Because plants are low in calories but high in essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, vegetarian diets can be very nutrient-dense. Research published in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society found that “vegetarian diets are usually rich in carbohydrates, omega-6 fatty acids, dietary fiber, carotenoids, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E and magnesium, and relatively low in protein, saturated fat, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, retinol, vitamin B12 and zinc.” (2)

Packaged and processed foods, such as cakes, cookies, candies, chocolate, yogurt, and marshmallows, often contain unfamiliar animal ingredients, so may be a special concern for vegetarians due to the likelihood of such additions.[3][5] Often, prior to purchase or consumption, vegetarians will scrutinize products for animal-derived ingredients.[5] Vegetarians' feelings vary with regard to these ingredients. For example, while some vegetarians may be unaware of animal-derived rennet's role in the production of cheese, and may therefore unknowingly consume the product,[3][6][7] other vegetarians may not take issue with its consumption.[3][4]
Studies on the health effects of vegetarian diets observe heterogeneous effects on mortality. One review found a decreased overall risk of all cause mortality, cancer (except breast) and cardiovascular disease;[47] however, a meta-analysis found lower risk for ischemic heart disease and cancer but no effect on overall mortality or cerebrovascular disease.[48] Possible limitations include varying definitions used of vegetarianism, and the observation of increased risk of lung cancer mortality in those on a vegetarian diet for less than five years.[48] An analysis pooling two large studies found vegetarians in the UK have similar all cause mortality as meat eaters.[49] An older meta analysis found similar results, only finding decreased mortality in vegetarians, pescatarians, and irregular meat eaters in ischemic heart disease, but not from any other cause.[50]
Although zinc is found in many vegetarian foods, it is not as well absorbed as meat-based zinc. Eating plenty of zinc-rich foods can help you maximize the amount your body absorbs. Good sources include milk, cheese, whole-grain breads, nuts, soy foods, and legumes, such as chickpeas. Hummus on a whole-grain pita is one tasty snack that does the trick.

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"Vegetarian diets can meet guidelines for the treatment of diabetes and some research suggests that diets that are more plant-based reduce risk of type-2 diabetes. Rates of self-reported Seventh-day Adventists (SDA) were less than half of those of the general population, and, among SDA, vegetarians had lower rates of diabetes than non-vegetarians. Among possible explanations for a protective effect of vegetarian diet are the Lower BMI of vegetarians and higher fiber intake, both of which improve insulin sensitivity."[57]

A 2012 study also showed that people on a low-carb diet burned 300 more calories a day – while resting! According to one of the Harvard professors behind the study this advantage “would equal the number of calories typically burned in an hour of moderate-intensity physical activity”. Imagine that: an entire bonus hour of exercise every day, without actually exercising. A later, even larger and more carefully conducted study confirmed the effect, with different groups of people on low-carb diets burning an average of between 200 and almost 500 extra calories per day.


Some vegetarians also avoid products that may use animal ingredients not included in their labels or which use animal products in their manufacturing. For example, sugars that are whitened with bone char, cheeses that use animal rennet (enzymes from animal stomach lining), gelatin (derived from the collagen inside animals' skin, bones, and connective tissue), some cane sugar (but not beet sugar) and beverages (such as apple juice and alcohol) clarified with gelatin or crushed shellfish and sturgeon, while other vegetarians are unaware of, or do not mind, such ingredients.[3][4][5][6]
The Adventist health study is again incorporated into a metastudy titled "Does low meat consumption increase life expectancy in humans?" published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which concluded that low meat eating (less than once per week) and other lifestyle choices significantly increase life expectancy, relative to a group with high meat intake. The study concluded that "The findings from one cohort of healthy adults raises the possibility that long-term (≥ 2 decades) adherence to a vegetarian diet can further produce a significant 3.6-y increase in life expectancy." However, the study also concluded that "Some of the variation in the survival advantage in vegetarians may have been due to marked differences between studies in adjustment for confounders, the definition of vegetarian, measurement error, age distribution, the healthy volunteer effect, and intake of specific plant foods by the vegetarians." It further states that "This raises the possibility that a low-meat, high plant-food dietary pattern may be the true causal protective factor rather than simply elimination of meat from the diet." In a recent review of studies relating low-meat diet patterns to all-cause mortality, Singh noted that "5 out of 5 studies indicated that adults who followed a low meat, high plant-food diet pattern experienced significant or marginally significant decreases in mortality risk relative to other patterns of intake."[117]
Followers of Jainism believe that all living organisms whether they are micro-organism are living and have a soul, and have one or more senses out of five senses and they go to great lengths to minimise any harm to any living organism. Most Jains are lacto-vegetarians but more devout Jains do not eat root vegetables because they believe that root vegetables contain a lot more micro-organisms as compared to other vegetables, and that, by eating them, violence of these micro-organisms is inevitable. So they focus on eating beans and fruits, whose cultivation do not involve killing of a lot of micro-organisms. No products obtained from dead animals are allowed, because when a living beings dies, a lot of micro-organisms (called as decomposers) will reproduce in the body which decomposes the body, and in eating the dead bodies, violence of decomposers is inevitable. Jain monks usually do a lot of fasting, and when they knew through spiritual powers that their life is very little, they start fasting until death.[180][181] Some particularly dedicated individuals are fruitarians.[182] Honey is forbidden, because honey is the regurgitation of nectar by bees [183] and may also contain eggs, excreta and dead bees. Some Jains do not consume plant parts that grow underground such as roots and bulbs, because the plants themselves and tiny animals may be killed when the plants are pulled up.[184]
According to the United States National Institutes of Health, vitamin B12 is not generally present in plants and is naturally found in foods of animal origin.[87] Lacto-ovo vegetarians can obtain B12 from dairy products and eggs, and vegans can obtain it from fortified foods (including some soy products and some breakfast cereals) and dietary supplements.[88][89][90][91][92] Vitamin B12 can also be obtained from fortified yeast extract products.[93]
Many people choose to reduce the amount of meat, fish and other animal foods in their diets in order to lower their carbon footprints. Plant foods are “lower on the food chain” and require less natural resources, such as water and others, to produce. According to a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, manufacturing animal foods requires a higher proportion of water, land, fossil fuels and energy than most plant foods do. (7) 

