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Vegetarian Foods -

People can be broadly divided into two categories according to their food habits, as Vegetarians and non vegetarians. Vegetarians are people who do not eat meat, poultry and fish unlike the non vegetarians who do eat meat and fish. These choices of food can be due to family, cultural or religious backgrounds and sometimes even out of individual choice to be altruistic or humanitarian. Vegetarians can be further divided into three categories like, Lacto- vegetarians; those who will eat dairy products along with the vegetables, Ovo-vegetarians; who will eat only eggs and not dairy products and Lacto-ovo vegetarians who will eat both eggs and dairy products. Vegans on the other hand are even more sensitive about animal products and go further than not just eating meats but also refrain from wearing leather.

Becoming a vegetarian can be a very healthy move if you make sure that your vegetarian diet consists of the all the right kinds of food in the correct and required proportions.
Therefore a vegetarian diet has to be necessarily a balanced diet so that your body may not lack the nutrients it requires. Since vegetarians do not eat meats, fish and poultry they will need to make sure that their diet or the vegetarian products that they use while preparing a meal will be able to provide the proteins that are otherwise got from the meat that non vegetarians eat.

The right vegetarian diet may consist of carbohydrates that can be found in whole wheat , cereals, grains corn and oats, proteins that are usually found in beans, lentils, peas and soy products like tempeh and tofu. Though fats should be kept low you should include foods that provide the needed fat like nuts, walnuts, almonds, cashew nuts and seeds like sunflower and sesame seeds. While vegetarian cooking it is best to use coconut oil or olive oil. Most vitamins and minerals can be easily got from the vegetables and fruits that you eat. One of the most common mistakes that vegetarians make is that the protein content drops drastically. Therefore it is very necessary that high protein vegetarian food be included in the meals that are made. Soy protein has been found to be more or less equal in the amount of protein that comes from meats and fish. Lentils, beans and whole grains are some of the easiest sources of protein rich foods. So it is most necessary to try and find vegetarian foods that are high on protein.

Supermarkets readily stock vegetarian products and vegan foods that are labelled in details about their content making it easy to calculate your food intake. Some of the easy and quick vegetarian recipes are Stir fried vegetables. For this all you have to do is to cut some carrots, beans, leeks, peppers, potatoes, mushrooms and some sprouts and fry them in a little oil and with some seasoning. Apart from these vegetables you could also add some boiled kidney beans or chick peas to it and increase the protein intake. Raw, boiled or sprouted salads are very healthy options for snacks. Recipes with tofu or soy are also good vegetarian recipes that will help to maintain a balanced diet. The key to vegetarian foods is to find the variety of foods that can be included in your diet so that it will give you the taste and satisfaction of eating good food. If you have just turned vegetarian or someone in your family has switched to vegetarian diets then it is best to draw up a vegetarian food list that will be very useful to help you plan your day to day meals and make sure that you eat right and healthy.
Submitted on January 16, 2014