Well-planned healthy eating for vegans and vegetarians diets can be nutritious and healthy, the UK Government suggests that a diet based on the Eatwell Guide should include a minimum of 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day Basis your supplements for starchy carbon hydrates — particularly whole grains and high fibers.
Healthy eating include any dairy or dairy alternatives (for example calcium-fortified soya, rice and oat drinks), use lower fat and lower sugar products where possible Use a range of protein sources, for example pulses (lentils, beans and peas), eggs, and soya products e.g. soya mince or textured vegetable protein (TVP).
Choose unsaturated oils, spreads and eat in limited amounts. Unsaturated fats consist of a large number of liquids-government recommends 6-8 cups / drinks per day Note that foods high in fats, salts and sugars like cakes, biscuits and fried savore snack, pastries and soft drinks, are not required in the case of di-fats unsaturated fats (found eg. for example in olive and rapeseed oils) or polyunsaturated fatty food, such as sunflower olives and maize oil).
What is a vegetarian diet?
A vegetarian is commonly defined as a person not consuming meat, poultry, fish, coquillages, or any slaughter by-products.
But no clear, agreed ‘vegetarian’ definition is available. It can be described as a vegetarian by people because they generally prefer a diet based on plants, including fish, or what is common as flexitarian or “semi-vegetarian”.
Some of the common types of vegetarians are:
- Lacto-ovo-vegetarians (the most common type) – eats dairy products and eggs
- Lacto-vegetarians – eats dairy products but not eggs
- Ovo-vegetarian – eats eggs but not dairy products
- Vegan – does not eat any products of animal origin so does not eat any dairy products, eggs or honey
How many people in the UK are vegetarian?
According to recent dietary studies, we can estimate that about 2% of adults and children living in Great Britain are vegetarians (National Diet and Nutrition Survey 2008/9-2011/12). More than 1.2 million people are interested. Lower than 1% reported a vegan diet during the study.
Why do people choose to follow a vegetarian diet?
There are many reasons why people choose to be vegetarian including parental preferences, health reasons, religious or cultural beliefs as well as concern for animal rights and the environment.
A healthy and balanced vegetarian diet
Appropriately planned vegetarian diets are nutritionally adequate across all life stages of the life cycle and can provide the nutrients we need.
Choosing a healthy balanced diet
Do remember that vegetarian options can also be high in saturated fat, salt and sugar. Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, reducing your salt and free sugars intake, keeping your alcohol consumption within government guidelines, maintaining a healthy body weight and leading an active lifestyle are all important.
Suitable choices for Healthy Eating for Vegans and Vegetarians
- Potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates
- Fruit and vegetables
- Dairy and alternatives
- Beans, pulses, eggs and other proteins
- Oils and spreads
When eating a meal with plant sources of iron like pulses (e.g. kidney beans, chickpeas or lentils), dark green veg or an iron-fortified breakfast cereal try to include some vitamin C to increase iron absorption (by adding some vegetables such as peppers or broccoli to your meal or berries to your cereal) For vegans who strictly avoid all animal products, other sources of vitamin B12 such as vitamin B12 fortified foods or supplements should be included.
Drink plenty of fluids – the government recommends 6-8 cups/glasses a day Remember that food high in fats, salts and sugars like cakes, biscuits, fried savoury snacks, pies, pastries and sugar sweetened soft drinks are not needed in the diet so if you include these, eat them less often and in small amounts
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