Having decided to adopt a healthy vegetarian lifestyle and become a vegetarian, there are many things to consider in what to eat and how much we eat. In fact, it is important for us to be very particular about what our new eating habits involve. While most of us think of fruits and vegetables as being the main components of this diet, there are actually many other foods that make up a healthy vegetarian diet. Here are some of these other foods:

Legumes

Legumes

There are many healthy vegetarians who eat a large amount of beans. There are many different kinds of beans including navy, fava, garbanzo and curly, black, red and kidney beans. Most of us enjoy legumes because they are full of protein. They are also low in fat and can be prepared in a variety of ways such as being baked, used in chili, simmered, etc. Other legumes include peas, lentils, buckwheat, etc.

Meat

All mammals, even humans, have a need for meat. The most obvious and healthy meat is red meat. However, it is important to choose the kind of meat you eat very carefully. A great source of essential nutrients, like protein, iron, zinc and other vitamins, is the meat you eat; however, certain kinds of meat are not so good for your health. So, if you want to stick to a vegetarian diet, you should include tofu in your diet.

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Fruits And Vegetables

Vegetables and fruits are a great source of nutrition. But unlike meat and legumes, they are high in fat and therefore should be consumed in limited quantities. For example, there are a lot of healthy nuts and seeds but they are relatively higher in fat than whole grains. So, an integral part of any healthy vegetarian diet should consist of legumes and fruits. They are also high in nutritional content and do not have the calories and fat that come from meats.

Dairy Products

Even though milk is high in calcium and protein, it is not one of the best protein sources. So, other healthy supplements, like soy milk, can be used instead. Legumes and whole grains are also excellent sources of calcium and other minerals. However, dairy products like yogurt and butter are not the best. If you are lactose intolerant, then you should also avoid dairy products like milk and cheese.

You also need to watch how much salt and sugar you use in your daily meals. Your lifestyle needs to include a well-balanced amount of different carbohydrates and fats, along with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit. You should also incorporate moderate amounts of grains and cereals in your vegetarian diet, as these food groups contain important nutrients.

Final Words

As you can see, the lifestyle choices you make in the kitchen greatly influence your overall health. Eating healthy, natural vegetarian foods can lead to better health, and less likelihood of developing chronic diseases. For instance, studies have shown that those who choose to eat vegetarian and avoid meat are less likely to develop cardio vascular disease and high blood pressure. Other lifestyle changes you can make include using vitamin supplements or taking vitamin supplements only after consulting your physician.

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