You may have visited the Vegetarian Food Pyramid...
It is basically the same as the non-vegetarian food pyramid except all the animal foods are replaced by plant foods. You simply follow that as a guide to ensure you are getting the right nutrition on a daily basis.
It really is that easy to Become Vegetarian!
But if you are the type of person that requires a little more information, keep reading.
The two biggies are Protein and B12.
Vitamin B12 is required for your red blood cells - red blood cells work extremely hard in your body and it is vital that they are replenished. Vitamin B12 also helps with your immune system and can help with nervous, mental and emotional disorders.
Vitamin B12 is found mostly in animal products but can also be found in Nutritional Yeast (cheesy tasting flakes that you can add to your recipes). A lot of products are also B12 fortified and you can also take a B12 supplement.
Excess B12 is simply flushed out of your body. B12 deficiency on the other hand can be hard to spot. Deficiency can lead to anemia, constipation, weakness, appetite loss, weight loss, depression and so on.
Be sure to check with your physician.
The protein is the other big question a vegetarian will be asked - continuously! As most of us are raised as meat eaters, suddenly dropping it from your diet can plunge you into a level of confusion and may make you wonder 'why did I Become Vegetarian!'
It is important for you to know though that a vegetarian or vegan diet can provide your protein needs. In fact it is not difficult at all.
Protein is found in all plant foods - vegetables, legumes, grains, seeds and nuts. There are formulas to get bogged down with to determine how many grams of protein you should have per kilogram or pound of your body weight. But I have never personally used this method and most vegetarians don't. As long as you eat a well-balanced diet your needs should be met. Be sure to add legumes, nuts, seeds or soy products to each meal and don't forget that vegetables, fruit and wholegrains contain protein also.
The biggest thing I hope you realise when you Become Vegetarian is that is not a deep, dark, scary place! You have to look after yourself and make sure you are eating a well balanced diet. Just because you have Become Vegetarian doesn't automatically make you a healthy person.
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