Some advice in the lead up to National Vegetarian Week
Last Updated: 12th January 2023 · Written by Donna Mastriani
Switch to a meat-free diet healthily with tips from Lifelab Testing
2019 has seen consumers becoming ever more conscious of their health and the environmental impact of their diet choices, and such concern has led to a sharp rise in those opting to lead vegan and vegetarian lifestyles – one in eight Brits is now said to be vegetarian, with one in three having recently reduced or stopped their consumption of meat.
In the lead up to National Vegetarian Week (13 – 19 May 2019), we are speaking out about how to make sure you transition to a meat-free diet healthily, to reap the full benefits of what can be a very beneficial dietary switch.
From increased energy to better sleep patterns, clearer skin and improved circulation, the health benefits of eliminating animal products from your diet are clear to see – however, done incorrectly, a poor vegan or vegetarian diet can lead to a lack of iron, zinc or vitamin B.
Don’t fall in to the convenience food trap
There are a wide range of vegetarian foods that aren’t nutritionally beneficial – rather than picking up something pre-made, indulge in a kitchen full of whole foods and experiment with new recipes.
Get your vitamin A
Vitamin A is most easily found in meat, fish and dairy products, so it is important to increase your intake of green, leafy vegetables, and orange, red and yellow fruit and veg. These all contain beta carotene, which can be converted to retinol – the biologically active form of vitamin A.
Supplement your diet with vitamin B12
B12 is only found in meat and dairy products, but it is a nutrient which helps to keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy, so should be added in to a vegan diet in the form of B12 supplements.
You don’t necessarily need to up your protein
A common misconception with a vegetarian diet is that it will be lacking in protein, however pulses, grains and veg are all great forms of protein and will provide enough for the majority of people. The need for additional protein supplements depends on your stage of life, physical activity levels and injuries, post-operative recovery or illnesses.
Top up your calcium
Calcium is prevalent in dairy, but can also be found in high levels in tofu, certain green vegetables (kale, watercress, broccoli, sugar snap peas and pak choi) and almonds.
For more information on allergy testing and if you have any other queries about your diet, please log on to www.lifelabtesting.com and check out our website. Our customer service team will always be happy to answer any queries which you may have. To purchase your test, click here.