Similarly, children under age 5 who are reared on vegetarian and vegan diets can suffer impaired growth. That's because of the potential for a vitamin B12 deficiency, which can also result in anemia and vitamin D deficiency which can cause rickets. DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid found mostly in fish, is important for optimal brain development the first 2 years of life. Consult a registered dietitian who can help design a well-planned diet that can meet all the nutritional needs.
Make sure that everything you're eating is whole — as in nothing processed or packaged. Since salt is a preservative, these are the foods that are highest in sodium — something to keep in mind when planning your meals. Plan on making sure that all items you choose are fresh. That means filling up on fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein.
Cortisone as an oral drug is another common culprit (e.g. Prednisolone). Cortisone often causes weight gain in the long run, especially at higher doses (e.g. more than 5 mg Prednisolone per day). Unfortunately, cortisone is often an essential medication for those who are prescribed it, but the dose should be adjusted frequently so you don’t take more than you need. Asthma inhalers and other local cortisone treatments, like creams or nose sprays, hardly affect weight.

Low levels of vitamin B12 — You can only get vitamin B12 in substantial amounts by consuming meat, fish, eggs and dairy. Cutting out all of these foods can sometimes be problematic and contribute to vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms like fatigue, weakness and others. For this reason it’s recommended that all vegetarians and vegans who abstain from eating most or all animal foods take vitamin B12 supplements.


Almost all plant-based foods offer high amounts of antioxidants and/or have some anti-inflammatory properties, which means they help stop the progression of disease by supplying nutrients that fight oxidative stress. Diets that are high in vegetables, fruit and other plant foods like legumes or ancient grains provide lots of nutrients, including antioxidants and phytonutrients, such as flavonoids, resveratrol, quercetin, beta-carotene and more; essential vitamins, such as vitamin C, E and A; trace minerals, such as manganese or phosphorus; and electrolytes like potassium and magnesium.
Plant-based, or vegetarian, sources of Omega 3 fatty acids include soy, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, canola oil, kiwifruit, hempseed, algae, chia seed, flaxseed, echium seed and leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, cabbage and purslane. Purslane contains more Omega 3 than any other known leafy green. Olives (and olive oil) are another important plant source of unsaturated fatty acids. Plant foods can provide alpha-linolenic acid which the human body uses to synthesize the long-chain n-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA can be obtained directly in high amounts from oily fish or fish oils. Vegetarians, and particularly vegans, have lower levels of EPA and DHA than meat-eaters. While the health effects of low levels of EPA and DHA are unknown, it is unlikely that supplementation with alpha-linolenic acid will significantly increase levels.[95][clarification needed] Recently, some companies have begun to market vegetarian DHA supplements containing seaweed extracts. Whole seaweeds are not suitable for supplementation because their high iodine content limits the amount that may be safely consumed. However, certain algae such as spirulina are good sources of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), linoleic acid (LA), stearidonic acid (SDA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and arachidonic acid (AA).[96][97]
Don't get me wrong — exercising at any time is good for you. But evening activity may be particularly beneficial because many people's metabolism slows down toward the end of the day. Thirty minutes of aerobic activity before dinner increases your metabolic rate and may keep it elevated for another two or three hours, even after you've stopped moving. What that means for you: You're less likely to go back for seconds or thirds. Plus, it'll help you relax post meal so you won't be tempted by stress-induced grazing that can rack up calories, quickly.

