A vegetarian diet allows you to appreciate all the variety of vegetarian dishes, try something new, and most importantly, lose weight. Thanks to the peculiar menu, vegetarians are slimmer than their carnivorous counterparts, which makes it possible to apply their nutritional principles when developing diets.
It is only natural that a vegetarian diet excludes all meat, eggs and dairy products from the diet. Only herbal products are allowed. However, there are deviations from such strict requirements – some vegetarians still leave various dairy products in their diet. There are also vegetarians who occasionally eat meat and fish dishes.
An important task in the preparation of a vegetarian menu is such a combination of products that will provide the body with all the necessary nutrients, taking into account their daily requirements. The simple elimination of meat, fish and dairy products will lead to unbalanced nutrient intake and affect both overall well-being and health in the future. Therefore, the diet must be thought out in terms of the body’s daily requirement for essential nutrients, and not the calories and fats received.
High amino acid content can be found in legumes, grains, and nuts. A variety of types of legumes will allow you to avoid a meager menu of dishes. However, vitamin C is needed to absorb plant-based iron, so it is imperative to include foods high in vitamin in the diet. It is better to take special nutritional supplements to compensate for vitamin B12.
A vegetarian diet may well tolerate the use of dairy products, but you should watch out for their fat content. Skim milk and yogurt are good options. You can find low-fat cheeses on sale. An important advantage of low-calorie dairy products is that they contain more calcium than more fatty foods. When compiling the menu, special attention should be paid to the sufficient amount for the daily requirement of such important substances as: zinc, calcium, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and protein. It is best to exclude butter and sour cream from the menu. White bread should be replaced with wholemeal bread.
A vegetarian diet can be either low-carb or high-carb. A high-carb diet includes vegetables that are high in starch, such as potatoes. High carbohydrate content can be found in rice, barley, and wheat. The menu includes soy products, legumes and nuts as a source of protein. However, you should not be zealous with the consumption of nuts.
As a menu for a vegetarian diet, you can suggest the following: alternate vegetable and fruit days for the required number of days, the number of which is determined individually. On a vegetable day, 4 baked tomatoes are prepared for breakfast, a glass of vegetable juice, tea with lemon are made. For lunch: either green salad or cucumber salad, tea with lemon. For dinner: stew or boil vegetables and lemon tea. Optionally, lemon tea can be substituted for lemon coffee. On a fruit day, breakfast includes fruit salad and lemon tea. For lunch, take half a melon and prepare a fruit salad. Dinner is the same as lunch.
Conversely, low-carb diets eliminate the consumption of vegetables and foods high in starch. This includes potatoes and pasta. The consumption of fruits is also reduced, but it is not necessary to completely eliminate them from the diet. Low-carb diets use tofu as a protein source – a great substitute for legumes that are high in starch. Low-carb diets heavily use lettuce, cucumber, radish, Chinese cabbage, celery, and paprika. Various greens are used for salads and other dishes: basil, parsley, dill, thyme, tarragon, rosemary. In summer, most of the greenery can be grown, if not in the country, then in a pot on the balcony, which is very convenient. It is allowed to use cheeses of any fat content in dishes, however, depending on the calorie content, the amount of cheese consumed should be taken into account. Low-carb diets do not prohibit the use of vegetable oils. Cold-pressed crude oil is best suited for this purpose. Artificial oils, margarine are prohibited. But the use of natural animal fats is permissible, best of all – natural butter and fish oil. Instead of sugar, it is better to use sugar substitutes such as saccharin, cyclamate or sucralose . Sucrose, maltose, fructose cannot be used.