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Home / Diet & Nutrition / How To Start A Vegetarian Diet Plan: What To Eat 

How To Start A Vegetarian Diet Plan: What To Eat 

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If you plan to improve your nutrition and shed a few extra pounds in the process, the vegetarian diet plan might be perfect.

In this article, I have researched the best way how you can start your vegetarian diet plan.

The first thing you have to consider when getting the most out of a vegetarian diet is that you should cut back on less healthy choices and start planning a healthy meal plan. But switching to a vegetarian diet doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

You can start by incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet and gradually decrease the amount of meat you eat. Include more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans into your diet while reducing refined carbs, salt, and sugar.

Remember, ease into it by making minor changes to your meals.

And although considering a vegetarian diet means you’re probably looking for a way to improve your health, did you also know that a vegetarian diet can help the planet? Eating more plants and less meat can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect vital resources like water and land.

Most important of all, you must be emotionally and physically ready. This is a big change, and you must be sure you are up for it.

So, if you’re considering a vegetarian diet for your health or the planet, here are some tips on how to get started.

Choosing to Start a Vegetarian Diet For Your Health

There are many reasons why people choose to follow a vegetarian diet. Are you looking to improve your overall health? Or do you want to lose weight and reduce your risk of being sick?

In any case, choosing a vegetarian diet is a big decision that can impact your life in many ways. It is essential to do your research, and you have to make sure that you are making the best decision for your health.

This is why I have done my research to help and guide you along the way on why people choose to go vegetarian and how they prepare for it.

What is a Healthy Vegetarian Diet?

The vegetarian diet involves abstaining from eating meat, fish, and poultry. Before you start planning your meal, you must note that there are several forms of vegetarianism, each of which differs in its restrictions.

Vegetarian Diet Plan

The most common type of vegetarian diets include:

  • Vegan diet: This type of diet eliminates meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products, as well as other animal-derived products, such as honey. The vegan diet has become increasingly popular among people looking for a more sustainable way of eating.
  • Pescetarian diet: Eliminates meat and poultry but allows fish and sometimes eggs and dairy products.
  • Flexitarian diet: This diet incorporates occasional meat, fish, or poultry.
  • Lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet: Eliminates meat, fish, and poultry but allows eggs and dairy products.
  • Lacto-vegetarian diet: Eliminates meat, fish, poultry, and eggs but allows dairy products.

Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet

Diet plays a significant role in one’s overall health. Current research shows that a well-planned vegetarian diet helps you have a better diet quality and a higher intake of essential nutrients like vitamin C, E, and magnesium.

Some studies suggest that a vegetarian diet may be linked to a lower risk of cancer, including breast, colon, rectum, and stomach. Moreover, it helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels. 

Going vegetarian can also help you lose weight, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce several heart disease risk factors. The reason? Fiber. Fiber is found in fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and legumes, which keeps us full even longer after meals, allowing us to consume fewer calories over the long run.

In addition to the health benefits, there are environmental benefits to choosing a vegetarian diet plan. Studies have proved that meat production is a leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions, and raising livestock requires water and land. Thus, by choosing a vegetarian diet, you can help reduce your carbon footprint and do your part to protect the planet.

What to Eat on a Vegetarian Diet

Vegetarians can still eat various foods, including vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

As mentioned above, there are many different vegetarian diets, and each has its own guidelines. Remember that the main limitation is avoiding meat, poultry, and seafood. That means there are many compliant foods available, including all plant-based foods. 

To start with, a few examples of healthy foods to eat on a vegetarian diet are:

  • Grains – Wheat, Rice, Oats, Quinoa
  • Beans and Legumes – Black Beans, Chickpeas, Kidney peas
  • Fruits and Vegetables – Broccoli, Spinach, Lettuce, Carrots, Peas, Corn, Tomatoes, Avocado, Bananas, Apples, Berries, Melons
  • Oils – Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, Olive Oil, Canola Oil
  • Eggs and Dairy – You can still opt for eggs and dairy when you follow the Lacto-Ovo vegetarian diet.

However, we all know that too much might also harm our health. If you’re interested in adopting a vegetarian diet plan, I suggest you check out the article, Fresh Fakers: 6 “Naturals” You Think Are Healthy But Aren’t, to have ideas on the food you take.

FAQs

Q What are the pros of having a vegetarian diet plan?

A: A vegetarian diet plan has plenty of pros, including reduced disease risk, boosted longevity, increased food variety, improved weight control, reduced food costs, friendly environmental impact, and offers complete nutrition.

Q What are the cons of having a vegetarian diet plan?

A: A vegetarian diet may have some cons, such as a possible nutrient deficiency, fewer food choices, less convenience, and reduced satiety. However, these deficiencies can be easily remedied by taking supplements or eating fortified foods.

Q What foods are not allowed in a Vegetarian Diet?

A: A vegetarian diet primarily bars eating meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, and any other animal products. However, different vegetarian diets may have additional restrictions, which I have provided above.

Q Are vegetarians healthier in the long run compared to meat-eaters?

A: Being a vegetarian means you are eating healthy. Current researchers have also found that vegetarians have better health indicators, called biomarkers than meat eaters. Biomarkers indicated a significantly reduced risk of diseases like high blood pressure, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

Q Does it cost more or less to eat vegetarian?

A: The cost may be higher if you consume more processed and prepared meals. If you stick to whole plant-based foods, on the other hand, the expense might be lower than what you are used to spending.

Q How long after becoming a vegetarian do I lose weight?

A: According to research, significant weight loss will take at least a few weeks or months, depending on one’s body structure and lifestyle. For meal ideas, you might want to check out the article 15 Best Healthy Snacks for Weight Loss

Conclusion

If you are considering to start a vegetarian diet plan, you might have probably learned a thing or two from the benefits of it and what to prepare for your meal plan.

We have covered how you can enjoy various health benefits, such as lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reduced risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and even cancer prevention.

But remember that it’s essential to do your research and plan your meals carefully to ensure you get all the nutrients your body needs.

Let us know how it goes and we can’t wait to hear about your success.

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