By Abigail Carroll. Vegetarian Lifestyle. At Tuesday, April 30th 2019, 06:06:28 AM.
Milk and yogurt are important sources of calcium. Vegetarians who are avoiding dairy products can get calcium from tofu, fortified soy milk, green leafy vegetables, and dried figs.It is particularly important for vegetarian children and teens to plan their nutrient intake, as their bodies are still developing. Calcium intake, for example, can affect bone health for the long term. Fortified soy milk and breakfast cereals can help in the synthesis of vitamin D, but exposure to sunlight is also necessary.
"Appropriately planned" is the operative term. Unless you follow recommended guidelines on nutrition, fat consumption, and weight control, becoming a vegetarian will not necessarily be good for you. A diet of soda, cheese pizza, and candy, after all, is technically "vegetarian." For health, it is important to make sure that you eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It is also vital to replace saturated and trans fats with good fats, such as those found in nuts, olive oil, and Canola oil. And always keep in mind that if you eat too many calories, even from nutritious, low-fat, plant-based foods, you will gain weight. So it is also important to practice portion control, read food labels, and engage in regular physical activity.
Approximately six to eight million adults in the United States eat no meat, fish, or poultry, according to a Harris Interactive poll commissioned by the Vegetarian Resource Group, a nonprofit organization that disseminates information about vegetarianism. Several million more have eliminated red meat but still eat chicken or fish. About two million have become vegans, forgoing not only animal flesh but also animal-based products such as milk, cheese, eggs, and gelatin.