by Alexandra Caspero in Diets, Food & Nutrition Experts, June 17, 2017
by Jason Machowsky in Food & Nutrition Experts, March 23, 2015
Incorporating more meatless meals into your diet is a great way to boost health. Research shows that eating more plant-based foods and less animal products can reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even some cancers. However, whether you choose to eat this way part-time or all of the time, there are a few nutrients that need more planning to ensure you are getting enough. Luckily, there many whole food sources, fortified foods, and supplements to ensure you are meeting the daily nutrient requirements. If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, or plan on switching any time soon, be mindful of these 6 nutrients.
Vitamin B12, found primarily in animal products, is needed for production of DNA and maintaining nerve cells. A deficiency can cause megaloblastic anemia and nerve damage, among other problems. Therefore, a reliable source of B-12 is essential, especially for vegans, in order to prevent deficiency. Since fortified foods vary greatly in the amount of B12 they supply, a daily supplement is recommended instead. Read more
From animal rights to health concerns, there are many reasons why people choose to become vegetarians. In fact, vegetarianism is practiced by a number of cultures throughout the world, including nearly a third of the Indian population (primarily via the Hindu, Jain and Brahmin communities). There are different types of vegetarians, denoted by the prefixes attached to the title: Ovo- = eggs, Lacto- = dairy. For example, the only animal products an ovo-lacto-vegetarian eats are eggs and dairy products.
While becoming a vegetarian can lend itself to positive dietary changes, such as increased vegetable, fruit and whole-grain consumption, it does not necessarily make someone a “healthy” eater – sugar, fried foods, alcohol and refined starches can all be vegetarian! Additionally, vegetarians may be at increased risk of deficiency of certain nutrients, like protein, vitamin B12, iron, zinc, calcium and vitamin D. Check with your physician before taking supplements of any of the nutrients suggested below. Read more