What is a vegetarian diet?

Diet includes eating food from plant sources only and abstaining from all kinds of animal products. Reasons for a person to rely on a vegetable diet vary, some abstain from animal products to keep animals safe and compassionate or because of social beliefs or simply to lose weight, to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. Plant products are available in many shopping malls and supermarkets. They are referred to as animal products free. Many restaurants also provide special vegetarian meals.

Animal products are important sources of proteins, healthy unsaturated fats, iron, vitamins, and minerals. Thus, when you refrain from eating animal products, you must seek alternative sources of food that are rich in these products. To prevent health problems and complications caused by the loss of these substances.

⇲ Vegan vs. Vegetarian:

There are two kinds of the vegetarian diet:
  • Vegetarian: who refrains from the meat of any kind but continues to consume eggs and dairy products. 
  • vegan: it is the one that refrains from all animal sources, all animal products, and not just from meat, a vegetarian of this type does not eat products of animal origin, including honey, eggs, gelatin and dairy products.

Health benefits of following a vegetarian diet:

• Vegetarian diet adoption has a very positive effect on body health:

⇢ Free from saturated animal fats rich in harmful lipids and cholesterol:

That is responsible for the increased risk of accumulation of toxins, chronic diseases like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension and cancers.
When avoiding foods that contain these harmful fats, the risk of chronic disease is greatly reduced
As for vegetable fats and oils such as olive oil, they supply healthy fatty acids to the body which raise good cholesterol, and you reduce bad cholesterol.

⇢ Reducing the risk of cancer:

Overconsumption of fat-rich meat is associated with an increased risk of colon and prostate cancer. Thus, by avoiding these foods, and relying on nutrient-rich plant foods and antioxidants, cancer cell formation is controlled, and free radicles that cause cell damage are eliminated.

⇢ Bone enhancement:

Calcium is an essential mineral for bone and dental health. It's mainly obtained through milk and cheese. But it also has plant sources of food, such as spinach, legumes and figs. Vegetable milk is also available as an alternative to milk for cows and sheep. Vegetable milk sources include almond milk, coconut milk and soy milk.

Bones need vitamin d, vitamin c, potassium, and magnesium to fully develop and build. Vegetables such as fruits and vegetables are rich in such foods, but animal fats and fats do not damage the body.

⇢ Promoting heart health and reducing harmful cholesterol:

Reliance on plant sources for food provides fewer calories than food from animal sources. Which reduces the risk of obesity, and the resulting cardiovascular disease.
Low BMI is significantly associated with reduced risk of harmful cholesterol and reduced high blood pressure. Lower harmful cholesterol is also mainly associated with a lower risk of arterial disease and stroke.

⇢ Preventing chronic diseases and promoting the health of diabetics:

Dependence on plant diet may counteract the influence of genetic factors leading to the development of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. The plant biofuels and antioxidants that characterize vegetarian foods give credit for this.

Negative effects of vegetarian diet adoption:

Dependence on plant diet has few health risks, but it is necessary to maintain food balance and make up for the body's nutritional probiotics. Because a vegetarian is more likely to lack bio-nutrients.

A person who decides to become a vegetarian, and Withers from animal sources, are advised to take this diet gradually. With one meat substitute first, and then all animal foods are gradually replaced.

The following foods may be less available on a plant diet, but alternatives are available. So it's very important to be careful, not to replace animal products with junk food. Food needs to be consciously chosen to meet every need.

⇢ Foods that are lacking in the vegetarian diet include:

↪ Vitamin b12:

The body needs vitamin b12 to protect its nerves and red blood cell cells. Vitamin b12 is available mainly in animal products, in addition to certain foods subsidized with vitamin b12. But it doesn't cover the body needs.

↪ Iron:

Iron is an essential nutrient for carrying oxygen with red blood cell throughout the body. Legumes and leaf vegetables contain good iron, but as we mentioned earlier, a vegetarian needs better care in the selection of eaten foods.

↪ Calcium and vitamin d:

Therefore, care must be taken to eat more vegetable foods rich in these elements, such as tahini, green leafy vegetables, and foods fortified with vitamin D.

↪ Fatty acids like omega 3:

Fatty acids are mainly found in fish oil. It is considered essential for the health of the eyes, heart and brain. Some fatty acids, like EPA, can't be obtained from plant sources. But the fatty acids ALA, DHA can be found in flax seeds, nuts and avocados.

↪ Zinc:

Zinc deficiency leads to hair loss, affects sexual functions, delayed wound healing, and health problems in the internal immune system.

Whole grains and legumes (of various kinds, whether lentils, chickpeas, beans, or peas) are rich food sources. So be sure to eat these foods regularly. And among the best vegetable foods to rely on in the diet: mushrooms, potatoes, eggplant, broccoli, nuts, sugar beets in addition to legumes 

In general, for the prevention of health problems caused by vitamin and mineral deficiencies, it is advisable to rely on nutrient supplements rich in all essential elements of the body.

The effect of a vegetarian diet on weight:

A vegetarian diet may help you lose weight, but losing weight will not be quick just by the idea of ​​giving up meat; As weight loss depends on the number of calories and not their source, and therefore it can be said that eating more calories than the body needs causes weight gain, whether the person is eating or avoids meat.

 A vegetarian diet provides many health benefits for the body, according to recent studies, this system may help to lose weight, and this may happen because people who follow a typical vegetarian diet consume an average of about 500 calories less than their counterparts who eat Meat. A healthy, vegetarian diet often consists of complex carbohydrates rich in fibre, low in fat and calories. Examples of complex carbohydrates are legumes and whole grains, in addition to vegetables, fruits, nuts, tomatoes. The primary source of healthy fat. 

Tips when following a vegetarian diet:

Some tips can be followed to promote weight loss when following a vegan diet 

⇢ Determining the time to eat meals: 

As this is necessary to promote metabolism and healthy eating habits. 

⇢ Attention to the size of the food rations: 

The size of the food rations and the number of different food groups is essential when planning a diet. 

⇢ Attention to oils and spices added to the food: 

Cooking vegetables with few calories using oils increases the calories and fats in the meal.

⇢ Reducing dependence on processed foods: 

Cheese and meat substitutes are considered processed foods and are usually high in calories and sodium. Therefore, it is advised to adopt fresh and more complete foods.

⇢ Eat healthy vegetable fats: 

Such as avocado; Although it contains large amounts of fat and calories compared to some other fruits, avocado can help vegetarians feel full for a longer period, and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

⇢ Increased physical activity: 

As this is beneficial to health, and therefore it is advised to practice some sports such as walking. 

⇢ Ensure you get enough protein:

Plant protein sources: tofu, peanut butter, lentils, and quinoa.

➽Vegetarians are advised to add certain foods to their diet to prevent shortages of nutrients they may be exposed to, such as :

  • Soybeans and quinoa, plant sources of protein. 
  • Soy milk or almonds enriched with vitamin d. 
  • Nuts and seeds, which have high omega-3 fatty acids