Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Getting Started With Vegetarian Meal Planning

1. Choose a variety of foods, including whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, and, if desired, dairy products and eggs.

2. Try gradually decreasing the amount of animal protein to allow time to adjust to a plant-based diet.

3. Substitute soy products (tofu, meat substitutes) and legumes for meat, poultry, and fish.

4. When using soy products, choose lower-fat versions, such as low-fat soy milk and reduced-fat tofu.

5. If you use milk products and eggs, choose lower-fat versions of these foods, such as skim or 1% milk and yogurt, and egg whites or egg substitutes.

6. If you are a vegan, be sure to include a regular source of vitamin B-12 in your diet along with a source of vitamin D if sun exposure is limited.

7. Use fats sparingly; choose unsaturated fats, such as olive, canola and peanut oils, nuts and seeds, instead of saturated fats, such as butter, margarine, and cream cheese.

8. Limit your intake of high-fat foods, such as cheeses, whole milk, nuts, seeds, avocados, and oils, especially if you are trying to lose weight. Be sure to count the carbohydrates in foods – many vegetarian diets can be very high in carbohydrate. Keep your carbohydrate intake consistent and read food labels carefully for their sugar content.

9. It’s important to monitor your blood glucose regularly if you are changing to a vegetarian diet. Your diabetes medication or insulin dose may need to be adjusted, especially if you are eating more carbohydrate than before.


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