Many people, these days, are opting to leave meat out of their diets. This is sometimes a personal choice due to the opposition to eating animals, or it is due to the person wanting to eat a healthier diet. There are some risky mistakes that some vegetarians make however. Research should be done before permanently altering your diet. Here are some things you should not do when becoming vegetarian.
1. Don’t get your information from unreliable sources. Don’t listen to a celebrity in a magazine that says they dropped 30 pounds by not eating meat. They are paid to say that. Just because they appear healthy does not mean that they are getting the nutrients that they need. Avoid vitamin and mineral deficiencies by doing some homework and figuring out what to eat to get these requirements.
2. Don’t snack all the time on bad foods. If you are going to become a vegetarian, make sure that you are eating six small meals a day and make those snacks veggies! Break out some broccoli or carrot sticks. Nuts make a great snack because they are filling and full of protein and heart-healthy fats.
3. When you don’t eat meat you don’t get a ton of variety in your diet. Make sure to eat deep colored fruits and vegetables as those have the most vitamins and minerals in them.
4. You don’t need as much protein as you think you do. Many vegetarian foods have protein such as soy, chickpeas, and legumes. Most healthy adults need 0.8 g per kg of body weight. Divide your weight by 2.2 to get your weight in kg. Multiply that number by 0.8 to 1 to get the grams you should have per day.
5. You can still get sick from veggies and fruit. Food-borne illnesses don’t just come from meat. There are many types of bacteria that can infect your fruits and veggies so wash them carefully and look before you eat.