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Eat Vegetarian Style

Updated on November 10, 2012
These foods are typical of those eaten by the 12 volunteers during a study of how plant-rich diets affect blood lipids, antioxidant defenses, and colon function. USDA photo by Scott Bauer. Image Number K8234-2
These foods are typical of those eaten by the 12 volunteers during a study of how plant-rich diets affect blood lipids, antioxidant defenses, and colon function. USDA photo by Scott Bauer. Image Number K8234-2 | Source

A vegetarian diet can be difficult to adhere to, at first. But, there are so many benefits it is worth the sacrifice and work. Here is some information to help you decide to get rid of the meat in your diet.

If you find the right vegetarian diet for you, it is possible to cut your risk of cavities, hemorrhoids, gallstones, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and even obesity. There are several options for you to consider.

A flexitarian or semi-vegetarian diet may be the easiest type to start with. Meals in this diet are at least eighty-percent vegetarian. Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk and cheese are occasionally included. But the meals consist mainly of fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts.

A vegan diet is probably the most difficult, but also the most healthy. No meat is eaten by someone on this eating plan. The vegans meals consist only of produce, nuts, and grains. No meat, foul, fish, eggs, or dairy foods are consumed.

A person on the ovo-vegetarian diet will follow the vegan diet, with the addition of eggs. Lacto-vegetarians add dairy products and eggs to the vegan diet. If you follow the pescovegetarian diet you will eat as a vegan, but add seafood to your meals.

There are some nutrients whose main sources are meats, fish, and dairy products. If you exclude these foods from your diet, it is necessary to plan carefully. If you do not get them from other sources you body will suffer from dangerous deficiencies that could cause severe health problems.

It is necessary to find an alternative source of Vitamin B12. If not, it is possible you may suffer nerve damage that is irreversible. Find a cereal or plant-type food that is fortified with B12. Or, it is also possible to take B12 supplements. Vitamin D is in many dairy products. Be sure you are getting enough of that vitamin, as well.

Calcium that you are not getting from dairy products can be replaced with supplements. It can also be found in kale, broccoli, and fortified versions of rice or almond milk. Zinc should be consumed in foods such as sunflower seeds, lima beans, whole grains, and brewer's yeast. If you follow any type of vegetarian diet you will need to either take a vitamin supplement or eat dried beans and peas, or some other type of iron-fortified foods.

And, be sure you are getting enough protein. It can be difficult to get enough when you are not consuming meat or dairy products. Eat a combination of grains and seeds with beans, peas or lentils. Red beans and rice is a delicious example of this type of combination.

There are many health benefits to be had from following a vegetarian diet. But, to reap these benefits, you must be sure you are getting the nutrients your body needs. If you do not, the problems may outweigh the benefits of this type of diet.


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