How to Become a Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian

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Adopting a vegetarian diet shouldn't just entail omitting animal products from your next shopping list. If you're considering making the switch to being a vegetarian, follow our tips to ensure your new diet meets your body's needs.

Remember, first of all, that any diet change should aim for a balanced range of wholesome foods with plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole-grain foods. Make sure you are still getting enough (but not too many) calories for your activity level and weight-control goals. Continue to restrict saturated and trans fats and simple carbohydrates.

It is always advisable to speak with a dietitian, nutritionist or other qualified health expert before making significant changes to your diet.

If you’re changing from a non-vegetarian diet to a lacto-vegetarian diet (still includes milk products and eggs), keep these pointers in mind:

  • Omit meat and increase intake of legumes (dried beans and peas), nuts, seeds; use meatless "meats" (textured vegetable protein products) additionally
  • Increase intake of soy as it is an exceptionally good source of protein. Soy products include soybean flour, tofu, soy milk and textured vegetable protein (made to resemble meat)
  • Increase intake from all five food groups to supply adequate calories
  • Increase intake of breads and cereals, especially of whole-grain products. This group contributes protein, B vitamins and iron to the diet.
  • Reduce empty-calorie foods - sugar, soft drinks, candy, alcohol
  • Increase intake of low-fat , vitamin-D enriched milk and milk products. The milk group replaces part of the protein and vitamin B12 which is reduced when meat is deleted from the diet