There are two main types of vegetarian diets depending on whether animal products such as milk or eggs are included in the recipes. Pure or total vegetable, pulses, nuts and grains, but avoids all foods of animal origin including meat, dairy products and eggs. Let’s know about healthy vegetarian diet plan.
Lacto-vegetarians, however, are divided into two groups: those who add milk products such as chesses to their vegetarian diet, and those who add milk products and eggs.
Are vegetarian diet healthy?
Many people still believe that meat, because of its high protein content, is the only way to keep the body healthy. To many people, a meatless meal seems tasteless, boring and extremely restricted.
But a vegetarian diet need not be limited to carrots and lettuce leaves; the choice of food is vast, raining from a variety of grains, cereals, breads, nuts, seeds and a wealth of fruits and vegetables, all natural and very wholesome.
Apart from the moral reasons for not eating meat, vegetarians do believe that foregoing meat lead to a healthier body. They object to the wide spread use of chemicals and other additives used in animal feed, and to the many synthetic preservatives injected into meat.
They also argue that animal diseases, such as worms, salmonella and other food poisoning, can be transmitted to humans easily, and that there is a higher evidence of cancer, heart disease and digestive ailments among meat-eaters. To a certain extent, these claimisare backed up by medical research.
A badly planned, meat-based diet can be extremely high in calories, fats and cholesterol, which cause obesity and other related diseases especially blocked arteries, high blood pressure and heart disease.
A well-balanced lacto-vegetarian diet is low in cholesterol and animal fats and, if planned properly, can be much lower in calories. A vegan diet contains practically no cholesterol at all. Both diets are high in fiber content, which provides roughage essential to keep the digestive system working smoothly and contain far higher amounts of vitamins A and C.
However, vegetarianism in not necessarily healthier then eating meat. You can eat extremely well, or badly, on either a meat or vegetarian diet. It is very important to plan your diet to achieve the correct balance of nutrients whether you eat meat or not.
Vegetarians have to be particularly careful to ensure that their diet includes correct balance of protein and energy producing substances such as carbohydrate and those they do not run the risk of vitamin deficiencies. The important point to remember is that a vegetarian diet requires a total re-think’ of eating habits and is not just a meat based diet minus the meat.
What the body needs
It is necessary to look at the principles of sound nutrition to ensure that a vegetarian diet is well-balanced and contains all the essential nutrients for a healthy body. The human body requires some forty to fifty nutrients which are obtained from five main groups: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals and vitamins all of which must be included in a well-balanced diet.
Carbohydrates are derived almost exclusively from plant sources in the form of starches or sugars. It is wrong to avoid eating carbohydrates because they provide most of the energy in a diet and leave the protein components of the diet free to build and repair tissues which would otherwise have been burnt up to provide energy.
Vegetables, fruits, grains, breads, pulses and nuts provide ample carbohydrate in vegan diet while lacto-vegetarians can obtain further carbohydrate from milk sugar (lactose). Sugars, syrups, honey and jams are all secondary sources of carbohydrate and provide little in the way of nourishment.
Fats provider the body with heat and energy, and are essential for growth. Animal fats are high in cholesterol and should be avoided. Vegetable fats, which are found in vegetable oils, nuts, avocados, olives and margarine, will not raise the cholesterol level in the body.
Proteins are essential for the growth and maintenance of all body tissues. Excellent sources are soya and other dried beans, peas, lentils, chick peas and pulses, nuts and, to a lesser extent, cereals and vegetables. Lactos can gain further protein from milk, cheese, yogurt and eggs.
Minerals, wit protein, help to build the body and keep the system running smoothly. Some minerals, such as calcium (from greens, broccoli, almonds and sesame seeds) or potassium (from bananas or nuts) are needed in large quantities, while others, such as iodine or zinc, are required in much smaller amounts.
All the minerals needed by the body are obtained form a wide range of fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds. Iron, for example, occurs in dark green leafy vegetables, dried fruit, nuts and seeds. Milk and egg yolks are excellent mineral sources.
Vitamins are required by the body in small, but essential, amounts to maintain health and ensure that the rest of the food is properly digested. They are found in a wide range of fruits, vegetables and grains, dairy produce and eggs.
Vitamin A, for example, occurs in dark green leafy vegetables, deep yellow fruit and vegetables, such as parsnips, turnips, squash, pumpkin, peaches and apricots. The B vitamins are found in dairy products, nuts, pulses, and whether and wholegrain foods.
Vitamin C, abundant in citurs fruits, red peppers and raw green vegetable, is destroyed by cooking so where possible, vegetables should be eaten raw. Cauliflower and cabbage are rich in vitamin K.
Special care must be taken to provide adequate vitamin B12 and vitamin d. the lacto-vegetarian can obtain both form dairy products and eggs, but the began will have difficulty finding adequate sources. Vitamin B12 can be obtained, however, in tablet form or by including soya milk and soya products in the diet.
Vitamin D is a particularly important vitamin for children as a deficiency prevents growth of teeth and bones and can cause rickets. Vegans must supplement it in tablet form as there is not known plant source. Sunshine, how-ever, helps our body to produce this vitamin.
Planning a varied diet
Food is something to be enjoyed and any diet should fill three basic requirements. Firstly, a sound diet must consist of a wide variety of common foods which provide good nutrition and are interesting to eat. Secondly, it should be high in natural foods such as wholegrain breads and cereals, fresh fruits, vegetables and juices. Thirdly, the empty calories found in refunded foods which do not come with activating vitamins should be avoided.
It is important to plan meals for the day and not to eat at random, and the total amount of food intake and calories should be taken into consideration. Breakfast, the most important meal of the day, should consist of one third of the daily allowance for protein and energy foods.
Cereals, whole grain bread, milk, yogurt, fruit or soya milk can be eaten in various combinations. The main meal of the day should be built around one dish, either a casserole, pulses, a soup, and whole wheat pasta or grain or nut loaf. Remember, too, that a daily minimum of four to five fruits or vegetables should be eaten, preferably raw, to give a sufficient variety of vitamins, minerals and trace elements.
Making the break with meat
If you are considering becoming a vegetarian there is no doubt that you life style will change. Old food habits die herb and, if you have been eating meat daily, you taste buds will be accustomed to a particular set of aromas, textures and flavors, so it might be easier to abandon meat gradually. Read as many books not the subject as you can, find out what you can eat, and begin to experiment with new recipes and foods.
If you are married, live with a partner, or have children, your decision should be discussed in detail. Bringing up children as discussed in detail. Bringing up children as vegetarians raises several problem unless you are well acquainted with sound nutritional principles.
A vegan diet, for instance, is not recommended during pregnancy and lactation increase the need for protein, calories and vitamins and all of these are well provided for in milk and eggs.
Although you may be very keen to become a vegetarian, you should never try to force another person to share your views. You can, however, present them with a very convincing alternative for healthy and interesting diet.
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