New here - Can you help with information on nutrition?
Hello! I am new here and was wondering about how to make sure I cover all my nutritional needs while excluding meat/poultry? Is there a book or rule of thumb to replacing meat with other protein? There are so many books, so which ones would you recommend?
Thanks, and sorry if this is a vague request. Any advice is appreciated!
The general rule of thumb about eating a healthy vegetarian diet is to eat a wide variety (the key here is variety variety variety) of foods.
These should include soy products, legumes (beans, lentils), nuts (these have not only protein but heart-healthy fats), whole grain products (look for things that have a high fiber content and the world "whole" listed first, eat brown rice and whole grain pastas), healthy oils like olive, flax, canola, and a wide variety of colors in fruits and vegetables. Include berries, green leafy's (of which iceburg lettuce is not one).
If you're not vegan eat low fat dairy and organic eggs (if you can afford them), and include low fat yogurt for the friendly bacteria (there are vegan versions available as well).
If you're truly worried about protein, go to fitday.com and enter your food dairy and see how much you are getting. If you're worried then there are also protein powder supplements that are vegan like soy and rice once, or non-vegan that use whey.
Good luck. Welcome.
If you want to read about nutrition, by favorite book is:
(it is not just for vegetarians).
The Nutrition Desk Reference by Robert H. Garrison, Jr and Elizabeth
Somer. Publishe'd by Keats Publishing, New Canaan Connecticut.
Also, a good reference for finding out what foods have
what nutrition (it is a big table of foods and what is
Handbook of The Nutritional Values of Food (in common units) Prepared
by the United States Department of Agriculture. Publishe'd by the
Dover Press ISBN 0-486-21342-0
I think they are both still in print.
A book that I found helpful was Becoming Vegan by Vesanto Melina:
Also, this website has some helpful factsheets:
hi- if your only excluding meat/poultry/fish from your diet, and still eating some dairy, then your probably getting your calcium needs met, and as long as your eating beans and maybe some brown rice from time to time, your protein needs will also be met. There is a book publishe'd by Vegetarian Times mag that is the "Beginners Guide to Vegetarianism". I bought it for a friend who is trying to get healthier and improve eating habits. It is informative, covering both pro's and con's of dairy, and other good information. Otherwise, I will just say to read everything you can concerning nutrition, and make your best judgment.
How has it been going for you? Were you shooting for vegan, too? I went vegan for Lent (the 40-days prior to Easter), and didn't do much "planned" for the nutritional part. Just went for the variety of fruits/veggies and inserted soy/legumes where I normally ate protein-based items.
It went super well for me (I also had the great coaching of a couple of vegan friends, one who has been strict vegan for 17 years). In fact, last week I goofed and ended up at a 4-day conference in a remote location and none of my "supplies" (I always try to pack enough trailmix, oatcakes, etc. so I can almost survive on iceberg lettuce salads, LOL). I went ahead and basically dropped back to ovo-lacto veggie diet. In 4 days, I gained 4 pounds, and REALLY didn't feel so good. It quite messed up my system! :o I totally did not expect that!! (I'm sure my vegan friends are doing the happy-dance, as they are very focused on animal suffering/rights issues.)
Hoping your foray into veggie/vegan has a similar health-uplifting effect!
BTW, one of my 'constant companions' is a small container of what I call my 'salad enhancer'. I mix "Just Veggies" (see http://www.justtomatoes.com/html/product/veggiesORG1.html), imitation bacon bits, soy nuts, sunflower seeds & any other nut or seed that strikes my fancy. When you throw that on ANY salad, it is not only edible, but enjoyable! This has been my 'save-the-marriage' (LOL) tool. My spouse LOVES places like Waffle House, where there is literally nothing for me to eat except steamed hash browns and iceberg lettuce salads. This makes for a happy meal for both of us. And, now I have someone who's willing to try vegan meat alternatives and other vegan foods in return. Win-win! ;)
Try your local library for books like Becoming Vegetarian, or Becoming Vegan, whichever is more applicable to what you are aiming for. Another source I found useful (which people may laugh about)is a cookbook based on feeding vegetarian children called I think 'Veggie food for kids' by Sara Lewis, I bought it in the UK so don't know if it is availble here (Canada), which I bought for ideas when weaning my first child and was very impressed by the nutrional section in it (aimed at children's needs but gives you an idea) and I have lent it to others who had no vegetarian background and they found it a useful starting place.
If you have a vegan diet the biggest nutrients you need to make sure you are getting are iron, zinc, b12, and calcium. Protein is pretty easy to get but you need to make sure you vary your protein sorces in order to get all of the essential amino acids. As a general rule eat seeds and legumes together and legumes and grains. These do not actually need to be eaten at the same time, just make sure you get them all in your diet. b12 is important because it does not naturally occur in anything but animal products, so you have to take a suppliment or eat foods that provide fortification. With all the other 'problem' nutrients if you are eating a well balanced diet you shouldn't have too much of a problem obtaining optimal levels.
Brown rice and lentils together is a good complete protien. As far as B12 goes, nutritional yeast is a very good vegan source (It's grown on molasses). It is sooo good on popcorn and yummy with rice too. :P Hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds) are an excellent form of very digestable protein and essential amino acids... Good eatin'!!! ;D