Carbohydrates in a Vegetarian Diet
Carbohydrate is a vegetarian's principal source of energy. Most carbs come from plant foods. There are three main types: simple sugars, complex carbohydrates (starches) and dietary fiber.
Simple Sugars/Carbs in a Vegetarian Diet
The sugars or simple carbohydrates are found in fruit, milk and ordinary table sugar. Refined sources of sugar, like table sugar, sweets, syrups and other highly refined products, are not good for any vegetarian diet plan as they provide calories which are 'empty' of nutrition. They lack fiber, vitamins, minerals and any other micronutrients beneficial to vegetarians.
Complex Carbs in a Vegetarian Diet
Complex carbohydrates can be found in cereals/grains (bread, rice, pasta, oats, barley, millet, buckwheat, rye) and some root vegetables, such as potatoes and parsnips. A healthy vegetarian diet should contain plenty of these complex starchy carbs as they are beneficial for health, weight and energy levels. Less refined complex carbs, like whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta and brown rice, are best of all because they contain essential dietary fibre and B vitamins.
Healthy Amount of Complex Carbs in a Vegetarian Diet
The World Health Organisation as well as most dietitians recommend that 55-60% of our calories should come from complex carbohydrates. Even a vegetarian weight loss diet should contain plenty of complex carbs, as they keep us full without adding too many calories.
Fiber in a Vegetarian Diet
Dietary fiber (cellulose)
is the indigestible part of a carbohydrate food. Fiber is found in unrefined or
wholegrain cereals, fruit (fresh or dried) and vegetables. A good intake of dietary
fiber reduces the risk of digestive problems as well as diseases like colon cancer
and diverticular disease.
Vegetarian Diet Information
Vegetarianism is a healthy option and vegetarian
diets can be perfectly healthy eating plans but care should be taken to
ensure optimum nutrition. So, whether following an ovo-lacto or other
type of vegetarian food plan, or vegan diet, for a healthy body and weight
make it a balanced eating plan and take regular exercise. Always consult
a doctor before beginning a weight loss diet or new fitness routine.