There are some people who follow a vegetarian diet and some who follow a vegan diet. However, some people are worried that they may not get enough nutrients from this kind of a diet. Well, as long as you eat a variety of foods which make your diet a balanced one, there is nothing to worry..
|Vegetarian Diet Chart for a 2000 Calorie Diet|
|Nutrients||Amount Required||Serving Size|
|Protein||65 grams||1 glass milk or 1 cheese slice or 1 cup legumes|
|Carbohydrate||300 grams||6 slices whole grain bread, a cup of chopped fruits or 1 serving of whole wheat pasta|
|Fats||65 grams||A handful of nuts or margarine or safflower oil or soybean oil|
|Iron||18 milligrams||A bowl of spinach or a few slices of beetroot|
|Fiber||25 grams||A bowl of oatmeal or 2 oatmeal cookies|
|Calcium||1 gram||A glass of milk or 2 cheese slices|
The following nutrients need to be a part of your regular diet in order to make it a balanced one. Some foods are also mentioned which may help you in your meal planning. Try different menus each day to make the meal time fun.
Protein: Proteins are needed by the body to perform a lot of important body functions. There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan sources of protein. Soy and soy products, legumes, yellow lentils, milk, and dairy products are just the tip of the iceberg. These foods should be included in order to balance the diet.
Carbohydrate: As carbohydrates provide energy to the body, consumption of carbohydrate-rich foods is also necessary. Whole grains and an assortment of fruits like watermelons, figs, etc. are healthy sources of carbohydrates which needs to be a part of the vegetarian diet.
Vitamin: Other important nutrients required by the body are the vitamins. Plant are rich in vitamin B12, and citrus fruits like lemon, oranges, etc. are good sources of vitamin C. Various soy products are great sources of vitamin D. Fibrous foods provide vitamin K and they should be included in the diet to regulate the digestive system.
Omega-3 fatty acid: Fish and eggs are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, but, if you are following a vegetarian diet then hemp seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, soy bean oil, and canola oil should be included in the diet.
Iron: Iron is needed by the body for the production of red blood cells. Vegetarian sources of iron include green leafy vegetables, lentils, peas, and cooked dried beans. Also, along with this vitamin C rich foods should be included in the diet to enhance the absorption of iron from vegetarian foods.
Zinc: The body absorbs zinc better from meat than from plant products. However, people who include lentils, vegetables, soy products, and cooked dried beans in their daily diet are not likely to experience the deficiency of this element.
Calcium: We all know that calcium is necessary for the proper development of bones and teeth. It makes the bones and teeth strong. Vegetarian sources of calcium are milk and dairy products and plant foods. These also form a vital part of the balanced diet. For the vegans it is important to include soy products and various plant foods in their diet.
Balanced Vegetarian Diet Menu
Breakfast: Pancakes with syrup, or cereals with milk and a cup of fruits and a glass of skimmed milk.
Lunch: Different kinds of vegetable soups, salad with low-fat dressing, stir fried vegetables, or rice recipe. Also, vegetables with bread or spaghetti or wheat based pizza with lots of vegetables can be included in the lunch.
Dinner: Vegetable soup, salad, rice with vegetables, or sandwich. This is a good choice for a balanced vegan diet too.
Snacks: Low fat yogurts, chopped fruits, a handful of nuts, or a vegetable sandwich.
It is vital that all the nutrients mentioned above are included in the meal so that the growth and development is not hampered. Along with this the recipes should be changed to provide variety to the taste buds. Snack made with various fruits and nuts can also be included in between the meals. Moreover, a balanced vegan diet should include soy products and loads of vegetables and fruits. As you can see, making a vegetarian diet is not difficult. It requires the spreading of all the available foods in a manner that the person gets all the required nutrients in the required quantity.