Vegetarianism is not just a way of feeding, but a way of living based on ideological, environmental and religious beliefs. In recent years many people have adopted the vegetarian diet.Choosing to become a vegetarian is accompanied by various changes in everyday life. Proper food combinations and knowledge of food ingredients are few of what a person should know when choosing to become a vegetarian or vegan.
The beginning is always hard … however in this case for good! What will happen to your body if you choose to become a vegetarian and remove meat from your diet?
Types of vegetarian
Initially, we need to distinguish the different types of vegetarian diet that exist, so that you find what suits you the most.
- Vegan. A strictly vegetarian diet with foods of plant origin and fruits.
- Lacto-vegetarians. In addition to plant foods and fruits, dairy and cheese products are consumed.
- Lacto-ovo-vegetarianism. In addition to plant foods and fruits, dairy and cheese products, as well as eggs, are consumed.
- Semi-vegetarian. In addition to plant foods and fruits, chicken, fish, dairy – cheese and egg products are consumed.
- Pescatarian. In addition to plant foods and fruits, seafood is consumed.
If you stop eating meat and meat products, you may at first experience weight loss. Many studies have shown that most of the people who have chosen to become vegetarian have experienced a reduction in their body weight. In addition, vegetarians have considerably less BMI than non-vegetarians. The reason is that vegetarianism is accompanied by bigger saturation and reduced appetite due to its high fiber content.
You will need more time to recover
A vegetarian diet requires the right food combinations in order to achieve on a daily basis the required protein and essential amino acids intake. People who are athletes may experience slower muscle growth or even slower recovery in periods of intense fatigue or muscle injuries. In times of intense training or racing, supplements with plant protein may be useful or even necessary.
You will initially feel fatigue
The first time and until you fully adapt to the new diet, you may experience fatigue. Lack of meat results in reduced iron and vitamin B12 intake, elements that are involved in the hematopoiesis and energy production of the body. If you become deficient in vitamin B12 and iron, then you will get anemia. However, there are many plant foods that are valuable sources of iron and should be consumed away from dairy foods. A simple tip is to have at least one good source of iron in each of your main meal.
Initially and until you enrich your recipes, you will consume mainly salads, vegetables, and legumes. The result will be to experience intense bloating, but this will gradually recede.
Improved gastrointestinal function
Increased fiber intake will greatly improve your gastrointestinal function, increase bowel movements and help with constipation problems. In addition, studies in intestinal microflora have shown that vegetarians have significantly more “good” bacteria in their gut and more powerful gastrointestinal system than non-vegetarians.
Changes in taste
Zinc is a trace element that is involved in many functions of the body, including immune function, taste, and odor. As the zinc that exists in plant foods is absorbed much less than meat, reduced zinc intake can be observed in those who are vegetarian or vegan. Zinc deficiency can make you taste or smell in a different way. Emphasize on fermented foods and soak legumes before you cook them.
Vegetarianism is accompanied by certain risks and benefits. What you should keep in mind is that adopting a vegetarian diet, you significantly reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. In any case, you need to prepare yourself! A qualified nutritionist – dietitian can help you considerably in your first steps, so you can easily adopt a vegetarian diet.
In Vita4you you can find a wide range of nutritional supplements for people who choose to become vegetarians.