At breakfast, go ahead and drink orange juice. But throughout the rest of the day, focus on water instead of juice or soda. The average American consumes an extra 245 calories a day from soft drinks. That’s nearly 90,000 calories a year—or 25 pounds! And research shows that despite the calories, sugary drinks don’t trigger a sense of fullness the way that food does.
Surprisingly, some people who consider themselves vegetarian continue to consume products that contain remains of slaughtered animals such as gelatin (made from ground-up skin and bones, found in Jell-O, supplement capsules, and photographic film) and rennet (made from the lining of calves' stomachs, used to coagulate hard cheese). Some of these people may be unaware that these hidden animal ingredients even exist. Others know about them but feel that they are just minor components of a product, and that their presence is therefore not important. [...] Many people who do not eat meat for ethical reasons do use animal by-products that are obtained while the animals are still alive. Dairy is a good example, as many vegetarians who consume it rationalize their behavior by pointing out that cows are not killed in order to provide humans with this particular by-product.
Protein intake in vegetarian diets is lower than in meat diets but can meet the daily requirements for most people.[70] Studies at Harvard University as well as other studies conducted in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and various European countries, confirmed vegetarian diets provide sufficient protein intake as long as a variety of plant sources are available and consumed.[71] Pumpkin seeds, peanut butter, hemp seed, almonds, pistachio nuts, flaxseed, tofu, oats, soybeans, walnuts, are great sources of protein for vegetarians. Proteins are composed of amino acids, and a common concern with protein acquired from vegetable sources is an adequate intake of the essential amino acids, which cannot be synthesised by the human body. While dairy and egg products provide complete sources for ovo-lacto vegetarian, several vegetable sources have significant amounts of all eight types of essential amino acids, including lupin beans, soy,[72] hempseed, chia seed,[73] amaranth,[74] buckwheat,[75] pumpkin seeds[76] spirulina,[77] pistachios,[78] and quinoa.[79] However, the essential amino acids can also be obtained by eating a variety of complementary plant sources that, in combination, provide all eight essential amino acids (e.g. brown rice and beans, or hummus and pita, though protein combining in the same meal is not necessary[citation needed]). A 1994 study found a varied intake of such sources can be adequate.[80]
The simplest definition of vegetarianism is a diet free of meat, fish, and fowl flesh. But eating habits of vegetarians cover a wide spectrum. At one end are lacto-ovo vegetarians, who avoid animal flesh but eat eggs and milk products. At the other end are vegans, who forgo eating (and often wearing) all animal-based products, including honey. Raw foodists are vegans who eat mainly raw fruits, vegetables, legumes, sprouts, and nuts.
Vegetarianism may be adopted for various reasons. Many people object to eating meat out of respect for sentient life. Such ethical motivations have been codified under various religious beliefs, as well as animal rights advocacy. Other motivations for vegetarianism are health-related, political, environmental, cultural, aesthetic, economic, or personal preference. There are variations of the diet as well: an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet includes both eggs and dairy products, an ovo-vegetarian diet includes eggs but not dairy products, and a lacto-vegetarian diet includes dairy products but not eggs. A vegan diet excludes all animal products, including eggs and dairy. Some vegans also avoid other animal products such as beeswax, leather or silk clothing, and goose-fat shoe polish.
Ultimately, weight loss for the long-term requires some short-term behavior change and healthier habit formation. That's why we created our Good Housekeeping Nutritionist Approved Emblem, which exists to help turn smart food choices into healthier eating habits. All GHNA foods and drinks make it easier to find — and eat — good-for-you foods without additional time, effort, and cost. We target the lifestyle-related factors that make healthier eating hard, and find simple but creative solutions that actually work! Look for the emblem on labels wherever you shop for food!
To get the most out of a vegetarian diet, choose a variety of healthy plant-based foods, such as whole fruits and vegetables, legumes and nuts, and whole grains. At the same time, cut back on less healthy choices, such as sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juices and refined grains. If you need help, a registered dietitian can assist you in creating a vegetarian plan that's right for you.
Individuals sometimes label themselves "vegetarian" while practicing a semi-vegetarian diet,[9][42][43] as some dictionary definitions describe vegetarianism as sometimes including the consumption of fish,[8] or only include mammalian flesh as part of their definition of meat,[8][44] while other definitions exclude fish and all animal flesh.[11] In other cases, individuals may describe themselves as "flexitarian".[42][45] These diets may be followed by those who reduce animal flesh consumed as a way of transitioning to a complete vegetarian diet or for health, ethical, environmental, or other reasons. Semi-vegetarian diets include:
