The health benefits that come along with a vegetarian diet truly are undeniable. From preventing obesity to lowering your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and even some forms of cancer, having a plant based diet can take your lifestyle from bad to good – overnight.
So, you have taken the plunge. You have decided to remove all animal based foods from your diet. You have to admit – those frozen black bean and veggie burgers really are not all that bad. In fact, you quite enjoy them! There is just one problem, you are not feeling as great as everyone promised you would. So what are you doing wrong?
The problem that arises with many vegetarians when they make the switch to the plant-based side of things, is that they rely too heavily on processed foods; which are generally high in sodium, fats and calories. Though in moderation processed foods will not harm the body, in heavy doses they can hinder your ability to live a healthy lifestyle.
Maintaining a Healthy Vegetarian Lifestyle
A healthy vegetarian diet consists of plenty of fruits and vegetables, healthy grains and calcium rich foods. Typically when we hear the term “vegetarian diet” we simply think of a diet that does not include fish, meat or poultry. However, there are many types of vegetarian diets that can actually work to improve your health.
Here are just a few:
– Ovo-vegetarian – An ovo-vegetarian diet excludes any meat products such as red meat, poultry and fish; but allows for eggs.
– Lacto-vegetarian – Lacto-vegetarians do not eat fish, meat, poultry or eggs; but their diet does allow for dairy like milk, cheese and yogurt.
– Pescatarian – Pescatarians do not eat meat, poultry or eggs; but they do indulge in fish.
– Pollotarian – Pollotarians do not eat red meat, fish or dairy; but do eat poultry.
– Vegan – Vegans do not eat meat, poultry, fish or dairy. They do not eat any products that contain any of these ingredients.
There is much evidence that supports the fact that a vegetarian diet can be very beneficial to your health. If you have decided to go vegetarian, in any form, it is important that you ensure you are getting your recommended daily value of vitamins and nutrients and that you are not relying too heavily on processed foods.