5 Things You Must Know Before You Go Vegetarian

August 30, 2017

If you are thinking of going vegetarian, you might be on the right track when it comes to doing your body and the environment some good.

A plant-based diet is healthy for us as it can reduce the risk of:

  • diabetes,
  • high blood pressure,
  • high cholesterol,
  • heart disease and stroke,
  • colon, breast, prostate, and other cancers.

However, people still have many questions and doubts about becoming vegetarian. In that name, here are 5 things you should know before you go meatless.

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1. Your Transition Shouldn’t Be Hasty

Cutting out meat from your diet completely can indeed be hard, but it might be achieved more easily if you take it slow.

Start out by preparing one meatless meal per day at first, then go up to eating vegetarian for a full day each week, but also make sure you eat vegetarian for at least one meal on the other days.

2. Find Your Iron

Getting enough healthy iron can be harder for vegetarians. Iron is usually found in meat, so you need to catch up on some non-meat iron sources.

Think:

  • legumes,
  • dark green leafy vegetables,
  • eggs,
  • sunflower and pumpkin seeds,
  • fortified foods,
  • grains.

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3. Don’t Forget About Omega-3s

Since you are probably cutting out fish meat as well, you won’t be getting enough essential omega-3 fatty acids, which is crucial for heart health. Plant sources of omega-3s include:

  • flaxseeds,
  • chia seeds,
  • walnuts,
  • canola oil,
  • hemp,
  • soy,
  • and seaweed.

(ALSO READ: Omega 3 Now Also Comes From… Insects?)

4. Steer Clear From Junk Food

This should go without saying, but – if your vegetarian diet still relies heavily on less-healthy fast food, sugary drinks, and refined grains like white bread, rice, and pasta… your health will suffer immensely.

5. Soy Can Be Crucial

Forget all the bad things you’ve heard about soy! Soy is one of the few plant-based protein sources that are good for you and are readily absorbed and utilized by your body.

Aside from providing all of the essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein), soy is also naturally lean, which means it is low in saturated fat and high in heart-healthy polyunsaturated fat.

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