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Vegetarian Diet.

A vegetarian diet has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some cancers. There are five main types of vegetarians; 

  1. Lacto-vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish, poultry, and eggs, as well as foods that contain them. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yoghurt, butter, are included.

  2. Ovo-vegetarian diets exclude meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy products, but allow eggs.

  3. Lacto-Ovo vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish, and poultry, but allow dairy products and eggs.

  4. Pescatarian diets exclude meat and poultry, dairy, and eggs, but allow fish.

  5. Vegan diets exclude meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products — and foods that contain these products.

 Many vegetarians can become too heavily reliant on packaged foods causing an increase in calories, sugar, fat, and sodium. Over an extended period, this can produce nutrient deficiencies. However, vegetarian diets can meet the needs of all people and ages with a little preparation thought and awareness.

To get the benefits from a vegetarian diet include a variety of healthy plant-based foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes while reducing refined foods.


Potential nutrients deficiencies to be aware of and how to avoid them...



Protein deficiency is uncommon in vegetarian diets, amino acids some of which are called essential amino acids form a protein. Essential amino acids are obtained through your diet; the body cannot synthesize them. They can be found in meat, dairy products, and eggs as well as many plant-based foods, including; brown rice, beans, hummus with whole wheat pita bread, and soybeans. A well-balanced plant-based diet can provide adequate amounts of protein to prevent protein deficiency. 



Plant-based diets do contain iron. However, the bioavailability of plant-based iron is lower. Plant-based foods that are rich in iron include kidney beans, black beans soybeans, spinach, raisins, cashews, oatmeal, cabbage, and tomato juice. Iron stores may be lower in individuals who follow a vegetarian diet, but it is rare to find iron deficiency anemia. 


Vitamin B12 

Vitamin B12 is predominantly found in meat products such as red meat, poultry, egg, and dairy. Vitamin B12 deficiency can be very serious; it can lead to macrocytic anemia which can cause irreversible nerve damage. Vitamin B12 is produced by bacteria, not plants or animals. Individuals who include no animal products in their vegetarian diet may need to supplement vitamin B12or food fortified with vitamin B12. 


Calcium and Vitamin D

Adequate amounts of calcium can be achieved from a vegetarian diet; however, individuals who do not eat plants with high amounts of calcium may lead to impaired bone mineralization and fractures. Significant sources of calcium include tofu, mustard, turnip greens, bok choy, and kale. Spinach and other plant contain calcium that, though abundant, is bound to oxalate and, therefore, poorly absorbed. 

The general population is deficient in vitamin D. Plant-based foods such as soy milk; cereal grains may be fortified with vitamin D. However, supplements are suggested for those who are at risk for low bone mineral density or those found to be deficient in vitamin D.


Fatty Acids 

The fatty acids that vegans are most likely to be deficient in are the omega-3 fats (n-3 fats). Intake of the plant version of omega-3 fats, alpha-linolenic acid, are also low in vegans. Adequate intake of n-3 fats is associated with a reduced incidence of heart disease and stroke. Foods that are good sources of n-3 fats should be emphasized. They include ground flax seeds, flax oil, walnuts, chia seeds, and olive oil.


Example Diet

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Almond milk, banana, and Flaxseed Protein Shake

1 serving. Ready in 5 min.



Almond Milk, 1.5 cups (393 g)

Flaxseed, 2 tbsp, ground (14 g)

Soy Protein (vegan), 1 scoop (30 g)

Banana, 1 banana (119 g)



Blend all ingredients together and consume immediately. You can add cinnamon or vanilla extract for taste if you want.


Tempeh noodle salad recipe (vegan)

2 servings. Ready in 1 min.



Soy Sauce, 3 tbsp (54 g)

Ginger Root, 0.5 tsp (finely grated) (1 g)

Rice noodles, dry, 6 oz (171 g)

Broccoli, 1 stalk (151 g)

Red Pepper, 1 red bell pepper (115 g)

Mushrooms, Fresh, 0.5 cup, pieces or slices (35 g)

Olive Oil, 1 serving (14 g)

Sesame Oil, 1 teaspoon (4 g)

Tempeh, 2 cups (332 g)

Maple Syrup, 2 teaspoons (16 g)



1. Mix together soy sauce, maple syrup, and ginger and set aside for later.
2. Prepare the noodles according to the instructions on the packaging.
3. Heat the pan with olive oil and add broccoli. Fry until just tender for about 5 minutes.
4. Add mushrooms and pepper to the pan and fry for a couple of minutes.
5. Move the noodles and vegetables to a serving dish and pour the dressing over it. 
6. Cut the tempeh into small 1 cm cubes and brush with oil. Fry for 3 minutes until golden.
7. Add the tempeh to the noodles and drizzle with sesame oil. 


Superfood salad with nuts (vegan)

2 servings. Ready in 20 min.



Hummus, 4 tbsp (60 g)

Cooked Broccoli, 1 cup, chopped or diced (88 g)

Peas, 1 portion(s) (25 g)

Black Beans, Canned, 1.3 cups (216 g)

Carrot, grated, 1 small (5-1/2" long) (50 g)

Cooked Quinoa, 0.3 cups (43 g)

Peanuts, Raw, 1 portion (28 g)

Pistachio, Nut, 3 tablespoons (24 g)

Almonds, 1 portion(s) (15 g)

Soy Sauce, 1 teaspoon (7 g)

Ground Ginger, 1 teaspoon (3 g)

Olive Oil, 2 tsp (10 g)

Maple Syrup, 1 teaspoon (8 g)



Cut broccoli florets into small chunks and combine it with peas, beans, carrot, quinoa, peanuts, and nuts.
Mix together soy sauce, ginger, oil, and maple syrup.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and serve with hummus.

Do you still have more questions? 

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