How to Follow a Healthy Vegetarian Diet

Learn how to follow a healthy vegetarian diet from nutrition coach Lisa Neilsen in this Howcast video.

Transcript

What would be some suggestions on following a healthy vegetarian diet. Many clients I've worked with are vegetarians but they are not getting the nutrition that they need from their food choices. So basically the main challenge with a vegetarian diet is that you are eliminating animal protein -- that's land animals and sea animal protein -- from your diet. The number one thing you need to do is understand the alternative sources of protein available to you. The primary alternative sources would be grains like quinoa which is a complete protein; lentils and beans which are also not only proteins but they are low in fat and iron fiber; nuts and seeds. And you want to make sure that you're crowding this protein into your diet on a regular basis. The next thing you need to do is to, you need to make sure that you have wide variety of vegetables in your diet. It's really important that you are choosing from you know green vegetables, red vegetables be it red peppers, yellow vegetables be it squash -- think of the colors of the rainbow and put a variety of vegetables in your diet and you know you are getting nutrients that way. The next thing would be whole grains. Many Americans, vegetarians and non-vegetarians, do not get enough whole grains in their diet so a staple in a vegetarian diet it would be things like brown rice, quinoa, barley, couscous, spelt -- there is a whole list of whole grains for you to experiment with and choose from to make sure that you are getting a balanced diet. So just because you eliminated animal protein, which can be higher in fat than non-animal protein, doesn't mean you necessarily have a healthy diet. So make sure you are paying attention to your food choices and balancing your meals appropriately.

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