People across the globe are going gaga over the new vegetarian diet trend and it is also getting widely popular among some of the famous Hollywood celebs as well. Well if we take a sneak peek into the whole vegetarian diet concept, it comes with loads of health benefits alongside. This could very well be the reason why everyone from a fitness enthusiast to a common person is looking forward to it without any fuss. There are random benefits of getting into a vegetarian diet but weight loss, reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancers are the most common ones.
What is a vegetarian diet?
Generally, a vegetarian diet is something which doesn’t include meat, poultry and fish. Still there are lots of people who get into processed foods even whilst being on a vegetarian diet. All this processed stuff brings unwanted calories, sugar, sodium and fat to their body in the process and even whilst being on a vegetarian diet, they stay deprived of all the health benefits.
This is where a vegetarian diet plan requires a lot of planning and then it can bring up the required benefits to people from all the age groups .It’s all about keeping the nutrition intact and eventually, the diet will start showing its positive impact on your body.
What to eat on vegetarian diet?
If you are someone who is confused about the “what to eat” aspect of the vegetarian diet, you got to study it quite deeply. Vegetarian diet comes in a lot of varieties and you can choose one which fits your requirements perfectly. Well, you got to be a bit careful in the process as all of the vegetarian diets comes with their respective “Dos and Don’ts”.
This type of vegetarian diet doesn’t include meat, poultry, fish and eggs along with all the foods which contain the elements of these food items. On the other side, dairy items like cheese, milk, butter and yogurt can be included in the Lacto-vegetarian diet.
On the other side, the ovo- vegetarian diet excludes food stuff like fish, meat, seafood, dairy and poultry. Still, this diet includes eggs which make it different from lacto-vegetarian diet.
Just like the name suggest, the pescatarian diet includes only fish from the above mentioned food items whilst excluding poultry, dairy, meat and eggs.
This comes as the most popular version of a vegetarian diet where people doesn’t consume any sort of meat ,poultry, fish, eggs, dairy or any other food item which contains them. This diet is largely followed by a number of fitness enthusiasts and athletes across the globe.
Semi -vegetarian diet
There are few around which follows a semi-vegetarian diet (also known as a flexitarian diet). This diet is mostly plant-based but includes meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs and seafood in smaller quantities.
How to plan a perfect vegetarian diet on daily basis?
Planning a perfect vegetarian diet requires a lot of discipline and enthusiasm. If you want to make the best out of your vegetarian diet, you must choose form a big variety of plant based foods like fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts, legumes and lentils .On the other side, you have to stay away from the unhealthy stuff like processed food items, sugary beverages, juices or junk food. While you can take the help of a dietitian in the same regards, let us bring you a simple example of a perfect vegetarian diet for a day.
|Food items||Daily consumption|
|Fresh vegetables||2 ½ cups|
|Fresh fruits||2 cups|
|Whole grains||6 ½ oz|
|Protein rich food||3 ½ oz|
Note: This is based on a daily 2000 calorie diet and all the food items have to be in their lean forms without any extra fat, sugars or salt.
You must keep in mind that more restricted the diet, more challenges you will be facing to feed in your daily nutritional requirements. Let’s say whilst on a Vegan diet, you have to avoid certain foods which may contain nutrients like calcium, vitamins and minerals. In order to ensure that your body gets all what it needs. To get the same done with proper care, you got to take care of the below mentioned nutrients.
Vitamin D and Calcium
Vitamin D plays a key role in the strengthening of bones and you can get the same from food sources like cow milk, soy milk along with some cereals and margarines. Sunlight also comes as a rich source of vitamin.
On the other side, Calcium is highly required for maintaining string teeth and bones. You can get calcium from dairy foods like Milk, butter, curd and yogurt. Apart from the dairy products, you can also get calcium form certain vegetables like kale, broccoli, turnips and collard greens. Still you need to ensure consumption of these veggies in good quantities in order to feed in the daily calcium requirements.
Proteins help in maintaining a healthy skin, bones, organs and muscles and this why its been called a building block of a human body. You can get it from eggs and dairy products and don’t really need to rely on the meat for the same reasons. Getting into the plant sources, it’s largely present in soy, lentils, legumes, beans, seeds and nuts.
Omega3 fatty acids
Your body requires omega 3 fatty acids to keep your heart healthy and fine. Whilst being on a vegetarian diet, you might face a bit shortage for the omega-3 fatty acids and thus go for options like walnuts, soy oil and flax seeds.
Zinc and Iron
You may not find enough zinc in plant based food options and you got to include dairy items like cheese and butter to get the same requirement fulfilled. Also, a reasonable amount of zinc is found in legumes, nuts, soy products and wheat germ. Just like Zinc, iron also support better health functioning of the body and largely found in sources like lentils, beans, peas and dark leafy veggies (spinach and kale).
Whilst the human body isn’t that adaptable to feed itself with iron form plant based foods, you need to consume food rich in Vitamin C to support its absorption by the body. When it comes to Vitamin C, you can get it in abundance in food items like Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons) and strawberries.