The time when being a vegetarian meant you were some sort of hippy is over. Lots of people are choosing to lower their intake of meat. It’s not just the dreadlocked, barefoot bohemians, but why are so many people choosing to go for the tofu instead of the turkey leg?
What is it?
A vegetarian diet is when you do not have meat as part of your diet. There are also sub-types of vegetarian diets that might include or remove other things too, for example an ovo-vegetarian can will eat eggs, or a pescetatian will also eat fish, whereas a vegan will only eat plant based products
. This is basically a low carb diet. They’re all considered forms of a vegetarian diet. Some people move from one to another so they can find a diet that suits them, while others go straight to full veganism. It’s a matter of personal choice.
How does it work?
A vegetarian diet can be a very healthy option. Because most plants are low in fat and high in fibre, you’ll be able to eat large meals without getting too much fat in your diet.
Why would I want it?
Trying a vegetarian diet is a fantastic option for anyone who is trying to get healthy. Even if you choose to go back to eating meat later, knowing how to cook vegetables so they stay tasty will help you in your regular diet. You’ll notice the difference between a char grilled vegetable green brussel sprout that’s bursting with flavour compared to a boiled-to-mush version that makes kids everywhere hate brussel sprouts forever.
Who is it best for?
Vegetarian diets are great for people trying to limit the amount of fat they eat, because vegetables have very little saturated fat when compared to meat products.
If you usually eat a lot of meat, this can also cause inflammation by having too much Omega-6 in your system. Lowering these levels and getting some Omega-3 supplements
will help the inflammation come down, and you can look after those joints again.
What are the side effects?
Some nutrients can be harder to include in a vegetarian diet than others. You might find yourself low on Protein, Iron, Zinc, Vitamin B12, Calcium and Omega-3, so remember to look for food that includes these nutrients in it, or think about adding a multivitamins
to your diet.
Is it good for women too?
While vegetarianism is something a lot of people are choosing, if you’re in a situation where your diet needs to be controlled very precisely (such as pregnancy, long-term illness, or if you’re setting a diet for a child) it’s best to consult with a professional dietician regarding your dietary choices and situation. It may be that you require specific supplementation, or that a vegetarian diet is unsuitable for your specific circumstances.
Choosing to try a vegetarian diet can be a great way to reset your system. Think of it as a short term cleanse, or as a long term change. You don’t have to be anti-meat to try a vegetarian diet for a little while, and you might surprise yourself by learning some new appreciation for vegetables as the main part of the meal, not just something that you throw around your lamb chops.