Side effects of fasting may include headaches, weakness, muscle aches, nausea, lightheadedness, irritability, racing heart, exacerbation of joint symptoms, mild abdominal discomfort, and hunger. However, everyone reacts differently to detoxing. While one person may feel energized and revitalized, another may feel sluggish. Generally it is reported that hunger disappear after the first day.
Seventh-day Adventists are encouraged to engage in healthy eating practices, and ova-lacto-vegetarian diets are recommended by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Nutrition Council (GCNC). They have also sponsored and participated in many scientific studies exploring the impact of dietary decisions upon health outcomes.[158] The GCNC has in addition adapted the USDA's food pyramid for a vegetarian dietary approach.[158][159] However, the only kinds of meat specifically frowned upon by the SDA health message are unclean meats, or those forbidden in scripture.[160]
According to Canon Law, Roman Catholics ages 14 and older are required to abstain from meat (defined as all mammal and fowl flesh and organs, excluding water animals) on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays of Lent including Good Friday. Canon Law also obliges Catholics to abstain from meat on the Fridays of the year outside of Lent (excluding certain holy days) unless, with the permission of the local conference of bishops, another penitential act is substituted. The restrictions on eating meat on these days is solely as an act of penance and not because of a religious objection to eating meat.[163]
The problem with fasting is that due to severe calorie restriction, your basal metabolic rate (BMR) will decrease. It is thought that fasting can decrease the body’s metabolism by up to 22%. This means that your metabolism will slow down and theoretically, if you were to eat the same amount of calories you did before you started fasting, immediately on the stopping the fast, you would put on weight – not “water weight”, but fat. If this were to happen, you would end up with a higher body fat percentage than when you started.
Some antidepressant medications can cause weight gain, especially the older tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) such as Tryptizol, Saroten, and Clomipramine; as well as newer drugs such as Remeron (Mirtazapine). Lithium (for manic-depressive disorder) often causes weight gain. The most common antidepressants known as SSRI’s (for example Citalopram and Sertraline) usually don’t impact weight significantly. More on depression
^ Jump up to: a b c Davis, John. "History of Vegetarianism: Extracts from some journals 1842–48 – the earliest known uses of the word 'vegetarian'". International Vegetarian Union. Archived from the original on March 18, 2018. Retrieved March 18, 2018. In 1841 the [Alcott House] was re-invented as A Concordium, or Industry Harmony College though the building remained 'Alcott House'. Also in 1841 they began printing and publishing their own pamphlets, which now seem to be lost, but we have the relevant extracts, with the earliest known use of 'vegetarian', from their first journal which began in December 1841[.]
Sure, you certainly need to drink plenty of water to help expedite the process of ridding your body of excess sodium, you can (and should!) also consume high-water content foods. Reach for cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, asparagus, grapes, celery, artichokes, pineapple, and cranberries — all of which contain diuretic properties that will also help you stay full due to their higher fiber content.
The scale is not necessarily your friend. You may want to lose fat – but the scale measures muscles, bone and internal organs as well. Gaining muscle is a good thing. Thus weight or BMI are imperfect ways to measure your progress. This is especially true if you’re just coming off a long period of semi-starvation (calorie counting), as your body may want to restore lost muscles etc. Starting weight training and gaining muscle can also hide your fat loss.
For even more impressive effects on body composition: aim for exercise forms which elicit a positive hormonal response. This means lifting really heavy things (strength training), or interval training. Such exercise increases levels of the sex hormone testosterone (primarily in men) as well as growth hormone. Not only do greater levels of these hormones increase your muscle mass, but they also decrease your visceral fat (belly fat) in the long term.
^ Jump up to: a b c Davis, John. "History of Vegetarianism: Extracts from some journals 1842–48 – the earliest known uses of the word 'vegetarian'". International Vegetarian Union. Archived from the original on March 18, 2018. Retrieved March 18, 2018. In 1841 the [Alcott House] was re-invented as A Concordium, or Industry Harmony College though the building remained 'Alcott House'. Also in 1841 they began printing and publishing their own pamphlets, which now seem to be lost, but we have the relevant extracts, with the earliest known use of 'vegetarian', from their first journal which began in December 1841[.] 

The trick here is not only to avoid all obvious sources of carbohydrate (sweets, bread, spaghetti, rice, potatoes), but also to be careful with your protein intake. If you eat large amounts of meat, eggs and the like, the excess protein will be converted into glucose in your body. Large amounts of protein can also raise your insulin levels somewhat. This compromises optimal ketosis.
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