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The vegetarian diet: What should you know?

To get the nutrients that they need to be healthy, one does not have to eat any meat. For many reasons, a meat-free diet can result in better health.

One reason is that many people who follow a vegetarian diet tend to consume a high proportion of fresh, healthful, plant-based foods, which provide antioxidants, and fiber. People who choose to eat meat-free are often more likely to make healthy lifestyle choices.

Numerous studies have shown that vegetarianism can provide a variety of health benefits.

Studies show that a vegan or vegetarian diet may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and various types of cancer.

A non-meat diet may also reduceTrusted Source the risk of metabolic syndrome, which includes obesity and type 2 diabetes.

A 2019 Gallup poll found that 5% of Americans consider themselves vegetarians, with 2% among the elderly, 8% among those between 18 and 34 years, and 7% among the 35-54 age group.

This article will be about the Lacto-Ovo vegetarian diet which includes milk products and eggs.

To learn more about other popular diets, click here.

What are the best vegetarian foods?

A vegetarian diet may provide many healthy, nutritious foods. However, what the individual eats will depend upon their diet and personal food preferences.

Vegetarians can be used to describe a wide range of diets.

  • Lacto-ovo-vegetarians avoid both meat and fish but consume dairy and eggs.
  • Lacto-vegetarians eat dairy products, but not eggs.
  • Ovo-vegetarians eat eggs, but no dairy.

People who don’t eat meat can eat fish. This is not a vegetarian diet but a pescatarian one.

Veganism excludes animal-based foods.

Vegetarians must be careful about the foods they choose to eat in order to meet their nutritional needs. Some people may need supplements.

Benefits

According to Gallup, a growing number of young people are switching to a vegetarian diet.

This could be because:

  • it brings health benefits
  • It is more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
  • They are concerned about how animals are treated
  • It is part of a wider lifestyle choice

Religious reasons may also lead some people to avoid animal products and meat.

These are just a few of the many ways that avoiding meat products can improve a person’s health.

Weight. A 2016 metaanalysisTrusted Source found that switching to a vegetarian diet can help someone lose weight. To understand the effects of a vegetarian diet on weight, scientists need to conduct longer-term controlled studies.

Cholesterol: A systematic review by Trusted Source published in 2015 concluded that people who follow a vegetarian diet are likely to have lower overall cholesterol levels.

Cancer A study Trusted Source of nearly 70,000 people revealed that vegetarians are more likely to get cancer than non-vegetarians. According to the authors, a diet that does not include meat may provide some protection against cancer.

Heart Health: The 2014 StudyTrusted Source discovered a lower rate of cardiovascular disease among people who ate a vegetarian diet in India. Similar results were already found in studies conducted in Western countries.

Type 2 Diabetes: A vegetarian diet could make it more likely rested Source that someone will develop type 2 diabetes. This could be due to higher intake whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts, as well as a lower intake of unhealthful fats.

These benefits won’t automatically occur if a person gives up eating meat. People should also eat a vegetarian diet.

  • get the right number of calories
  • Focus on whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
  • Limit their intake of alcohol and processed foods
  • Avoid unhealthy fats and excess sugar.
  • Exercise regularly to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Avoid smoking

What health benefits can a vegan diet bring?

Sustainability

Experts agree that a plant-based diet has more health benefits than a meat-based one.

What makes a diet more sustainable? Learn more.

Tips for getting started

Here are some ways to switch to a vegetarian diet.

  • Learn about the nutrition you need and how to get them.
  • Find out more from local nutritionists, health food shops, and vegetarian websites.
  • Create a weekly shopping list and meal plan.
  • You should focus on meat-free options that still provide complete protein so you don’t eat the same as before, but you can still enjoy them.
  • You might consider gradually changing your lifestyle, such as over a period of a month.
  • You can start with the most familiar, meat-free foods like salad and mac and cheese, and then add more to your repertoire.

Two reasons why gradual changes may be more effective are:

It’s more likely that it will become a lifestyle rather than a long-term move.

Sudden changes in diet, such as a rise in vegetable or bean consumption, can cause temporary digestive problems such as bloating.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers a variety of tips and tricks for those who wish to quit eating meat.

Choose whole-grain products, such as whole-wheat bread, wild or brown rice, and whole-grain cereals, as these can provide B vitamins.

Varietate the diet with whole grains, fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, and so forth.

Avoid dairy products and eggs or add soy milk.

Talk to a healthcare professional regarding supplements, particularly vitamin B-12.

Make sure you get enough vitamin D, particularly if your sun exposure is low.

Make sure to read the labels on “healthy” vegetarian snacks.

Be aware that fast food and junk food can be unhealthy and high in calories, regardless of whether they are vegetarian.

They recommend reducing your intake of high-sugar and high-fat foods.

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