Eating a vegetarian diet – can it be tasty without meat or fish?
In general, we do not need to eat meat to stay healthy. A balanced vegetarian diet with dairy products and eggs provides our body with all of the nutrients it needs. But what do you need to take into account on a vegetarian diet? One thing is especially important: variety. Because any type of diet, including plant-based, which is too one-sided can lead to deficiencies in various nutrients.
Meat contains lots of protein, iron and vitamin B12, and fish also contains iodine and high quality omega-3 fatty acids. If you remove these from your diet without replacing them, this can lead to nutrient deficiencies. You can balance this out very well by consciously choosing dairy products, eggs, pulses, nuts and wholegrain products.
Certain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) are primarily obtained from fish. If you follow a strict vegetarian diet and avoid fish, it makes sense to take a microalgae oil supplement to ensure you get an adequate supply. In addition, when it comes to vegetables oils, vegetarians should primarily choose rapeseed oil, as our body can convert the alpha-linolenic acid it contains into small quantities of DHA and EPA.
Is a vegetarian diet healthy?
Many studies show that vegetarians are less likely to die from cancer and die less early from cardiovascular diseases, are less likely to be overweight and often have lower blood pressure.
However, these positive effects of a vegetarian diet are not only as a result of forgoing meat – vegetarians often live generally healthier lives. They smoke less, drink less alcohol and do more exercise.
Who is a vegetarian diet suitable for?
A meat and fish-free diet is generally suitable for everyone. However, during life phases such as illness, pregnancy and breastfeeding, our body needs more nutrients. Anyone who eats an exclusively vegetarian diet must therefore pay close attention to their supply of nutrients. It would make sense to take dietary supplements or eat fortified foods from time to time.