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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tips for eating in a vegetarian lifestyle

Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish or poultry. Whether you are thinking about adopting a vegetarian diet due to health reasons or environmental reasons, there are many things to think about to make sure that you are eating a diet full of vitamins and minerals, and not simply cutting meat out of your diet. Here are a few tips to keep you on the right track:

Tip #1) Forgo junk foods like macaroni and cheese, candy bars, and grilled cheese sandwiches, and opt for healthy, vitamin rich vegetarian foods such as fruit, vegetables, grains, seeds, legumes, and nuts.

Tip #2) Get enough protein. Good sources of protein can be found in abundance in whole grains, tofu, low-fat dairy products, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, tempeh, eggs, and peas.

Tip #3) Make sure to consume enough calcium, but not solely from dairy. Calcium can be found in dark, leafy greens such as spinach, kale, mustard, collard greens, turnip greens, and bok choy, as well as in broccoli, beans, dried figs, and sunflower seeds. If you are not eating enough of these foods, buy calcium-fortified foods such as cereals, cereal bars and juices. Dark, leafy greens also offer an abundance of iron.

Tip #4) Take a vitamin B-12 supplement. While some vegetarians can get enough B-12 through dairy and eggs, it is always best to be safe and add a supplement to your daily regimen.

Tip #5) Experiment with meat substitutes like tofu and tempeh, and check your local grocer for ready-made meat substitutes. You may be surprised at the taste of vegetarian sausages, burgers, chicken and hot dogs.

Adopting a vegetarian diet and staying healthy can easily go hand in hand when following these 5 tips.


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