When you hear someone say they are a vegetarian, the first thing that comes to your mind is a healthy person. But, not all vegetarians are healthy.
Vegetarians who do not balance their proteins, carbs and good and bad fats will end up eating unhealthy meals, just like any “regular” eater. Foods that can pack on calories like pasta and cheese become a staple for these pseudo-vegetarians because their choices of food seem limited.
Vegetarians who want to eat healthier should avoid eating too much of the following types of food:
Tofu: Tofu may seem like a great replacement for meat, but eating too much of it is not good for your digestive system. Tofu is made from soybeans, but is heavily processed. Anything heavily processed shouldn’t be consumed, vegetarian or not.
Processed Cheeses: Cheese is high in saturated fat and can contains artificial ingredients, which are not good for the body.
Veggie Hot Dog, Patties and Bacon: Don’t let the name fool you, veggie hot dogs and patties are not made from vegetables. The hot dogs, patties and bacon are made from processed soy, artificial ingredients and flavors. Plus, the artificial “meat” is not healthier than real meat.
White Pasta, White Rice and White Bread: White pasta, bread and rice are bad for your health because they are heavily processed and have little nutritional value.
It takes quite a bit of effort to be a healthy vegetarian. Since vegetarians remove meat from their diets they must find a healthy alternative that will provide enough nutrients found in meat products.
Here are things vegetarians can eat that will keep them at a healthy weight if they have the right portions:
Peanut Butter and Almond Butter can be a protein replacement for some vegetarians.
Eating whole grains is much more healthier than processed white pasta, rice and bread. Eat more brown rice, whole wheat pasta and bread, quinoa and oats.
Black Beans, Pinto Beans, Lentils and Chickpeas are a healthy meat substitutes because they are high in quality plant-based protein.
Eat meat substitutes, but make sure to read the labels to make sure they are not filled with empty nutrition and artificial flavors.
Greek Yogurt is a very good source of protein. It has twice the protein of regular yogurt.
A vegetarian diet can be very beneficial to one’s health because it could lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes. To be a healthy vegetarian, you have to change your lifestyle. If you aren’t going to make the effort to be healthy vegetarian, then you might fall back into your omnivore ways as your body craves the essential nutrients it is missing.
By Samantha Bandasack for DietsInReview.com