Vegetarian diets are so popular. The diets have existed for long time, and it is getting more famous now since people consider it as one of the good way to get healthier body. Some people also think that it is better than other diet programs with various strict rules and limitations regarding foods that should be avoided and excluded. However, it is important to know how to be a healthy vegetarian. Even if consuming plant-based foods are healthy, it is still important to know the composition. Moreover, you still need to make sure that your needs of nutrients are covered.
Some people may think that being vegan is as simple as avoiding animal-derived products. In fact, it is not as simple as that. When people only focus on the plant-foods without consideration of nutrients and composition of foods, the diet program can be failure. Instead of getting healthy, someone can have lack of nutrient. That is why it is important to know what people should eat as vegetarian.
- Have fruits and vegetables
It is clear and it seems that no one has problem with it. However, it is important to know that fruits and vegetables cover around 40% of whole serving or portion for each meal. Then, it is important to have more than three or four types of vegetables and fruits. These are not only cooked as main dish, but there are snacks and juices as options of serving. These are important to provide enough vitamins and minerals.
- Consume starchy carbohydrate
As what is mentioned above, how to be a healthy vegetarian is not only by consuming vegetables and fruits. In each serving, at least 30% should have sources of carbohydrate. Starchy foods are good options. Potatoes, pasta, rice, cereals, and oats are some of them. These are enough to provide carbohydrate that later will be processed and turned into calories or source of energy. It is always recommended to have wholegrain. This is better than the processed ones since it can make people full faster and it will not make them able to bear the hunger for longer period of time. In addition to energy, fibers are also important in these starchy foods.
- Have protein sources
Next, it is important to have protein sources. As for vegetarian, there are many types of them. Some types still include some animal-derived products, such as eggs, dairy products, or fish. For example, there is lacto-ovo-vegetarian that still includes dairy products and eggs in the list of foods. However, there is vegan diet that does not include any animal-products, and even honey. It may make people think about the sources of protein. In fact, it is still possible to get the protein. There are nuts and seeds that can become alternative.
- Oils and seasoning
Choosing vegetarian does not mean that you will not use oils in cooking process. You are still able to stir fry and use other cooking methods. That is why oils are still necessary. However, it is important to have the unsaturated oils or fats, and it becomes important aspect of how to be a healthy vegetarian. It will be much better when there are olive oils or sunflower oils. These are healthier. Then, seasonings should also become concern. Use of sugar and salt can be limited. These can be replaced by honey, and other plant-based seasoning.