Whether you want to show support for animals or simply choose to avoid meat products, becoming a vegetarian can be a very healthy lifestyle choice. Though it decreases your risk for many long-term diseases, a vegetarian diet can make it difficult to get the protein and other nutrients a person needs to stay healthy and energized.
- Make sure that you get enough protein by incorporating nuts, beans, peas and soy products into meals and snacks.
- Keep up with your necessary iron intake to create healthy oxygen absorption in the blood by eating a lot of spinach, kidney beans, lentils, black-eyed peas and iron-fortified cereals.
- Choose calcium-fortified soy milk to replace the calcium normally found in regular cow’s milk.
- Consider vegetarian alternatives to traditionally meat-based foods to keep your diet exciting (for example, bean burritos, veggie lo mein, or vegetarian lasagna).
Tips for Vegetarians [USDA]