It’s All About Nutrients:
If you choose a vegetarian eating pattern, then it’s important to make sure that your meals are nutritious.
Choose nutrient-rich foods in order to get the highest number of benefits per calorie. Steer clear of empty calories from foods that are loaded down with solid fats and added sugars — these calories fill you up without offering any nutrients or health benefits. Stocking up on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy foods will help you get the nutrients you need to stay healthy.
Spotlight on Tropical Oils:
Tropical oils like coconut oil and palm kernel oil are actually loaded with saturated fat.
The authors of the study Tropical Oils: Nutritional and Scientific Issues, maintain "Health professionals express concern that consumers who choose foods containing tropical oils unknowingly increase their intake of saturated fatty acids. The saturated fatty acid-rich tropical oils, coconut oil, hydrogenated coconut oil, and palm kernel oil, raise cholesterol levels.”
Check the ingredient lists of your favorite packaged foods and choose the options without tropical oils.
You can also replace tropical oils in your own cooking with olive oil or canola oil.
And here's what you've all been waiting for! A healthful vegetarian handout, free. Enjoy!
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Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.