Going Vegetarian?

Why? That’s right, why?

I think one of the most basic things about going vegetarian is knowing why you are doing it? There are a variety of reasons, but if you aren’t sure what your reason is then you will probably be less likely to stick with it. And that may be ok too. Maybe you just want to try it out and see what happens. That’s fine, but be sure you know what you’re getting yourself into…

Which type are you?

Lacto-ovo (eats dairy and eggs but no meat, fish, or poultry)

Lacto (eats dairy but no eggs, meat, fish, or poultry)

Ovo(eats eggs but no dairy, etc)

Pesci (eats fish but no poultry or meat)


BE EDUCATED

Key nutrients missing in vegetarian diets: iron, calcium, protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12, Zinc

Sources of these nutrients for vegetarians:

Iron: sea vegetables (nori, etc. ), beans/legumes, fortified cereals, dried fruit, soy beans/tofu, broccoli… eat iron rich food with a source of vitamin C for better absorption

Calcium: Fortified OJ and fortified soy milk, green leafy vegetables, tofu

Vitamin D: Sunlight!, fortified soy milk, will probably need to supplement

Protein: eat a combination of foods throughout the day (not necessarily in one meal); grains, beans, vegetables, seeds, nuts and nut butters, tofu, soymilk (If you are a lacto-ovo-vegetarian, dairy and eggs are a great protein source)

Vitamin B12: this is only found in animal products so either find fortified cereals and/or soy milk, or supplement with a vitamin

Zinc: largely found in dairy, but also in beans, soy products, nuts, and fortified cereals

Keep an eye on your omega-3 intake too! You will need to find fortified products like soy milk that have added it in (or you will need to supplement).

***Hope this helps for anyone thinking of becoming vegetarian or have already chosen to do so.

Why have you chosen to go vegetarian? Do have any more questions?

(Vegetarian diets are high in fiber and can be a great choice for people who need to lower cholesterol. Keep in mind that it is not for everyone. Regular diets including meat, fish, and poultry can also be very healthy. This is a personal choice, and there is no “right way” that applies to everyone.)

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3 Comments

  1. Mary Snedeker

     /  February 22, 2011

    Nice Blog! Great work. I look forward to reading more:) I think John has to take up a vegetarian diet pretty soon for a month because of a class he is taking in college. I’ll have to tell him to read your blog.

    Reply
  2. Josh Roberts

     /  March 6, 2011

    Did you write this for me?! I’m so happy I could cry! πŸ˜›

    Seriously though, couldn’t somebody just get their Vitamin D and Calcium from milk? (I drink organic 1% and skim milk… I know, strange coming from me). I always thought that vegetarians just drank milk and ate eggs by definition, and to do otherwise would be veganism, but I wouldn’t want to burden the discussion with definitions too much. I just make it a point to drink a tall glass of milk a day. I mean, I always have, but now it’s even more important for me since, lo and behold, I’m trying to be a lacto-ovo-vegetarian!

    You might also be interested to know that Vitamin B-12 is fairly abundant in Swiss Cheese (I cheated and looked that up). Again, this would apply to a vegetarian who at least has dairy products in their diet, which I do.

    I’ve basically chosen a vegetarian diet for a variety of reasons, like avoiding saturated fat (at least to a higher degree), environmental, and ethical reasons as well, which I’m sure you’ve heard. So far, I’ve avoided meat for about a week and a half, and before, I greatly decreased my intake of meat and even completely cut out soda and fast food from my diet, aside from the occasional pizza. I’m pretty proud of myself.

    Reply

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