Starting a vegetarian diet could be a great idea to improve your overall health. However, just going on a vegetarian diet without any knowledge or research can yield some unfavorable results like nutrient deficiency or extreme weight loss.
Here are some common vegetarian diet mistakes you should avoid.
Not Eating Enough Iron
As meat is a great source of iron, vegetarians are at a risk of iron deficiency. Although plants do contain iron, that is non-heme iron, which our bodies don’t absorb as easily as heme iron found in meat. Make sure you eat a lot of seeds, nuts, oats, and lentils.
Replacing Meat with Cheese
Although it’s a good vegetarian source of protein, cheese doesn’t contain as much iron and protein as meat, and even packs more calories. So, instead of just replacing meat with cheese, you should also include chickpeas, tempeh, and quinoa in your diet.
Not Getting Enough Calories
We all know that our bodies need calories for energy, but getting enough calories from a vegetarian diet can be hard, as these diets restrict many calorie foods. Watch your calories and make sure you meet your daily calorie intake goals.
Eating Too Much Refined Carbohydrates
One of the most common vegetarian diet mistakes is replacing meat with refined carbs. Refined carbs like bread and pasta are often robbed of their fiber during the production process, so a high consumption of these carbs is linked to type 2 diabetes. Switch these out for whole grains like brown rice and oats.
Not Getting Enough Protein
With meat and dairy being good sources of protein, it can be hard to get enough protein from a vegetarian diet. But, because protein is very important for the human body, make sure you eat enough lentils, beans, nuts, and tofu.
As you can see, most vegetarian diet mistakes are related to nutrient deficiencies. Take these into consideration if you’re planning on starting a vegetarian diet and make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need.