

A great resource to learn how to keep a healthy vegetarian diet is: The New Becoming Vegetarian: The Essential Guide To A Healthy Vegetarian Diet

Vegetarian Nutrition

Healthy Vegetarian Diet

The key to any well planned nutrition is variety.

Simply eat many different vegetables, grains, legumes and fruits during the day and the week to ensure you get all the vitamins, protein and other nutrition that you need.

As a vegetarian you might need to eat more frequently than a meat eater, since the food gets processed quicker in your body. (This is a good thing!)

You’ll get hungry sooner than if you had meat for a meal. So plan healthy snacks and fruit breaks in between the meals for a well balanced diet. This in turn will improve your metabolism, (and help you burn fat when exercising!)

Vegetarian Vitamins

Since vegetarians are eating so many fruits and veggies, do we really need supplements? If life was ideal- no.

But there are actually times when supplementing your food with vitamins temporarily may be a good idea.

Like during stressful times, cold and flu season, recovering from an illness or at times when we simply don't have the time to eat as healthy as we know we should...

But vitamins are not always vegetarian! Read more about vegetarian vitamins here.

Vegetable Protein

Vegetable protein

Maybe you have heard that vegetarians don’t get enough protein? Well that is a myth.

Vegetarians eating a varied and balanced diet, get more than enough of high quality protein. There are also many different vegetable sources of protein to choose from.

Check out this video for good tips about vegetarian protein sources::

Vegetarian Food Pyramid

The food pyramid you may have been taught as you grew up has changed.

We know now that a healthy vegetarian diet without meat and animal products is not only good for you, but sometimes necessary for different health problems.

And a return to "paleo" diets that focuses mainly on unprocessed whole foods like grains, vegetables nuts, seeds and fruits instead of processed animal protein, fats and refined foods, is what we all need, vegetarians or not, to live a healthier life.

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