The Vegetarian diet continues to steadily grow in popularity especially in an increasingly environmental and animal rights conscious world. It is estimated that around 20% of the world’s population is currently vegetarian with reasons for selectin the lifestyle ranging from religion, environmental concerns about the meat industry and overfishing, animal rights to personal choice.
Regardless of the reasons behind choosing a Vegetarian diet plan, it promises better health indicators, reduced risk for contracting chronic diseases and weight loss. Depending on the variation selected, the Vegetarian diet restricts the consumption of meat, poultry, fish and their products. The diet is heavily plant-based and is commonly found on many experts’ top lists.
The Process of the Vegetarian Diet
The typical Vegetarian diet plan depends on whole grains, fruits and vegetables for carbohydrates. Legumes such as beans, beans, chickpeas and grams provide the bulk of the protein on the Vegetarian menu as nuts and seeds provide natural fats. The preferred oils to use include coconut oil, olive oil and avocado. The variations will determine whether eggs, milk and fish are part of the Vegetarian menu with Lacto-vegetarians allowing milk as part of their meals.
Ovo-vegetarians make an exception for eggs while lacto-ovo-vegetarians allow for both dairy and eggs. Pescetarians do not consume eggs or dairy but permit fish as an acceptable protein source. In general meat and poultry are off-limits and though not part of the diet, exercise is advised and alcohol is to be taken in moderation.
- It is a healthy and sustainable way to lose weight.
- It boosts health indicators for the heart, blood pressure and blood sugar.
- The vegetarian diet may lead to nutritional deficiencies if not well planned.
- Completely cutting out meat and its products may be difficult.
Who Should Do It
Vegetarians experience better weight control, reduce the risk of chronic disease and overall health indicators. A Vegetarian diet is a good option for individuals looking for an alternative lifestyle especially if concerned about the environmental impact of meat, poultry and fish industries or concerned about the treatment of animals reared on commercial farms.
Meal Plan Ideas
- Breakfast: Oatmeal with fruit and flaxseeds
- Lunch: Grilled veggie and hummus wrap with sweet potato fries
- Dinner: Tofu banh mi sandwich with pickled slaw
- Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with tomatoes, garlic and mushrooms
- Lunch: Zucchini boats stuffed with veggies and feta with tomato soup
- Dinner: Chickpea curry with basmati rice
- Breakfast: Smoothie of kale, berries, bananas, nut butter and almond milk
- Lunch: Red lentil veggie burger with avocado salad
- Dinner: Flatbread with grilled garden vegetables and pesto