A vegetarian diet is one that includes no meat, though it can include other animal by-products like eggs or milk.
Vegetarians also tend to avoid foods made with specific types of animal by-products, such as marshmallows and other confections with gelatin (which is made with animal collagen and bones).
Some people choose to follow this diet for health reasons, while others choose it for moral reasons as they are opposed to animal cruelty or want to support the environment.
There are also religions which advocate vegetarian diets because of their stances on treating all sentient life equally, the afterlife, and environmentalism.
When going out to eat, many vegetarians struggle to find restaurants that have options for them outside of generic soups and salads.
Many times when we go out or order delivery it’s because we didn’t plan our meals ahead of time, but this isn’t an option for many vegetarians. This only serves to strengthen the importance of learning how to meal plan when following a vegetarian diet.
Vegetarians are most likely to develop deficiencies in Vitamin B12 and iron. B12 isn’t found in any plant-based foods, and iron absorption isn’t as efficient from plant-based sources.
Vegetarians who don’t consume animal by-products such as cheese or milk also risk calcium deficiencies. While zinc can be found in plant-based foods, it’s also more efficiently absorbed coming from meat.
A proper vegetarian meal plan is useful in preventing vitamin and mineral deficiencies that vegetarians are prone to experiencing.
These deficiencies can result in serious health problems which can lead to chronic illness if not addressed quickly and properly.
It’s possible to receive these vitamins and minerals from foods that are vegetarian friendly such as:
- Fortified breakfast cereals
- Dried beans
- Dried fruit
- Nuts and seeds
- Wheat germ
▶ Also Read: Vegetarian Meal Prep Ideas
Using a random food generator when planning vegetarian meals is an excellent way to ensure you are getting enough of the vitamins and minerals you would otherwise receive from meat in your diet. Some recipe generators can be customized to meet certain health goals and accommodate certain diets. This kind will include all the necessary nutrients by design of promoting health and wellness, unlike the generators that exist just for fun.
▶ Take advantage of our Nutiro Ultimate Guide on How to Meal Plan that gives you the flexibility to enjoy other meal planning options such as keto, paleo, vegan, gluten-free, etc.