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Friday, 06 January 2012 12:11

How to get Enough Nutrition from Vegetarian Diet Featured

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Know more about types of vegetarian diet and how you can get the best nutrition from…

vegetarian_dietMost of us are aware of the excellent health benefits of vegetarian diet.  However, many people are reluctant to switch on vegetarian diet; fearing the lack of nutrients.  They doubt that vegetarian diet may not provide the sufficient nutrients, which is not true.  The key is planning and having a well balance vegetarian diet, that provides all the essential nutrients. Nevertheless, a well planned vegetarian diet will ensure the supply of the sufficient nutrients to meet your daily needs, If you aren't sure how to create a vegetarian diet that's right for you, consulting a registered dietitian would be a best , suggest the mayo clinic.

Vegetarian diet, mainly suggest of the diet excluding meat, poultry or fish. However, it can be differentiated into various types as follows,

  • LACTO-VEGETARIAN DIETS: Diet that exclude the non-veg, that is meat, fish, sea food and poulty, but include Dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt and butter. 
  • LACTO-OVO(egg) VEGETARIAN DIETS: Diet that exclude meat, fish, sea food and poultry, but allows eggs and other milk  products.
  • VEGAN DIET or PURE VEGETARIAN DIET: This type of diet excludes all non-veg items and dairy products, also the food that contains these products. 
  • SEMI VEGETARIAN DIET:  A flexible diet (flexitarian diet). This diet is primarily plant- based diet but includes meat, dairy products, eggs, poultry and fish on occasion or in very less amount.

To have the desired nutrients in appropriate amount, well planned vegetarian diet is must. The Vegetarian food pyramid given by Mayo clinic staff outlines the food group and food options to be taken in right quantities that will help you to plan a balanced healthy vegetarian diet.

Vegetarian diet pyramid

food_pyramid

How to Get essential nutrients in adequate amount: 

'The key to a healthy vegetarian diet — like any diet — is to enjoy a variety of foods. No single food can provide all the nutrients your body needs'- suggest Mayo clinic. Do not restrict yourself, try new options, as restriction will make it more difficult to have adequate nutrients from your diet.
It is important to know about the important nutrients, its daily value and alternative sources. People following a vegan diets are at risk of having Vitamin B-12 deficiency and Calcium as they milk products- the rich source of calcium is not included in their diet. In such case, it is important to have knowledge about the other sources or supplements should be taken as per physician’s advice. A vegan diet, for example, eliminates food sources of vitamin B-12, as well as milk products, which are good sources of calcium. Therefore, you may need to make an extra effort to ensure that your vegetarian diet includes sufficient quantities of the following nutrients:

 

Name of nutrients

Important function

Source

options

Calcium

Helps to build and maintain strong teeth and bones

Milk and low –fat dairy foods. Dark green vegetables, e.g. turnip, collard greens, Kale and broccoli

Calcium- enriched or fortified products e.g. juices, cereals, soy yogurt and tofu

Iodine

Component in thyroid, regularises the metabolism, growth and functions of many organs

Fish,
Sea vegetables are an excellent source of iodine. Yogurt, cow's milk, eggs, and strawberries, mozzarella cheese.

Use Iodised salt at table or in cooking

Iron

Main component of blood cells

Meat, poultry etc.
Dried beans and peas, lentils, dark leafy, green vegetables, the amount should be double to non-vegetarians

Enriched cereals, whole grain products. or iron supplements. to promote the absorption of iron, eat food reach in vitamin-c including,oranges, lemon, tomato, strawberries, cabbage broccoli etc.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Important for cardiovascular health, eye and brain development

Fish- halibut, shrimp tuna cod, and eggs,
Sardines, flax seeds and walnuts are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, other sources
, Vegetable oils (corn, safflower, sunflower, soybean), tofu, kale, collard greens

Fortified products or supplements or both

protein

Body building, maintaining healthy skin, hair, muscles and organs etc.

Eggs, dairy products, meat, poultry,
Soy products, legumes, lentils, nuts, seeds and whole grains

Meat substitutes, tofu

Vitamin B-12

Essential for production of red blood cells, build immunity etc,

Poultry, meat, fish, dairy product.
It’s difficult to get enough B-12 on a Vegan diet

Vitamin supplements, enriched cereals and fortified soy products

Vitamin –D

Important for bone health

Proper sun exposure and eggs, fish and fish liver oil.

Fortified milk and milk products, fortified juice

zinc

Essential components of important enzymes and plays role in Cell division and in formation of proteins

Animal products, cheese.
Whole grains, soy products, legumes, nuts and wheat germ

Supplements


 

Here is few ideas that may help you to switch on to vegetarian diet,
 

Be prepared and make a mind to switch to it. Your determination will help you to swith to vegetarian diet smoothly.

More meatless meals:  Gradually increase the number of meatless meals you cherished already, a vegetarian kabab, spaghetti with tomato or pasta salad, or vegetable stir -fry.

Know about substitute: Try your favourite recipe without meat or paultry, add vegetarian options like tofu, paneer ,vegetables.  Do a bit research to find out number of various healthy substitutes to non- veg food substances.

Opt for vegetarian cuisine: Search for restaurants that serves best vegetarian dishes and sample out the vegetarian menus. Always go for vegetarian dishes when options are available.

Learn new vegetarian recipes: Search on net, buy or borrow vegetarian cookbooks.  Join cooking classes to learn variety of vegetarian menus. Always remember to include variety of foods in your vegetarian diet  to get the adequate amount of nutrients. Best Of Luck.

Related services,

Online consultation with Dietitian

Healthy recipe zone

Information source:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vegetarian-diet/HQ01596
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=84
h
ttp://www.dhaomega3.org/Overview/Dietary-Sources-of-Omega-3-Fatty-Acids
Image: medicinenet.com 

 


Read 6932 times Last modified on Friday, 06 January 2012 14:01

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