A proper diet for vegetarians, containing all kinds of plants and dairy products, can provide the body with the most important nutrients. They usually need vitamins, minerals, fat, protein and carbohydrates. With a corresponding vegetarian menu, you can live many years in strength and health. An example for this are the peoples who in the 20’s nourished themselves exclusively with natural products. At that time people mostly consumed fruits, vegetables, cereals (millet, corn grits, wheat, barley, oats, rye), legumes (beans, lentils), butter and milk. Meat consumption was very limited during this time and was only eaten once or twice a year.
Proper nutrition without mistakes – how does it work?
Nowadays, there is a serious and persistent tendency, especially among young people, to switch to vegetarian diets. However, mistakes are often made in the selection, preparation, combination and consumption of vegetarian foods. The appeal to join the vegetarian green team is growing. You can look forward to dinner on a meatless Monday. This proves that cereal and plant based dishes can be delicious and tasty if you choose to eat properly. More and more restaurants are offering innovative vegetarian dishes using vegetarian protein sources, which also offer many health benefits.
Consuming fatty red meat can increase bad cholesterol and expose you at heart disease risk. In addition, there are several million people who avoid red meat but still eat chicken or fish. However, switching to a vegetarian diet does not qualify you immediately as a health professional. Even vegetarians, whom we often consider to be the healthy elite, make some mistakes in their diet. So here are some of the common mistakes that nutritionists advise to avoid. And if you are a novice vegetarian, do not miss finding out about some suitable foods that, surprisingly, also exist.
Proper diet for vegetarians – avoid wrong food
Vegetarians often come to semi-prepared and refined foods containing stabilizers, enhancers and preservatives. That is why we will give you some basic and helpful tips how to choose vegetarian food. Always check the contents of what you buy. If possible, get environmentally friendly, organic or certified quality products – preferably from the manufacturer. Heat treatment by frying vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods in refined fats is extremely harmful to the body.
When processed at high temperatures, complex structures are formed in the food. These are not absorbed by the body and accumulate as toxins. This prevents both cell metabolism and proper nutrition. When preparing vegetarian food, it would be advisable not to cook with refined fats and oils. It is also recommended to steam the vegetables and soak the beans and then cook fat-free.
Proper diet for vegetarians and common mistakes – Combination of incompatible foods
Combining dairy with high carbohydrate foods such as rice, potatoes, cereals or legumes may also be unhealthy for your body. The explanation comes from the way our organism is built up. Proteins begin to break down in the stomach and carbohydrates in the mouth further break down into the duodenum. Adding protein and carbohydrates to a meal can affect your digestion.
Food stays in the gastrointestinal tract for a long time and ferments. The remains stick to the intestinal wall, where stones are formed, which are among the main causes of symptoms such as cough, runny nose, diarrhea, constipation and more complex diseases. A few useful tips for proper nutrition would therefore be the appropriate combinations of foods. For example, take dairy products alone or in combination with leafy vegetables. Foods rich in carbohydrates such as cereals, legumes, potatoes or rice are best combined with root vegetables such as carrots, beetroot, cabbage, etc.
Proper Diet for Vegetarians – Eat fruits as a snack
Focusing only on eating fruit can cause a lot of hunger during the day. Sure, fruit can be a great source of fiber, vitamins and phytochemicals. But as a vegetarian, you often struggle with sinking energy levels if you are only eating fruits.
The solution in this case would be to add a handful of nuts like raw almonds, walnuts, pistachios or seeds like sunflower seeds. In this way you slow down the carbohydrates with some protein and healthy fats. People often claim that they have a much better energy level after this small change. They also increase their levels of zinc, a nutrient that some vegetarians may not get enough of.
Vitamin B12 deficiency
B12 deficiency, even a minor one, can increase inflammation in the body, eventually leading to health problems such as stroke, dementia and bone weakness. Heavier deficiency also leads to fatigue, tingling in fingers and toes, bad perception and poor digestion. Vegetable foods do not contain B12, so vegetarians should actively try to find it.
Although fermented foods contain a small amount of B12, it is simply not enough. One cup of milk and egg per day will provide about two thirds of the recommended dose of B12.
Proper diet for losing weight
This may seem a bit shocking, but many new vegetarians actually increase their weight when they stop eating meat. As a vegetarian, you have to prepare for a whole new vegetarian food pyramid. So you have to re-program the years of eating habits. The golden rule of vegetarianism is that you need protein to feel full. If you are still hungry after a meal, you probably have not taken enough protein. Many new vegetarians are gaining weight because they do not feel full after eating. As a result, they eat more and start to eat between meals.
Vegetarian meat substitute
As a new vegetarian, you must actively seek to remove and not just replace meat from your diet. If you are not sure how to substitute meat for a proper diet, go to the store and buy a few different meat substitutes to try at home. There is much more than just tofu on the market. If you are not satisfied with the meat substitute you have chosen, try to prepare it differently or try another brand. You will find some that you like and others that are not so good. Meat substitutes smell, look and taste like real, but depending on the product they may require significantly more or less cooking time.
Vegetarian protein drinks, bars and powders
If you want to replace meat, consider adding your favorite protein shake, protein-containing bars or powders to your daily menu. Although meat substitutes are easy to add to your menu plan, they usually do not contain enough protein to meet your daily needs. For example, protein powder is best eaten for breakfast.
Since most people do not eat breakfast anyway, a quick protein drink or a bar is the easy way to get your morning kick and your protein. Also, do not forget for the variety of your proteins. Most meat substitutes are made from soy. Therefore, try to consume a protein product that also contains whey. Many new vegetarians add protein powder to their protein smoothies. Remember that egg yolk also contains a lot of protein.
How to order vegetarian food in a restaurant
Among the new habits that you need to develop as a vegetarian is to learn how to order in a restaurant. For example, do not ask a waiter if he can recommend a vegetarian meal. Why? Because “vegetarian” for some means no red meat, it can mean no chicken broth or lard for others. Instead, inform the serving person for your wishes. There is nothing worse than not asking for details and then having something served you will not eat. Soon you can discover the best restaurants for your new diet in your area. Many places even have vegetarian sections on their menu. Use these with the same restrictions as above.
As a new vegetarian, you may be visiting the home of a friend at mealtime and have nothing to eat. You do not want your host to make you special. So be prepared. Take a box with almonds, cashews or peanuts in the car. They are high in protein, do not melt (like many protein bars) and have no expiration date. If you have an alternative snack with you at all times, you can reduce the temptation to eat meat and fast food and make eating away from home more stress-free.
Proper diet for vegetarians and mistakes to avoid – Consumption of yeast bread
Yeast is an artificially produced thermophilic mixture that does not exist in nature. Thermophilic yeasts release low molecular weight toxic substances that can destroy poorly protected and sensitive cells. This leads to several negative effects in our body:
- It suppresses the formation of a good intestinal flora.
- This results in dysbacteriosis.
- The formation of vitamin B12 in the body is prevented.
- Eventually, various anemic anemic conditions occur.
Risky and bad eating habits
If you want to keep a proper diet, fruit consumption during and after eating is not a good idea. Fruits are the most digestible food and quickly pass through the gastrointestinal tract. When taken during or after a main meal, they ferment and disintegrate in the body. In addition, fluids dilute the gastric juices during meal times, thereby slowing down digestion.
Excessive eating and over-consumption of sweets also causes accumulation of toxins and formation of bacteria in the body. Often, the combination of several or all of the common mistakes vegetarians make, leads to various deficiencies and dystrophies in the body. If you follow the above principles for healthy vegetarian meals, you are looking for health, happiness and long life.