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Vegetarian Diet

What is a vegetarian?

  • Plant-based diets or vegetarian diets consist of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and some include dairy & eggs.
  • Vegans DO NOT include dairy & eggs.

Vitamin deficiency concerns:

– protein, B12, vitamin D, calcium, iodine, omega-3 fats

  • Protein sources: beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, quinoa, veggie based protein powders
  • Vitamin B12 sources: fortified products & nutritional yeasts
  • Vitamin D sources: sunlight, supplement form
  • Calcium sources: dark leafy greens, seeds, nuts, beans
  • Iodine sources: green leafy vegetables, asparagus, kelp, iodized salt
  • Omega-3 fat sources: green leafy vegetables, walnuts, flax

Why are plant based diets so important?

  • Religion

– certain world religions forbid meat consumption, in turn developing more plant based diets

  • Health

– diets high in plant products can help us get and stay healthier

  • Environmental

– raising livestock (factory farming) and industrial fishing has ecological impacts

  • Ethical

– general concern for animal violence and food production practices

  • Economic

– plant-based diets are cheaper

What should you know?

  • Becoming a vegetarian does not automatically make you healthier.
  • Soda, candy apples, potato chips, processed food, etc. are vegan as well…
  • Be careful! Make sure you are getting adequate calories, macros, vitamins and minerals.
  • Plant-based diets tend to be lower in cholesterol and saturated fat, but higher in dietary fiber, vitamin C & E, phytochemicals, flavonoids, carotenoids, folate, magnesium, and potassium.
  • A well-planned vegetarian diet can be suitable for individuals throughout the life cycle, including athletes, children, and pregnancy.
  • Vegetarian or not, EATING MORE PLANTS IN YOUR DIET CAN MAKE YOU HEALTHIER!

 

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