Lunch Arugula salad with quinoa, black beans, diced veggies, dates, and balsamic vinaigrette. To get the most out of a vegetarian diet, choose a variety of healthy plant-based foods, such as whole fruits and vegetables, legumes and nuts, and whole grains. Foods to avoid on a vegetarian diet for weight loss. Health Tools. Cutting out meat and animal-based products can increase your risk of nutritional deficiencies. Because iron isn’t as easily absorbed from plant sources, the recommended intake of iron for vegetarians is almost double that recommended for nonvegetarians. But if you only eat a small amount or avoid all animal products, it’s important to have a reliable source of vitamin B12 in your diet. Snack Frozen grapes and a handful of almonds. A vegetarian diet should include a diverse mix of fruits, vegetables, grains, healthy fats and proteins.
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A well-planned vegetarian diet is a healthy way to meet your nutritional needs. Find out what you need to know about a plant-based diet. Vegetarian diets continue to increase in popularity. Reasons for following a vegetarian diet are varied but include health benefits, such as reducing your risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Yet some vegetarians rely too heavily on processed foods, which can be high in calories, sugar, fat and sodium. And they may not eat enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains and calcium-rich foods, thus missing out on the nutrients they provide. However, with a little planning a vegetarian diet can meet the needs of people of all ages, including children, teenagers, and pregnant or breast-feeding women. The key is to be aware of your nutritional needs so that you plan a diet that meets them. When people think about a vegetarian diet, they typically think about a diet that doesn’t include meat, poultry or fish. But vegetarian diets vary in what foods they include and exclude. Some people follow a semivegetarian diet — also called a flexitarian diet — which is primarily a plant-based diet but includes meat, dairy, eggs, poultry and fish on occasion or in small quantities.