Vegetarianism is on rise. More and more people are becoming aware of the health benefits of being a vegetarian. The vegetarian foods and diet have numerous health benefits.

The details on vegetarian types, vegetarian health benefits, serving size and food substitutes for vegetarians are given below.

Vegetarian Health Benefits | Vegetarian Nutrition | Vegetarian Types | Food Serving Size | Food Substitute | Vegetarian Food Pyramid | Non-vegetarian foods in Vegetarian Meals | Vegetarian Diet

Vegetarian Health Benefits

Because a vegetarian diet is rich in dietary fiber, it is good protection against diseases like coronary heart diseases, cancer of intestinal tract, piles, obesity, diabetes, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, hiatus hernia, dental caries and gallstones.

  1. Natural detox
    A vegetarian diet helps cleanse the body's system because it is rich in fiber, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants. Dietarty fiber is very good for digestion. A diet containing only fish, eggs and mutton is a poor source of fiber.
  2. Longevity
    Vegetarians may live a longer life because the vegetarian diet good for lower blood pressure, lower blood cholesterol levels, heart, keep body fit.
    Phytonurtients present in vegetarian diet are good for preventing diabetes, cancer, stroke, kidney disease and bone loss .
  3. Boosts cardio-vascular health
    A vegetarian diet consisting of whole grains, legumes, vegetables, nuts, and fruits boosts cardio-vascular health.
  4. Cancer
    A diet of green leafy vegetables and fruits have beneficial effects on cancers of the colon and rectum.
  5. Strong bones
    Eating excessive meat can lead to protein overload which can interfere with the absorption of calcium, tax kidneys, and body can extract existing calcium from the bones. The calcium excretion is rare amongst vegetarians.
  6. Good for teeth
  7. Good for skin
    Vegetables and fruits such as beetroot, tomato, pumpkin, bitter gourd, guava, apples, pears and peaches are good for skin.
  8. Carbohydrate deficiency & Digestion
    Meats rich in fat and proteins are difficult to digest. On the otherhand, complex carbohydrates in vegetarian foods are digested gradually.
    A non-vegetarian diet lacks in carbohydrates which can lead to ketosis making the body breaking down fat as a source of energy.
  9. Controlling Weight
    Eating vegetarian foods like whole grains, vegetables, nuts, fruits, legumes, lowers obesity.

Vegetarian Nutrition

Many people think that a vegetarian diet is not a balanced diet and it lacks in protein and calcium. This is not true and is a misconceptions. Infact, vegetarian diets provide complex carbohydrates, protein and minerals. Foods like lentils, beans, tofu, nuts, seeds and wholegrains are good sources of protein. Many common foods, such as whole-grain bread, greens, potatoes, and corn, quickly add to protein intake. Many green leafy vegetables are a good source of iron and calcium. That is why osteoporosis, which results from calcium deficiency symptoms, is less common amongst vegetarians. Vegetarians get dequate amount of protein from fruits, vegetables, grains and lentils/legumes.

Visit the following pages to know details on vegetarin types, vegetarian serving sizes, vegetarian food pyramid and related topics.

Vegetarian Types

  1. Lacto vegetarian
    A vegetarian who eats all dairy products but no eggs.
  2. Lacto-ovo-vegetarian
    A vegetarian who eats both dairy products and eggs. This is the common type of vegetarians.
  3. Semi vegetarian
    Eats less meat than average person.
  4. Demi vegetarian
    A person who eats no or little meat but may eat fish.
  5. Vegan
    A vegetarian who does not eat any animal products. Some vegans even do not use animal products such as wool, leather shoes, belt, & jacket, honey. Some vegans do not use animal tested products such as some shampoos and cosmetics.
  6. Non dairy
    A vegetarian who does not have enough percentage of milk fat in their diet.
  7. Fruitarian
    A vegetarian who only eats foods that don't kill the plant (apples & oranges can be picked without killing plant, carrots and potatoes cannot) and consumes mainly raw fruit, grains and nuts.
  8. Pescetarian
    A vegetarian who also consumes fish.

Food Serving Size of Different Groups

Know are the serving sizes? How many bread slices make one serving?

Food Group1 Serving Size equals any of
Whole grains1 slice bread
1/2 bun or muffin
1 small muffin, or biscuit
5 - 6 small crackers
1/2 cup cooked cereal, rice, pasta, noodles
1 ounce ready-made cereal.
Fruits1 medium banana, apple, orange
1/2 grapefruit, melon wedge
3/4 cup fruit juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh, cooked, canned fruit in juice
1/4 cup dried fruit
Vegetables 1/2 cup cooked/raw vegetables
1 cup leafy vegetables (raw)
1/2 cup cooked beans, peas, other legumes
3/4 cup vegetable juice
Dry Beans, Legumes, Nuts, Seedsnuts or seeds 2 Tbsp
cooked dry beans or peas - 1/2 cup
tofu or tempeh - 1/4 cup
peanut butter - 2 Tbsp
soy milk - 1 cup
Dairy1 cup milk
8 ounces (1 cup) yogurt
1.5 ounces natural cheese
2 ounces processed cheese

Food Substitutes for Vegetarians

Product Replace with
Dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese, butterSoy milk, soy margarine, soy yogurt, nut milks, rice milks
Egg productsFor cakes & pancakes: 1 banana for 1 egg
2 Tbsp corn starch for 1 egg
1 tspn of soya flour and 1 Tbsp water. 1/4 cup tofu for 1 egg
GelatinAgar agar, fruit pectin,locust bean gum
Hot dogSoy dogs or tofu dogs
Ice CreamFrozen yogurt, soy-or rice based frozen desserts
Pepperoni PizzaSoy varieties
Sausage Soy or tofu sausage
Whey Soy derived whey
Whipped Cream/ Soy based whipped creram
Meat productsFor soups & stew: tofu, tempeh, wheat gluten

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