Planning Your Vegetarian Diet to Avoid Nutrient Deficiencies
As a diabetic, there are benefits to consuming a vegetarian diet. However, with some restricted diets there are risks of becoming nutritionally deficiency. Here are some tips on following a vegetarian diet to ensure that your diet is both healthy and balanced.
Vegetarian diets can include protein if you eat plant proteins. Some common examples of plant proteins are dried beans, tofu, tempeh, and nut butters.
Vitamin B-12 is typically only found in animal foods. However, some plant foods have vitamin B-12 but not at rates that are high enough to work as a replacement for animal foods. If you are vegetarian, you must make sure that you eat foods that have been fortified with vitamin B-12. You should also take supplements that contain vitamin B-12.
Vitamin D can be obtained by eating fortified foods. In addition, the body can naturally obtain enough vitamin D via exposure to sunlight for roughly 5-15 minutes per day.
Calcium can be obtained from both vegetarian and vegan foods. Some plant sources of calcium include, legumes, turnip greens, kale and collard greens.
Plant foods do not contain the same type of iron as animal foods. However, you can still get the iron that you need by eating foods such as oatmeal, fortified cereals, pumpkin seeds, dried beans, tofu and other foods. You should also take a supplement of vitamin C so that the iron is better absorbed by the body.