Seems like more and more people are ditching meat altogether and opting for vegetarian diets. Some think it’s healthier, while others prefer as an alternative to animal cruelty. Today, we take a look at the most common questions about this lifestyle, and tell you everything you should know about a vegetarian diet.

 

What do vegetarians eat?

When people think about a vegetarian diet, they usually imagine folks eating nothing but salads. However, that’s not true. Although fruits and vegetables are definitely an important part of a healthy vegetarian diet, so are grains, nuts, seeds, whole grains, oils, etc.; and some varieties of the vegetarian diet, such as the lacto-ovo vegetarians, also consume dairy products.

A vegetarian diet is anything but boring! These foods can be combined to create vegetarian cookies, cakes, burgers, hot dogs, ice creams, and even faux meat.

 

How do vegetarians get protein?

A common question that pops up whenever people talk about a vegetarian diet is how do vegetarians get their protein. The answer is that vegetarians must consume enough portions of beans, nuts, legumes and soy, which are foods rich with protein.

The biggest problem for vegetarians is a deficiency in iron, which is better absorbed from meat. However, as long as they combine food with vitamin C –which helps absorbing iron- with beans, peas, oatmeal, spinach, and other iron-rich food; then they’ll get the healthy amount of this substance that their bodies need.

 

Is a vegetarian diet healthier?

Not necessarily. Although meat has been linked to cancer production and many other diseases, a poorly planned vegetarian diet can also be counterproductive to the body. An unhealthy vegetarian diet can derive from a poor transition from meat to unhealthy substitute, such as a diet which consists in refined carbohydrates.

It also depends on the eating habits of each person, as well as their proclivity to exercise regularly and consume enough supplements and nutrients.

 

How do I make a transition into a vegetarian diet?

To avoid an unhealthy transition, visit a nutritionist first so they can guide you in the process of eliminating diary and meat from your diet. A professional will help you define which foods and supplements your body will need until it settles into a healthy vegetarian diet.

 

 

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Sources:
SFGate. What does a vegetarian diet consist of? http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/vegetarian-diet-consist-of-2568.html
Vegan outreach. What do vegans eat? http://www.veganoutreach.org/guide/what_to_eat.html
Women’s Health. Are vegetarians less healthy than meat eaters? http://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutrition/vegetarians-vs-meat-eaters