Can the vegetarian or vegan diet be synonymous with health? Yes, says Renée Frappier, president of the Manger Santé Bio association, which provides her advice for a healthy diet, without meat and without fish.
Is it Possible to Be a Vegetarian At Any Age of Life?
Absolutely! It is enough to adapt this diet to the needs of the person. I am thinking in particular of pregnant women, growing adolescents or the elderly. For this it is necessary to be informed and thus to inquire and to be informed about the vegetarian diet. It also means enriching new recipes.
Is “Vegetarianism” Compatible With a “Healthy and Varied Diet”?
The vegetarian diet is often more varied than that of an omnivore who is content with beef and chips! In the interest of compensation, vegetarians go for protein and vary their diet thanks to the multitude of vegetables and fruits that we are offered to eat.
As for the healthy aspect … Since, in most cases, the choice for this type of diet is linked to ethical and environmental motivations, vegetarians often consume organic products or local products and therefore better quality because having suffered fewer intermediaries.
Can There be a Nutritional Imbalance To Practicing a Vegetarian Diet?
In the case where the person has a varied diet and is careful to compensate animal protein with other sources of protein, there is no imbalance.
I have been a vegetarian for over 30 years. I have just done a checkup and I’m like a charm! And I think my diet is for something.
What Can be The Sources of Compensatory Protein?
It is possible to have a protein intake without consuming meat. I am thinking, for example, of the proteins in legumes. There are 14 varieties of legumes such as lentils, peas, beans, beans … Add cereals, vegetables, fruits … There is plenty to do!
It is necessary to consume this type of foods rich in protein, fiber and iron because they are essential for the body. Raw vegetables also have an important source of antioxidants, protective elements for the body.
The secret also lies in the assimilation of proteins with vitamin sources, which makes it possible to increase the availability of iron. Vitamin C found in peppers, tomatoes or citrus fruits is a good example.
Is There More Combinations than Food?
Not only, there are also many dietary supplements. They are very useful for people with special needs, such as pregnant women.
Watch out! Everything is enriched with calcium, omega 3, iron, minerals … And everyone eats it, not just vegetarians. More and more people develop food and environmental allergies (milk protein, egg, peanut …) and have to turn to vegetable sources.
Do You Have to Cook Well to be Vegetarian?
Of course you have to cook. Cooking is a gesture towards autonomy and health. If you do not cook, it means that someone has cooked for you and you have no control over your diet. You only have to see the levels of salt, fat and sugar in the prepared products …
And for people who do not cook because they do not know, it’s never too late to learn. It’s very important.
However, it is possible to eat without a gram of meat and without having to cook. The offer in terms of vegetarian products has improved significantly in recent years, both in quantity and diversity. Thanks to the multiplication of vegetarian restaurants or ready-to-eat products, it is no longer as binding as in the past to be vegetarian.
Is This Type Of Diet not Obligatory When One is Invited to Eat at Friends’ Homes or Even in The Family?
The more openness there is, the less it will be a constraint.
I have an anecdote that illustrates my thoughts. I went to teach a course in the Îles-de-la-Madeleine and the people who welcomed me offered me lobster. To please, I agreed to eat a little.
There is no question of putting the other uncomfortable because of a philosophy. It’s like when we travel, we can offend certain cultures by refusing to eat the meat they offer us … This is not the goal. Flexibility is required because otherwise we lock ourselves. We are different from the mass so we have to compose and adapt.
One Last Tip?
I will advise people who do not have a vegetarian diet to go to it from time to time. They are already eating vegetarian without even thinking about eating rice, pasta, vegetable dips, side dishes or hors d’oeuvres.
First, it will allow them to rediscover certain products and flavors. It is sad, but vegetables of yesteryear have been forgotten at the expense of certain industrial products.
Then, eating a vegetarian dish will allow them to “clean up their bodies”.
But be careful, eat vegetarian while respecting the fiber intake, protein and other, we have seen previously.
You Are Referring To a Healthy Gesture …
Yes. As we know, nowadays, cancer is one of the most common diseases and it is caused mainly by the environment and food, it makes you think. However, studies have shown that vegetarians suffer very little from colon cancer. There is an undeniable link between health – and cancer in particular – and nutrition.
But the last piece of advice that I will give, and I insist, would be to rediscover the pleasure and consume healthier, fresher products, closer to the earth … even if it’s meat!
100% Vegetarian Recipes
Some ideas for recipes to complete a vegetarian diet or for all people who want to disregard meat or fish, the time of a meal.