People who decide to stop eating meat, for whatever reason, often have deficiencies when they change their diet. If not done properly, it can have serious consequences for your health. You may be deficient in certain nutrients or even gain weight quickly.
Here we will give you some key points to stop eating meat the smart way, so that you can maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
Stop eating meat without risking your health
Becoming a vegetarian does not have to affect your health. But this decision – which you can make for moral or health reasons – should make you more aware of what foods you eat and what nutrients you need.
Not eating meat is not the same as being 100% vegan.
- If you only give up meat, but you eat eggs, fish or dairy products, you can make the change without any danger to your health.
- However, it is always wise to follow the advice of a nutritionist.
1. The wonderful properties of eggs
Eggs are a very complete superfood that perfectly complements other animal proteins.
Many years ago we were told not to eat too many eggs. But now you can even eat them daily if you do not have cholesterol problems. They are especially good for people who do not eat meat.
They are an excellent source of protein and healthy fats. We recommend eating organic eggs. All you have to do is crack an organic egg and a conventional egg and compare them to see the difference.
2. Be careful with dairy products
Many people who stop eating meat eat too much of dairy products such as milk and cheese. However, these foods are more harmful than you think. They increase cholesterol levels and cause digestive problems.
You can take advantage of all the vegetable milk types in the shops now, and combine them with more easily digestible dairy products such as yoghurt or ghi (clarified butter).
3. Risky flour
Another mistake that many meat-giving people make is to use too much flour, whether in pizza, pasta or sandwiches. They are quick and easy to prepare. However, this is not a good choice, as they can make you gain weight fast while giving your body very little in terms of nutrition.
What you should eat more of are vegetables, salads and vegetable juices to get enough vitamins, minerals and fiber, which will help you feel satisfied.
4. Choose your fish well
If you do not eat meat, but eat fish, we recommend only avoiding or limiting the consumption of large fatty fish (salmon, tuna, swordfish), because they can contain high levels of heavy metals.
These are potentially toxic to your health, especially to children and pregnant women. However, you can eat small fatty fish types (sardines, mackerel) and white fish.
5. Other sources of calcium
Milk is not the only source of calcium out there, and many nutritionists are not even sure if it is healthy. You can find good amounts of calcium in the following foods:
- Sesame seeds
Vitamin B12 deficiency is only a problem if you do not eat any animal products. In this case, you should take a dietary supplement.
This vitamin is also found in:
- Dairy products
Iron supplements should only be taken under medical supervision.
If you do not have iron deficiency anemia, you can get enough of this mineral by eating these foods:
- Nuts like pistachios
- Brewer’s yeast
- Whole grains like oats
8. Excellent vegetable protein
There are many plant-based foods that have lots of protein:
- Nuts and seeds
- Whole grains such as oats and quinoa
- Brewer’s yeast
9. Whole grains, nuts and seeds
In your balanced, meat-free diet , you can not go without whole grains. They are full of nutrients and fiber. You can not forget about nuts (either raw or roasted) and seeds, which can also be germinated to improve their nutrition.