Vegetarianism is a growing food trend all over the world. Just like Yoga, vegetarianism is considered to be a healthy way of living. While people in the West struggle to plan vegetarian dishes and menus, our Indian cuisine is very well used to vegetarianism. But being a vegetarian is not as healthy today as it was a few decades ago. In fact, it can be quite unhealthy if you don’t completely understand the vegetarian diet or are too careless about what you eat.

Food Mistakes That Vegetarians Make

1. Not eating the vegetables! There are many vegetarians amongst us, especially children, who do not eat the healthy vegetables that a vegetarian is supposed to eat. If you daughter is just eating cheese pizza, white rice, paratha or mac-n-cheese all the time – what’s so healthy about it? There are no nutrients in this diet. This is the first mistake vegetarians need to correct.

2. Worrying too much about protein. A proper well balanced vegetarian diet has enough protein for your body. There is no need to go bonkers about tofu at every meal. Black beans, lentils, nuts, whole grains and seeds etc have a good amount of protein and a good vegetarian diet has enough for your requirement.

3. Going after fake meat. Some people want to be vegetarian but can’t give up the tste of meat. Others think they need the protein. But in either situation, fake meat is not good for you. It is highly processed and very high on Sodium.

4. Making salads unhealthy! Yes, that is possible. Adding heavy dressings to your salad or adding fried croutons to it can just ruin the ‘healthy’ quotient of your salad. If you are having a salad, keep it basic and traditional – a dash of lime and a little salt is all the dressing you should have on your salad.

5. Buying healthy dishes from the store. We all know yogurt is good for you and so is fruit. So you go into the mall and buy some berry yogurt. That should be doubley good, right? No. The best yogurt to have is plain old dahi made at home with healthy live bacteria. If you need fruit on it, just chop some and add to your dahi. The fruity yogurt sold in the market is very high on sugar and best avoided.

6. Going for the juice! Fruit is great and so should be its juice? Naah! Eating whole fruit is much better than juicing it as it provides you all nutrients along with a good dose of fiber. Juices are especially bad for you if you buy them in a box from a store. These juices are full of sugar and often preservatives too.

7. Eating too many carbs. This holds true for most of us idli-dosa-paratha eating Indians. A well balanced meal should have adequate amount of protein, carbs and vegetables on the plate.

With this, you should now be able to judge whether you are a healthy vegetarian or not!

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Lavanya Mehra


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