Vegan & vegetarian diet (Part-2)

food May 28, 2021
Food practice for a menu shoot.
Photo by Randy Fath / Unsplash

No doubt, a vegan diet is highly nutritious with more fiber, complex carbohydrates and less saturated fats.

But elimination of animal food can lead to poor iron absorption in women and certain mineral and vitamin deficiencies, particularly, calcium, vitamin B 12 and vitamin D.

It can be managed by daily exposure to sun light, taking margarines and breakfast cereals fortified with the vitamin. Figs, kale, spinach, black-eyed peas, and turnip greens are excellent sources of calcium.

There are several plant foods that are good sources of iron such as leafy green vegetables, mashed lentils and beans, breakfast cereals, muesli, whole meal bread and pumpkin and sunflower seeds. When these are taken along with a small glass of fruit juice, rich in vitamin C, body’s iron uptake can be enhanced.

Vegans also get enough protein from cereals, potatoes, nuts and pulses.

Health risks are low in an entirely plant-based vegan diet.
A vegan diet can help to protect bone and heart health, and lower the risk of cancer.

Absorption of calcium and bone metabolism are more effective in vegans.
Though Vegans may be more predisposed to shortages of vital nutrients, nutritional balance can be maintained by careful and proper planning.

Vegetarian diet

A vegetarian diet does not include poultry or fish or meat but it includes eggs, honey and dairy products. It is also rich in fibre and complex carbohydrates. A mixed vegetarian diet contains less saturated fat and more folate and antioxidants.

Cake baking ingredients food styling photography composition; Eggs, flour, milk, cake mix.
Photo by Brands&People / Unsplash

How to maintain a healthy well balanced vegetarian diet with all nutrients?

By taking a mixed diet as shown below can make the intake of a well-balanced healthy vegetarian diet.

Vegetable pan cakes, muesli, muffins, porridge, scrambled omelet, peanut butter and banana on toast, crunchy baked eggs for breakfast.

Veg burgers, mushroom, red lentil, chickpea & chili soup, poached egg with spicy rice or fragrant vegetable & cashew biryani, black bean, tofu & avocado rice bowl and salad can be served as lunch

Spicy seed mix, spiced chili popcorn, chickpea & red pepper dip, pear, blue cheese and walnut sandwich topper, sweet potato & pea puffs, salad, carrot roll-ups are some vegetarian snacks

Fragrant vegetable & cashew veggie biryani, mushroom & potato curry, mushroom, walnut and tomato baked peppers, spaghetti with spinach & walnut pesto, Chinese noodles with tofu and hazelnuts can be served in supper.

Photo by Rosalind Chang / Unsplash

A high fiber diet of vegetarians can protect against several bowel diseases and helps the food to pass quickly through the digestive tract. Thus it relieves from constipation. Vegetarians also have lower risks of developing gallstones, diverticular diseases, cancer, coronary heart diseases, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Though meat or fish are ready sources of some essential minerals and vitamins, a well balanced diet that includes a wide variety of foods will provide vegans and vegetarians with all the nutrients they need.

In case you missed the part 1, here is a link to that


A. Sandhya

M.Sc Zoology

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