Many people choose to follow a vegetarian diet, whether it's for health reasons, ethical reasons or just a desire to lose weight. Even if you don't choose to go entirely vegetarian, adding a few healthy vegetarian meals to your weekly meal plan can help you lose weight and get healthy.
Many popular diet plans include vegetarian recipes—weight watchers vegetarian recipes, for example, are commonly included into the program, interspersed with meals containing meat—but you don't have to follow a diet plan to find vegan meal ideas. Easy vegetarian recipes can be found in cookbooks and online on vegetarian and healthy eating websites.
Staying Healthy as a Vegetarian
Because vegetarians don't eat meat, their diets can become deficient in certain nutrients. It's important for vegetarians to pay close attention to the following areas to ensure they're staying healthy:
- Protein. Meat is the most common source of protein in a diet, but vegetarians can replenish their sources by eating foods like nuts and peanut butter, dairy products, beans, lentils and soy products.
- Iron. Iron is plentiful in red meats but is also found in leafy greens, such as spinach.
- Fat. Going vegetarian is a great way to stick to a low-fat, low-carb diet, but getting some fats is important. Nuts, avocados and healthy oils like olive oil can help vegetarians ensure they get enough healthy fat in their diet.
Easy Vegetarian Ideas
Low-fat vegetarian recipes, low-carb vegetarian recipes and low-calorie vegetarian recipes are some of the most highly searched recipe categories on recipe, health and wellness websites, which shows people are very interested in achieving better health through a vegetarian diet.
Unfortunately, many people who start on a vegetarian diet quickly give up. The trick with sticking to a vegetarian diet is to ensure your diet is varied. This not only helps you get a wide range of nutrients, it also makes your meal plan more interesting. Collecting a variety of easy vegetarian crock pot recipes, vegetarian barbecue and vegetarian stir frys (among others) can keep your diet diverse and maintainable over the long term.
If you're not ready to commit to full vegetarianism, try introducing one or two healthy vegetarian recipes on days where you would have eaten heavier meats. The health benefits can be great and you'll find over time, you won't even miss the meat.