Vegetarian diet is based on eliminating from its diet the “animal flesh”, that is meat and fish. Vegetarian diet must be undertaken with great care to avoid any dietary deficiency. Although it is not specifically intended for weight loss, more and more people are considering changing their diet to meet vegetarian constraints in hopes of losing weight.
Unlike vegan, vegetarians consume products of animal origin. Even though it must pay close attention to some basic rules and potential risks, vegetarianism can be an interesting diet for all those who wish to adopt a healthier lifestyle and lose some extra pounds in the process.
Vegetarian diet principle
There are good and bad vegetarian diets. A vegetarian who only feeds on four-cheese pizzas or parmesan cheese will not benefit and will be surprised not to lose weight.
It is important to know a minimum to adapt your diet and introduce new foods, still little known, such as tofu, lentils or quinoa. It’s not just about banishing meat from your plate and eating more vegetables, but replacing it with healthy and complete alternatives.
To have a balanced diet, it is imperative to combine food wisely to ensure the presence of eight essential amino acids in the body. These amino acids are not produced by the body and can’t be stored. Their simultaneous presence is, however, obligatory for the absorption of the proteins necessary for cellular regeneration. Unlike animal proteins, vegetable proteins are not “complete” because they do not contain all eight essential amino acids. It is thus necessary to mix complete and incomplete proteins during the same meal or to combine incomplete but complementary proteins between them. This is the case for cereals and legumes, which when combined, offer the full spectrum of amino acids.
In most cultures, this principle is applied naturally in traditional cooking. In Asia, for example, rice is combined with tofu. In North Africa, couscous is combined with chickpeas. In India, lentil-based Dahl is served with rice.
Note however that the vegetarian who consumes eggs and cheese is in principle safe from protein deficiencies.
The vegetarian greatly reduces its consumption of saturated fatty acids: the vegetarians – therefore – are less likely to have the cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers, such as breast cancer.
An increased intake of vitamins and fiber: the vegetarian consumes more fruits, vegetables and cereals than the average person. This is usually all good for one’s state of health.
Weight control: Several studies show that vegetarians are less likely to be obese than meat eaters. Simply because the vegetarian eats less fat and gets a lasting feeling of satiety by absorbing a lot of fiber and slow sugars. Vegetarians have lower cholesterol levels and lower their risk of high blood pressure.
It is an economic regime (lower cost): compare the price of 200gr of tofu to that of a steak of the same weight, and you’ll quickly understand! Cereals and legumes are really economical. And you do not want to eat anything at any time of the day.
Risk of deficiencies: the risk of deficiencies does exist, especially during periods of growth for children or during pregnancy in women. The most common deficiencies are deficiencies of iron, zinc and vitamin B12. It is therefore wise to take food supplements to overcome these disadvantages.
Life in society: It is not always easy for a vegetarian to follow his diet outside the home. What’s more frustrating for a vegetarian than being invited to a barbecue? In addition, in the minds of many people, vegetarians eat only a few leaves of salads or steamed vegetables. The vegetarian must therefore show a lot of tolerance and will gradually “educate” his/her circle of friends to his/her new habits.
Risk of increased absorption of pesticides: Fruits and vegetables are heavily sprayed with pesticides, harmful to our health. Since the vegetarian consumes a lot, there is a real risk of being more exposed to these pollutants. Similarly, whole grain cereals often have a higher residual pesticide content than refined cereals. The vegetarian should therefore be careful to choose fruits and seasonal vegetables, less exposed to pesticides. It will opt ideally for organic food, significantly more expensive.
In April 2014, a comparative study between vegetarians and carnivores showed that many people who were on vegetarianism, were in poorer health than those who followed a carnivorous diet. However, the causal link could not be proved.
ORIGINS OF THE DIET
The word vegetarianism is appeared in the 19th century. The diet was acclaimed by many personalities (for example Leonardo da Vinci, but not only). The Wikipedia page on vegetarianism offers, in this regard, a lot of information.
One bowl of multigrain cereals, drizzled with skimmed milk followed by a Kiwi and a clementine.
Starter: 1 salad of varied vegetables seasoned with olive oil vinaigrette and balsamic vinegar. Dish: 1 lentil soup sprinkled with Gruyere accompanied by a rye bread. Dessert: 1 yogurt and some nuts.
Starter: 1 tomato juice. Dish: 1 omelet with vegetables cooked in olive oil. Dessert: oat muffins.
Important tips to go on a vegetarian diet
1-Don’t be afraid to add some vitamins
The most problematic point is that of vitamins B9 and B12. Vegetarians will find in eggs. Vegans will find it harder to get supplies in plants, if not in algae. But it’s not enough.
However, they are useful B9 and B12: for red blood cells, for memory and concentration, for the liver … Vegetarians and vegans can perform tests in the form of a blood test to verify that they are not missing. If so, they can take supplements.
2-Consolidate your bricks
Proteins fulfill essential roles in the body, of which they are the real bricks. They are used in particular to compose the muscle fibers or to renew hair, nails, organs and skin, as well as to protect the cells of the infectious agents. The European Food Safety Authority recommends that adults consume 0.66 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
Where to find them? It’s simple. Eggs, dairy products and all vegetables contain proteins. Legumes (lentils, beans, chickpeas) are good sources, as well as soybeans, tofu, which is fermented soybeans, cereals (bread, pasta), and oleaginous fruits (cashews, almonds).
The ideal: combine cereals and legumes in the day, or in the same meal (a couscous with chickpeas, for example).
3-Leave this piece of cheese
Cheese – as source of protein – is very convenient for vegetarians. But be careful not to abuse it. For too much cheese can lead to an overdose of fat.
Broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts are interesting. All salads bring calcium to the vegetarian, as well as the oleaginous plants (almonds, bread sprouts, etc.).
5-Make sure to be ferrous
Iron lack is a real deficiency and it’s difficult to manage: problems of concentration and learning, fatigue, even hair loss and emotional disorders. And women, especially when their periods are abundant, are particularly exposed.
Vegetarians will find iron in plants, though it will be harder to absorb than meat. Dark plants (beets, seaweed, lentils) are recommended.
6-Take the sun
Vitamin D is useful in particular for absorbing calcium, for immune protection and even for diabetes.
To have a dose, one would have to expose oneself to the sun shirtless for 20 minutes, every day, Fortunately all is not lost, it can also absorb by consuming dairy products, enriched soy milk or vitamin supplements, which remain the most effective solution.
7-Surren good fats
The body needs different fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6). If you do not eat fish (oily fish such as salmon or anchovies are rich in omega-3), the generalist suggests turning to other foods that provide them such as rapeseed, olive or flax, nuts. This will compensate you for excessive intakes of omega-6, found in industrial products or other vegetable oils.
Read also: keys to a successful diet
Please subscribe to site channel on youtube here