Jan 9, 2019

Adopting a vegetarian lifestyle brings health benefits

Find out how to switch to a vegetarian diet and how to still get enough protein and vitamins/minerals, especially in kids.  “Jessica Levings is a registered dietician who owns Orlando-based Balanced Pantry and is the president-elect of the Orlando Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. While not a vegetarian herself, she helps her own meatless clients plan nutritional diets and sometimes that means for the whole family. ‘Appropriately balanced plant-based diets are healthful and nutritionally adequate for all population groups, including kids and teens. Vegetarians and vegans also reduce their risk of certain diseases such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity,’ Levings said. ‘True vegans do need a reliable source of vitamin B12, which they can get from fortified foods or supplements.’Levings strongly suggests that parents take children to a consultation with a registered dietician before switching to a vegetarian or plant-based diet. Like any healthful pursuit, Levings says that eating a meatless diet, or a completely plant-based one, takes planning to do right.’Carve out some time on Sunday or another day to meal plan. Nutritionally balanced vegetarian diets are doable but do require a little planning and prep,’ Levings said. ‘If you’re giving up meat but eating a diet super reliant on heavily processed foods, you’re likely not eating much more healthfully than before.’”

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