Getting enough nutrition on vegetarian diet plans can be hard. The more limited your diet is, the more you might struggle to tick all the boxes when it comes to nutrition. Red meat is a particularly good source of iron, while white meat is packed full of protein. Without them in your diet, you need to make sure you’re getting the right amount of nutrition from other sources.
Watch out for the nutrients
Vegetarians have a more difficult time getting certain nutrients in their diet. The protein you might have got from meat needs to be substituted for protein-rich alternatives, such as eggs and dairy products. You can also get your fill of protein from plant-based foods such as soy, lentils, legumes, nuts and seeds. Milk and dairy products are also a good source of calcium, to maintain strong teeth and bones, as are dark green vegetables, fortified cereals and tofu.
Another area that might be lacking in your diet is iron. Meat eaters will be getting plenty of iron from their red meat, but vegetarians are advised to take in double the amount of iron a non-vegetarian would consume. That’s why dark greens, whole grain products, dried fruit, peas and lentils are all important in your diet. In order to fully absorb the iron from these foods, you also need to consider increasing your vitamin C intake and increasing the number of tomatoes, citrus fruits, cabbage and broccoli you’re eating. Squeezing lemon juice on vegetarian food is an easy way to consume vitamin C with iron and make it more bioavailable
Planning is key
The key to a varied and healthy vegetarian diet very much comes down to planning properly and getting to know your food groups. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using a professionally designed vegetarian meal plan such as the ones our experts have designed. These meal plans are formulated by experienced dieticians to ensure you’re getting enough nutrition and covering all the food groups your body needs.
It’s far harder for vegetarians to achieve that nutritional balance, but with the right support in place and some forward thinking, you can get there.
To learn more about Basiligo meal plans suited for vegetarians, click here.