If you’re weary of having high cholesterol and the risk of developing heart disease in the future, you should seriously consider becoming a vegetarian. A vegetarian diet can help you not only cut your cholesterol and saturated fat intake, but it can also minimize your chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Avoid being one of the 8.3 percent of children and adults in the United States who have been diagnosed with diabetes. Instead, follow these guidelines to begin eating as a vegetarian right away so that you can live a better life in the future.
First you need to understand what being a vegetarian is. Most vegetarian just cut meat out of their diets, while some still eat fish. Some will eat eggs, some won’t. If you cut out all animal-based foods (that includes meats and dairy) then you are a vegan. It is important to know that you can get that nutrients you need in your daily diet, like calcium and protein, from plant based foods. This means you don’t have to have animal based foods in order to be healthy. It is really up to you what kind of vegetarian you want to be though. If you prefer keeping dairy in your diet, then that is definitely up to you!
Why Vegetarian Diet is Better For Your Health
Many vegans maintain a healthy lifestyle by consuming more secondary plant substances: vegetables, for example, are high in fiber and hence aid digestion. Vegetarians frequently have good blood lipid levels and consume fewer saturated fatty acids than meat eaters. This lowers the chances of heart disease and high cholesterol. In addition, a vegetarian diet can help insulin work more effectively.
Vegetarians consume a maximum of 30 percent of their daily dietary energy from fats. For a person who eats an average amount of meat, this proportion is around 50 percent. The low-fat vegetarian diet is therefore often used as a therapy, for example for diseases of civilization such as obesity or arteriosclerosis, in which nutrition plays an important role. Vegetarians rely on carbs found in grains, fruits, and vegetables as their primary source of energy. They give 60% of the daily need. Non-vegetarians should take fat and carbohydrates in a comparable ratio to plant-based diets,
Aside from the personal health benefits, a vegetarian diet conserves the environment and resources. The motivation for a vegetarian diet varies. Some vegetarians want to prevent the suffering of animals. Others abstain from food and products from killed animals for health reasons or for the sake of the environment.
How To Start a Vegetarian Diet
If you want to become a vegetarian, start by incorporating one or two meat-free days into your weekly eating plan. Next do without meat altogether during the week. On weekends, you can have a delicious steak, poultry or fish. When shopping, look for good quality.
Promote your meat-free lifestyle to family & friends. This is not only important if you want to become a vegetarian, but generally if you want to consolidate a change in your life. By telling important people about your plan, the likelihood of success increases to unimaginable heights. After all, you want to come across as someone who follows through with the things he or she sets out to do.
So you can answer the question “What’s new?” simply by saying that you are now a vegetarian. This provides a kind of commitment and keeps you from weakening. In the best case, you can also convince other people to give up meat more or completely.
If you start with the vegetarian diet, change your entire diet at the same time. Because you now have to take up missing nutrients from other products. Whole grain products, legumes, nuts and lots of vegetables are now on the diet.
How To Get Vegetarian Protein
So where will you get your protein from if you’re a vegetarian?
Protein is one of the things that gives us our energy. Many people believe they need a bunch of protein each day, when really you only need about the equivalent of 3 decks of cards worth, for the entire day. One steak for a lot of people is sometimes double that amount!
Get your daily protein from nuts, beans, legumes and rice. Pick wild rice or brown rice instead of bleached white rice. In fact, a meal of black beans and rice is a great source of balanced proteins. Soy is another protein substitute. Soy is found in many meatless burgers, nuggets and other items.
Get creative in the kitchen. One of the things that most people find difficult when changing to a vegetarian diet is leaving their favorite meals behind. But you don’t have to do that. Love lasagna? Make it a vegetarian one using artichokes and spinach. Broccoli is even great on lasagna. Use Alfredo instead of marinara. If you are cutting out dairy you can use dairy-free cheese. If you are still eating eggs you can make delicious veggie omelets with mushrooms, green peppers, onions and more.
If you aren’t eating dairy you can get your calcium from broccoli, orange juice and even some nuts. You will want to make sure that you are getting a balanced diet of all the nutrients you need, including vitamins A, B, C, D and protein, calcium, zinc and iron. Eat plenty of leafy green vegetables and include as many other food items in your diet as you can to keep from feeling like you aren’t getting enough variety. Grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes and soy products will become your standards.
The best part of living a vegetarian lifestyle is that you can eat as many fruits and vegetables as you want and you won’t have to worry about your calorie counting or how much fat you are taking in. It’s a guilt free way to eat and to live! And even if you aren’t ready to go strictly meat free, just a few meat free days a week can make a huge difference in your health and energy.