The vegetarian diet has become increasingly widespread over the past decade or so. At one time the ‘veggie option’ in a restaurant consisted of the same meal but with the meat removed, so basically a pate of vegetables. Nowadays most reputable restaurants offer an entire vegetarian menu that is been thoughtfully put together to create a tasty meal.
Most people have decided to switch to a vegetarian diet for one or more of a few reasons. Some people simply do not like the taste of meat and some have never even tried it if they were brought up in a vegetarian family. Some people perceive eating animals as cruel or are unhappy with the current farming practices used around the world. Some people look to the vegetarian diet as a way of helping them save money or reducing their environmental impact and some simply believe it to be healthier.
When it comes to healthy eating a vegetarian diet is no better than a meat-based diet without being carefully planned. Many people are under the impression that vegetarians are healthier because they eat lots more vegetables. While it is true that many vegetarian meals substitute meat for vegetables there are also certain nutrients that our body needs that can be more difficult to obtain without eating meat. These include things like iron and vitamin B12, which a vegetarian must make more of a conscious effort to supplement in their diet through certain foods or vitamin tablets. A healthy diet should always be well balanced so regardless of whether you eat meat or not you need to ensure that you are getting everything your body needs from the food you are eating.
One way that some people find switching to a vegetarian diet helps them to eat more healthily is by forcing them to break their usual eating habits and discover new ways to cook. Often this is a good opportunity for people to assess their old diet and look to more healthy options. If someone who previously ate meat is worried that they are not eating enough vegetables then learning about vegetarian recipes can open their eyes to new ideas and ways you can prepare a meat-free meal that still tastes good.
Sometimes even just adopting vegetarian recipes to mix with your regular recipes can help you enjoy a more varied and healthy diet. While there are some people who cannot imagine having a meal without meat there are plenty more who regularly cook a meat-free meal two or more times a week. Some will even choose to only cook a meat meal once or twice a week if it helps them reduce their carbon footprint and save a bit of money too.