It is not that easy to start a healthy vegetarian diet. It is not about giving up eating meat. It should be a balanced vegetarian diet that includes a number of steps that can meet the nutritional needs of the human body.
One of the most important items in a healthy vegetarian diet is planning. It is important to put such plant-based foods as vegetables, fruit, legumes, seed, nuts and whole grains on the list. As the main emphasis is made on non-meat sources of food, the diet should contain more fiber and less cholesterol and fat.
All vegetarians can be divided into three groups according to the type of the animal-derived food they choose to consume. The first group is called vegans, those who give up all foods from animals, including meat, fish, eggs, cheese, poultry and milk. They eat only plant-based foods. The second group is called lacto-vegetarians who consume milk as well as milk products along with plant-based foods. They exclude such products as poultry, fish, meat and eggs from their daily menu. And the last group of vegetarians is called lacto-ovo vegetarians. They don’t eat poultry, fish and red meat, but consume eggs, milk products, like yogurt and cheese, and drink milk. They also consume plant-based foods.
Those who keep to healthy vegetarian diet can use a vegetarian food pyramid which can be very helpful. This pyramid is able to form the sound foundation for a healthy vegetarian diet by outlining various food choices and food groups that should be eaten in the correct quantities.
There are a lot of meatless products that you can use for your vegetarian diet recipe. The products include tofu dogs, nut loaves, soy burgers and texturized protein of vegetables that can add variety to the vegetarian diet. The products can be found in many food markets and grocery stores. They are also able to stimulate the texture and taste of meat. Moreover the products possess fewer calories and less fat. It is soybeans that are usually the source of many meatless products, such as tempeh and tofu.
Those who follow a vegan diet can find alternatives to diary products and eggs. Here are some suggestions that can be used while cooking or planning. Cow’s milk can be substituted by rice milk, almond milk and soymilk. It is possible to use water, wine, non-fat cooking spray, olive oil and vegetable broth in stead of butter while saut?ing. Canola oil can be used for baked goods. Nutritional yeast flakes and soy cheese can be a substitution for cheese. The products are available in different health food stores. As for eggs, there are a lot of alternatives to the product. There are various commercial egg replacers in the form of dry products usually made of potato starch. You can cook an egg-free omelette using tofu.
The stricter your diet is the more difficult it is to provide your body with the necessary nutrients. For example, a vegan diet eliminates B-12 food sources and milk products, which are considered to be perfect calcium sources. Such nutrients as zinc and iron can be available in meatless diets but it is necessary to make some extra efforts to provide the body with them.