Vegetarian Diets

DEFINITIONS:

  • VEGANS- Do not eat any meat, poultry, fish, eggs or dairy
  • LACTO-OVO- Do not eat any meat, poultry or fish
  • PESCATARIAN- Do not eat any meat or poultry
  • FLEXITARIAN- Vegetarian most days of the week
  • PLANT-BASED- Eats mostly vegetarian and an increased amount of whole foods

 

BENEFITS:

  • HEART DISEASE: Lower cholesterol levels since most foods are lower in saturated fat and saturated fat is found in meat, dairy and eggs.
  • BLOOD PRESSURE: Most foods are lower in sodium.
  • DIABETES: If following a diet high in fiber or complex carbohydrates; which are only found in plant foods, are low in fat and sugar; which decreases blood sugar.
  • CANCER: Prevents breast and colon cancers; therefore, decreasing deaths since the diet is low in fat and high in fiber.  They also contain phytochemicals, which help to fight cancer.
  • CALCIUM: Eating more animal protein can increase the prevalence of kidney stones and increase the incidence of osteoporosis since these foods will encourage the loss of calcium in the body through urine excretion.

 

FOOD GROUPS:

  • PROTEINS- Whole grains, Beans, Vegetables, Nuts, Seeds, Nut butters, Tofu, Tempeh, Quinoa, Pea protein powder (for smoothies), Plant-based yogurts, milks and cheese
  • CALCIUM- Green, leafy vegetables, beans, tofu, nuts, lentils, sweet potato, dried fruits, soymilk, rice milk, fortified juices, wheat bread
  • VITAMIN B12- (Cyanocobalamin) -Fortified cereals, Nutritional yeast, Fortified soymilk

 

EASY WAYS TO MAKE THE SWITCH: 

  • PIZZA- order with vegan cheese and lots of vegetables
  • TEXTURIZED VEGETABLE PROTEIN (TVP)- fat free & ground beef texture
  • MEATLESS VERSIONS- hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken fingers, sausage
  • GRILLING- eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes
  • ETHNIC FOODS-
  • Indian (tofu, chickpeas, squash, mushrooms) 
  • Chinese (bean curd) 
  • Mexican (tacos, enchiladas, nachos, tostadas, beans)
  • Thai (vegetable curry, coconut soup, tofu, eggplant) 
  • Japanese (ramen, miso pasta or tofu, sushi, soba noodles) 
  • Italian (home-made bread, sun-dried tomatoes, eggplant)
  • Middle Eastern (grape leaves, falafel, eggplant spreads)

 

VEGETARIAN FOOD PLATE: (www.ThePowerPlate.org)

  • FRUIT- 3 or more servings a day (medium size fruit or 4 ounces of juice)
  • LEGUMES- 2 or more servings a day (4 oz beans, 8 oz soymilk, 4 oz tofu or tempeh)
  • WHOLE GRAINS- 5 or more servings a day (bread, rice, pasta, cereal, corn)

 

VEGETABLES- 4 or more servings a day (8 oz raw or 4 oz cooked)