The vegetarian way of eating can be a very healthy style of eating. The guidelines are the same with a healthy diet, but one should always try to vary and moderate their food intake. Meat in any form is stricltly eliminated from vegetarians' diets. Often, the different classifications of vegetarians is based on which foods they do or do not consume. Dairy products, such as eggs, are the main part of the lacto-ovo vegetarian's diet but they will not partake of the flesh of animals. Vegetarians go to great lengths to avoid consuming food that contains any trace of animal origin.
Quite a few vegetarians are concerned that they are lacking in protein intake since they don't eat meat. Most Americans eat more protein than is really required without even recognizing it. Milk and other dairy products are a fantastic way to get protein for people who consider themselves to be lacto-ovo vegetarians. Vegans on the other hand, get their protein from nuts, seeds, and soy products.
There are such a variety of beans to eat: green and red lentils, peanuts, split peas, pinto, soy, kidney, etc. Some beans are commonly eaten already, we have kidney beans in chili, refried beans in Mexican meals, as well as red beans and rice and pinto beans on their own. Beans can be enjoyed plain, but they are also available with different seasonings to alter or enhance their taste.
Nuts have to be eaten in moderation due to their high fat content (albeit monounsaturated, a "good" fat), but they also deliver a good amount of protein. By having one cup of cooked beans, you'll get the same amount of protein as eating two ounces of meat. The nutrients of concern for vegans, who avoid all types of animal food, are vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin D. Animal meat is the usual source of B12 in the diet of most Americans. In order to achieve an acceptable intake of B12, vitamin B12 supplements or foods should be regularly consumed. Soy and milk products are good examples.
Vegans can find alternative sources of calcium in orange juice or soy milk, both of which are fortified with calcium. You can add calcium to your diet from eating beans and leafy green vegetables. Vegetarians, while relying on basic food groups, should be certain to control their intake of vitamins and calcium. Not only is this important for healthy eating habits, but good health generally. Paying attention to what you eat means a long life filled with lots of good for your food.