Every more or less educated person known that there’s no single vegetarian diet because several kinds of vegetarians are known nowadays. Each of them may follow a certain vegetarian diet. For example, semi-vegetarians can eat some poultry or fish, dairy products, eggs in addition to a variety of foods made from plant sources. And lacto-ovo vegetarians also have a peculiar diet: they don’t eat meat, poultry or seafood, however they eat eggs and dairy products as well. As for lacto-vegetarians, it’s interesting to admit that they don’t eat any animal products.
It goes without saying that any vegetarian diet tends to be low in fat, cholesterol and saturated fat. However, it’s very important to plan your diet for chasing in on all the health benefits. Be aware that just simple replacing meat with great amounts of meat substitutes (including dairy products) may mean that the person is actually eating more fat.
It’s important to take into consideration that correct vegetarian diet is high in such carbohydrates as pasta, bread, legumes and, no doubt, vegetables. Be sure that the mentioned carbohydrates should make up the main (largest) part of any diet.
According to the recent studies in the field of vegetarianism, vegetarians tend to have lower degree of risks of colon cancer, lung cancer, coronary artery disease, diabetes, hypertension, etc., as they tend to have regular physical exercises and minimize the use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
So, vegetarian food should include important vegetarian minerals and vitamins. The article will pay more attention to such vegetarian minerals as iron, calcium and zinc. So, any vegetarian must make sure they obtain a sufficient amount of this mineral. The reason is pretty evident: iron derived from various plant sources is not easily absorbed comparing with the one found in animal products. It’ worthy admitting that probably the best sources of vegetarian iron include legumes (lima beans, lentils, chick peas, red beans and split peas), dried fruit (for example, prunes) and whole grains (oats, bran, whole wheat, bulgur, etc.). As a matter of fact iron belongs to the vegetarian minerals which require vitamin C to provide the human body with essential help of absorbing iron. That’s why if a person consumes iron-rich products along with the ones rich in vitamin C (for example, fruits, citrus, tomatoes, red bell peppers, broccoli), this will help him/her to get enough iron. Be aware that tea may inhibit the iron absorption. Just like iron, vegetarian zinc is also hard for human absorption. Good sources of zinc are peas, wheat germ and lentils.
It’s clear to everyone that correct calcium intake is also a particular concern for most vegetarians. Calcium is one of the important vegetarian minerals, however according to recent studies in this field vegetarians seem to require less calcium that other people (meat-eaters). Among the best calcium sources are kale, broccoli, mustard greens, fortified tofu and soy milk.
Thus, vegetarian minerals play an important role in maintaining good health condition of both vegetarians and meat-eaters.