Posted on May 13, 2021 by Kate Halsall
Its national vegetarian week so why not take this time to try out new recipes and enjoy the change! National Vegetarian Week is a campaign organised by the Vegetarian Society to encourage vegetarianism and to show the world just how tasty and amazing the recipes can be. In this blog we look at the benefits of a vegetarian diet and ensure you know how to get a balanced diet being vegetarian.
There are many reasons why people decide to go vegetarian. Below are some of the most common reasons behind the change:
· Environmental issues
· Concerns over animal welfare
So, what does it actually mean to try a vegetarian diet? A vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat or fish. It is important to note however, that there are a lot of other variations of vegetarianism which come down to the individual and their preferences.
A healthy diet is still possible for vegetarians even without meat or fish and with some of our Personal Training team being vegetarian; not only can we vouch for some tasty recipes, but we are also clued up on vegetarian and vegan nutrition!
When compared to traditional meat-eating diets, vegetarian diets are typically lower in saturated fat due to the higher intake of whole grains, fruit & veg. Therefore becoming more plant based is likely to have health benefits! And it’s not that complicated to change, in fact, the NHS have their own “Eatwell Guide” and state that anyone who eats dairy products and eggs can have the same healthy diet just without meat and fish.
Including a wide variety of beans, pulses, vegetables, whole grains and dairy products is essential for getting enough protein and nutrients in your diet. Vitamin B12 and Iron should be a main focus out of these nutrients as vegetarians are likely to have lower stores. Believe it or not, it is not as hard as people think to get protein in a vegetarian diet!
· Iron- Eggs, pulses, fortified cereals and dark green vegetables.
· B12- Dairy, fortified cereals, soya and yeast extracts.
· Protein- Eggs, pulses, dark green vegetables, Tofu, tempeh and soya NB be wary of some “meat” substitutes as these often contain saturated fat, and some not so natural ingredients!
Here are some tips on how to incorporate a vegetarian based diet into your lifestyle:
· Try one or two recipes a week (don’t jump straight into the deep end)
· Transition slowly, reduce certain meats at a time.
· Be open to trying new foods.
For more top tips, check out one of Kate’s previous blogs about going more plant based.
Why not take a look at some of our yummy vegetarian recipes we have posted! Disclaimer: they may be subject to making you turn Veggie – like this curry.
So if becoming veggie is something you would like to try but just can’t commit to on a full-time basis then getting involved in vegetarian week is the perfect opportunity! To join the “vegetarian week challenge”, visit http://www.nationalvegetarianweek.org/ where you can sign up and receive your Challenge Kit to get started.