Vegetarians are known (in English: Vegetarian); That they are people who refrain from eating meat, poultry, and fish in their diet, and there are many reasons that drive people to follow a vegetarian diet, the most important of which are the following:
- improve health.
- some religious beliefs.
- Concern that food contains hormones and antibiotics that are sometimes added to livestock feed.
- Taking care of the environment and avoiding unfair use of natural resources.
- Some ethical issues such as animal rights.
Types of vegetarians
Many people call themselves vegetarians, depending on the dietary pattern they follow, including the following:
Vegan or vegan: (in English: Vegan); They are people who abstain from eating all foods of animal origin, including meat, poultry and fish, even eggs, dairy products, and animal gelatin.
Dairy and egg vegetarians: (in English: Lacto-ovo vegetarians); They are people who do not eat meat, fish, or poultry, but eat eggs and dairy products.
Dairy vegetarians: (in English: Lacto vegetarians); They are people who do not eat meat, fish, poultry, and eggs, but eat dairy products such as milk, cheese, butter, and milk.
Ovo vegetarians: (in English: Ovo vegetarians); They are people who abstain from eating meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products, but eat eggs.
Semi-vegetarians: (in English: Semivegetarian); They are the people who refrain from eating animal sources most of the time, but may allow eating small amounts of plant sources, or certain varieties of them, such as:
Fish vegetarians: (in English: Pesco-vegetarian), who can eat fish, seafood, and their products.
Poultry vegetarians: (in English: Pollo-vegetarian), who can eat poultry and its products.
Foods allowed in the vegetarian diet
A vegetarian diet should include a variety of foods from different food groups, including fruits, vegetables, grains, healthy fats, and protein. Here is an explanation of some of the foods that vegetarians can eat:
- All kinds of fruits: such as: apples, bananas, berries, oranges, melons, pears, and peaches.
- All kinds of vegetables: such as: green leafy vegetables, asparagus, broccoli, tomatoes, and carrots.
- Grains: such as: quinoa, barley, rice, oats, and wheat.
- Legumes: such as: lentils, chickpeas, peas, and beans.
- Nuts: such as: almonds, walnuts, cashews, and chestnuts.
- Seeds: such as: chia seeds, flax seeds.
- Sources of healthy fats: such as: avocado, coconut oil, and olive oil.
- Protein sources: such as: tofu, and nutritional yeast.
- Eggs: It is only allowed for ovo-vegetarians, or dairy-and-ovo-vegetarians.
- Dairy products: It is only allowed for dairy-vegetarians, or dairy-and-ovo-vegetarians.
Foods prohibited in the vegetarian diet
- Meat of all kinds: such as beef, veal, and lamb.
- Poultry: such as turkey and chicken.
- Fish and shellfish: which can be eaten by fish vegetarians.
- Animal source foods: such as gelatin, lamb fat, cows, or what is known as night.
- Eggs: But it can be eaten by ovo-vegetarians, or dairy-and-egg vegetarians.
- Dairy products: such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, which are only allowed for dairy-vegetarians, or dairy-and-egg vegetarians.
- Other animal products: such as honey, beeswax, and pollen, which are usually prohibited only at Vision.
Benefits of a vegetarian diet
Although there is not enough scientific evidence about the effect of a vegetarian diet on long-term health, following a vegetarian diet helps with the following:
- Dietary fiber.
- some vitamins; such as vitamin C, vitamin A, and folic acid.
- Some minerals, such as magnesium and potassium.
- Phytochemical compounds, such as flavonoids and carotenoids.
- Consuming less cholesterol and saturated fats, which contributes to lowering levels of harmful cholesterol in the blood, blood pressure, and body mass index, and this helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
A vegetarian diet may help improve the health of people who are susceptible to certain diseases. Like:
- Reducing the risk of heart disease.
- Reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Possibly reducing the risk of some types of cancer.
- Potential to promote weight loss.
Important nutrients for vegetarians
Although a balanced vegetarian diet may benefit the health of the body, care must be taken to obtain sufficient amounts of some nutrients that increase the risk of deficiency while following a vegetarian diet, such as proteins, calcium, iron, iodine, zinc, and vitamin D. And vitamin B12, and here we mention the most important food sources of these elements that vegetarians can eat:
- Legumes like lentils, beans, and peas.
- Nuts and seeds.
- Soybean products, including tofu, and soy drinks.
- Whole grains; Including oats and barley.
Calcium: It can be obtained by eating the following:
- Milk and dairy products, which are allowed to be eaten by dairy-vegetarians, dairy-vegetarians, and ovo-vegetarians.
- Calcium-fortified vegetable milk.
- Cereals and fruit juices fortified with calcium.
- Some types of tofu.
- Green leafy leaves.
- Some types of nuts such as almonds and Brazil nuts.
Iron: It can be obtained by eating the following:
- Products made from iron-fortified cereals, such as bread and breakfast cereals.
- Whole grains.
- Green leafy vegetables.
- dried fruits.
Iodine: One of its most important sources in the vegetarian system:
- Bread, with the exception of organic bread, or those marked free of salt.
- Dairy products and eggs, for vegetarians who are allowed to eat them.
- Iodized salt.
Vitamin B12: Among its sources suitable for a vegetarian diet are the following:
- Dairy products and eggs, for those who are allowed to eat them.
- Some types of soy drinks.
- Some types of vegetarian sausages and vegetarian burgers.
Zinc: Among its sources suitable for the vegetarian diet are the following:
- wheat germ.
- Whole grain foods.
Vitamin D: Among its sources suitable for a vegetarian diet are the following:
- Eggs, milk, and butter, for those who are allowed to eat them.
- Some types of grains, and it is recommended to read the nutritional value label to ensure that they contain vitamin D.
- Food fortified with Vitamin D.