The Vegetarian Diet Nutrition
Vegetarianism can be a very healthy option but only if your vegetarian
diet plan is well balanced. This means eating a variety of foods
including grains, fruit and vegetables, beans, pulses, nuts or seeds,
a small amount of fat, with or without dairy products.
Vegetarian Pyramid Offers Best Vegetarian Nutrition
For optimum nutrition as a vegetarian, follow the Vegetarian Food
Table 1. Vegetarian Food Pyramid
Eat occasionally or in small quantities
Nuts & Seeds
Egg Whites, Soy ...view middle of the document...
Vegetarian Diet Nutrition - Iron
Although vegetarian diets are higher in total iron content than
nonvegetarian diets, iron reserves are lower in vegetarians because
the iron from plant foods is less well absorbed. That said, iron
deficiency anemia rates are similar in vegetarians and nonvegetarians.
Remember that it's easier to absorb iron from food if we eat it with
foods that contain Vitamin C, so have some fruit or veg containing
vitamin C, or some fruit juice with your meal.
Vegetarian Diet Nutrition - Vitamin B12
Plant foods are not a reliable source of B-12 for vegetarians. Vitamin
B-12 in spirulina, sea vegetables, tempeh, and miso has been shown to
be inactive B-12 analog rather than the active vitamin. Although dairy
products and eggs contain vitamin B-12, research indicates that
lacto-ovo-vegetarians have low blood levels of vitamin B-12. Thus use
of fortified foods or supplements are advised for vegans or
vegetarians who limit animal foods.
Vegetarian Diet Nutrition - Vitamin D
Vitamin D is poorly supplied in all vegetarian diets unless vitamin
D-fortified foods are eaten. However, vegan vitamin D-fortified foods
- such as soy milk and cereals, are becoming more widely available.