Vegetarian diet plan involves the consumption of vegetables, fruits, grains with the exemption of meat and other animal products. This diet is highly restrictive and there are different reasons why people indulge in it. Vegetarian diet has grown popular over time because of its health benefits and environmental benefits.
The vegetarian diet plan has been known for its benefits such as helping to reduce heart health risks, encourages weight loss and helps to improve the general health of the body system.
While some people indulge in this kind of diet plan for religious or personal reasons others indulge in this eating plan for environmental reasons, as livestock products contribute to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions.
Some take up this eating habit for personal reasons like fighting for animal rights, which makes them avoid eating any animal product. When starting this diet, it’s important to know various aspects like what a vegan diet is all about, types of vegetarian diet, its benefits and risks, and what a vegetarian diet plan looks like. And this article will provide you with the necessary info you need to know about this diet plan.
Types Of Vegetarian Diet Plan / Vegan Diet
There are various types of vegetarian diets plan but we will let you in on the most common types:
- Lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet: This kind of vegetarian diet allows the consumption of animal products like eggs and other dairy products with exemption of meat, fish, and poultry.
- Lacto-vegetarian diet: When on this kind of vegetarian diet, you can consume dairy products but consumption of eggs, fish, meat, and poultry is not allowed.
- Ovo-vegetarain diet: This diet allows the intake of egg but eliminates the consumption of fish, poultry, and other dairy products.
- Pescetarian diet: This kind of vegetarian diet does not allow the intake of meat and poultry but animal products like fish, eggs and dairy products can be eaten.
- Vegan diet: This type of vegetarian diet is highly restrictive, it does not allow the consumption of fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products even products gotten from animals such as honey.
- Flextarian diet: This type of vegetarian diet is not as strict as others, it allows the occasional eating of meats, fish, and poultry.
What Does A Vegetarian Diet Plan Look Like?
Vegetarian diet plan involves meals that consist of mostly vegetable fruits, grains, plant-based protein, and healthy fats. A vegetarian diet plan should have a mixture of fruits that contain high nutrients, plants foods that are rich in protein such as seitan, legumes, seeds, nuts, and tofu.
A combination of fruits, grain, and other protein-rich foods provides the body with lots of nutrients such as protein, mineral, vitamins to make up for nutrients gotten from other kinds of foods.
You need to cut down on fruit juices, sugar-sweetened beverages, refined grains and processed foods which may be high in sugar, fat, calories and sodium.
- Your diet plan should include meals with fruits like apples, bananas, oranges, pears, melons, berries, and others.
- The vegetable contents should include leafy greens, tomatoes, carrots, asparagus, broccoli.
- Add nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashews, chestnuts to your diet.
- Include grains like rice, oats, barley, buckwheat and quinoa to your diet plan.
- Include the intake of legumes like beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils and seeds like hemp seeds, flaxseeds, and chia
- Healthy fats like coconut oil, avocados, olive oil and proteins like egg, natto, tofu, seitan, tempeh, dairy products
Always go for foods with high concentration of nutrients to make up for the nutrients gotten from other foods you are not taking. Go for a mixture of these varieties of foods to provide your body with nutrients like mineral, healthy fats, vitamins, and protein.
For your vegetarian diet plan, you have to avoid foods like meat, fish, poultry and sometimes eggs. This, however, depends on the kind of vegetarian diet you want to go on but meats and other animal products are generally avoided.
Benefits Of Vegetarian Diet
Vegetarian diet plan consists of high intake of vitamin, fiber, and minerals gotten from fruits and vegetable which are quite beneficial to the body system. Vegetarian diet has lots of health benefits associated with it which includes:
- It helps to improve weight loss; vegetarians tend to have leaner bodies because of the low calorie contained in the foods they take. Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and fiber which are considered important for weight loss. Research has also shown that vegetarian diet plan is associated with weight loss.
- Vegetarian diet also has health benefits such as reduction of cancer risk because of the high intake of vitamins, fiber and antioxidant materials that keeps the body free of toxins.
- It helps to stabilize sugar level and helps to reduce the rate of heart health risks.
Risks Associated With This Diet Plan
Vegetarian diet plan involves the exemption of meats, fish and poultry products which have nutritional values they add to the body. Meat, poultry, and fish supply the body with a good amount of proteins and omega-3 fatty acid, when you do not eat these foods this means the body will be lacking these nutrients.
Studies have also shown that vegetarians have a higher risk of protein, iron, iodine, vitamin B12 deficiencies. These nutrients are needed in the body and their deficiency can cause fatigue, anemia, thyroid issues, and bone problems.
It’s important to have a healthy diet, you can mix the consumption of fruits vegetables, whole grains, and animal products that contain products to ensure you don’t lack any nutrient.
Going on a vegetarian diet is good, it has good number of health benefits but you need to also consider its downsides when starting this diet. The body also needs nutrients from other sources of foods that are important for its functioning, you can mix the intake of vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, grains, and others to get the best from them.
If you want to use this diet for weight loss, then you can try it out for a certain period of time, reduce your calorie intake, exercise more and have a general healthy eating pattern.