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What Is a Vegetarian Diet?
Why Follow a Vegetarian Diet?
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve cholesterol profile
- Reduce body mass index
- Reduce the risk of certain diseases, including hypertension , type 2 diabetes , prostate cancer , and colon cancer
Vegetarian Diet Basics
Eating Guide for a Vegetarian Diet
|Food Category||Key Suggestions||Key Nutrients Provided|
|Protein Rich Foods||
|Fats and Sweets||
- Eat a variety of foods from each of the food groups every day.
- Limit your intake of cheese and other high fat dairy products.
- If you are new to this diet, do not just continue eating your usual diet minus the meat. Be sure to replace the meat with other protein-rich foods (eg, milk, beans, and nuts).
- Consider meeting with a registered dietitian to makes sure you are meeting all your nutrient needs on this diet. A dietitian can create a meal plan for you.
- Enjoy your food, but do not overdo it. Avoid oversized portions.
- Check the sodium amount on the Nutrition Facts label and aim to eat foods low in sodium.
American Dietetic Association http://www.eatright.org
The Vegetarian Resource Group http://www.vrg.org/
Dietitians of Canada http://dietitians.ca/
Toronto Vegetarian Association http://www.veg.ca/
American Dietetic Association. Position of the American Dietetic Association: vegetarian diets. J Am D Assoc . 2009;109:1266-1282.
American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada. Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: Vegetarian diets. J Am D Assoc . 2003;103:748-765.
Messina V, Melina V, Mangels AR. A new food guide for North American vegetarians. Can J Diet Prac Res . 2003;64:82-86.
Vegetarian choices in the protein food group. ChooseMyPlate.gov website. Available at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/vegetarian.html# . Updated June 10, 2011. Accessed June 21, 2011.
Vegetarian diets. ChooseMyPlate.gov website. Available at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/tipsresources/vegetarian%5Fdiets.html . Updated June 10, 2011. Accessed June 21, 2011.
- Reviewer: Dianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 09/30/2013