Three basic types; a typical meal plan for a pure vegetarian
The three basic vegetarian diets are vegan, in which animal products are eschewed entirely; lack), which includes dairy products in addition to plant foods; and ovolacto, which includes eggs as well as dairy products.
Every diet must daily include certain amounts of amino acids (protein ). Whereas fish, meat, poultry, dairy products, and eggs have all the essential amino acids that we need to build body protein, most plant foods do not. When no animal products are included in a meal, it’s necessary to balance the vegetable proteins according to their amino-acid content. For example, legumes (beans, peas, peanuts), which are high in the amino acids lysine and isoleucine, combined with grains (wheat, bulgur, rice), which are high in the amino acids tryptophan and methionine, make a balanced, or complete, protein. Some often used combinations are peanut butter on whole-wheat bread, black beans and rice, and tacos with refried beans.
Legumes combined with seeds, such as a paste of chick-peas and sesame seeds, also make complete protein for the same reason. And the protein value of any grain is enhanced by adding a milk product. Examples are cereal with milk and macaroni and cheese.
If enough calories are not consumed, the body tends to burn amino acids for energy. Because so many foods in a vegetarian diet are low in calories, it’s necessary to eat more. Vegetarian diets for children and pregnant and lactating women shouldbe monitored carefully because their protein needs are high and it’s especially important for them to get enough calories and complete protein for growth or for producing milk.
Creating a balanced vegan diet
Soybean products, which are high in protein, lend balance and variety to vegetarian meals. Besides the beans themselves, cooked in various ways, there are soymilk. soybean curd (tofu), and meat analogs-foods that resemble meat in flavor and texture.
A typical vegan diet should include a wider than usual variety of legumes. grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Many green, leafy vegetables -broccoli, kale, collards, Brussels sprouts, spinach, and dandelion, turnip, and mustard greens-are important because they provide the calcium normally consumed in milk products. They also supply some of the iron. which would usually be acquired from meat. Legumes and whole grains are other good sources of iron.
One nutrient that can’t be obtained from a vegan diet is vitamin B12. This must be taken as a supplement.
The following is a typical daily menu for a vegan adult. Breakfast: 1 orange: 1 cup cooked whole-wheat cereal with 1 tablespoon molasses, V4 cup raisins, and 1/3 cup fortified soy-milk; 2 slices whole-wheat toast with 2 tablespoons margarine and 2 tablespoons peanut butter. Lunch: 2 cups thick vegetable soup, 3/4 cup cooked kale, 1 slice whole-wheat bread with 1 tablespoon of margarine: 1 banana. Dinner-2 cups black beans on brown rice, V2 cup cooked carrots, 73 cup coleslaw, 2 slices date-nut bread, 1 cup fortified soymilk.
There are many vegetarian cookbooks on the market. For new recipe ideas look also to some of the cuisines of India, the Middle East, and the oriental countries, where vegetarianism has been practiced for centuries.