What should I eat more when going vegetarian? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-04-2015, 12:21 PM
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What should I eat more when going vegetarian?

Hey everyone,

I'm new to the forums, and to vegetarianism.

I want to go vegetarian, but I'm slightly worried about my health. I'm not that healthy (there's something wrong my digestion system, I don't know what) and to stop eating meat would only put me at more health risk. That's why I want to be sure I'm still eating relatively healthy.

I currently decided to eat at least one slice of bread with apple spread per day, which is high on iron. I'll also drink one or two glasses of milk per day. I won't stray away from cheese either - I'm Dutch, after all.

This should take care of a couple of health issues, but I'm pretty sure I'm still at risk of some deficiencies. I just don't know which ones, and what I could do about them. Does anyone here have tips for me?
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#2 Old 08-04-2015, 01:10 PM
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A lot of people are allergic to casein and lactose in milk and cheese and that is why they have digestive issues. Have you ever tried almond milk? It tastes great and does not have the antibiotics and growth hormones in it that regular milk has.

In other words, milk could very well be the cause of your stomach issues.

Have you ever cut out milk for a few weeks to see if they went away?

You will not suffer any deficiencies if you go vegetarian. Vegans need to worry a bit about B12.
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#3 Old 08-04-2015, 01:20 PM
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Milk is not the problem. I often experience problems after eating things like noodles, or things that are really greasy. I never have any problems with milk. c:

And to be honest, I think I am at risk of suffering from deficiencies. For example, this article here seems reliable, and talks about the deficiencies that vegans and vegetarians might suffer from.
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#4 Old 08-04-2015, 02:11 PM
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That article conveniently neglects to mention that omnivores tend to be deficient in more nutrients than vegans (seven to a vegan's three, some overlapping.) A varied, well planned diet is important whether you eat meat or not. If you're not confident that you're getting all the nutrients you need, you can consider supplementing. You can track your intake using a free online tracker like Chronometer, but as long as you eat enough food, you shouldn't have any issues. It's no more difficult to get your nutrients with a vegetarian or vegan diet than with a diet including meat, so I don't understand why people who never worried about it before suddenly begin to worry when they cut meat out!
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#5 Old 08-04-2015, 02:13 PM
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You will not suffer any deficiencies if you go vegetarian. Vegans need to worry a bit about B12.
What Gita said.
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#6 Old 08-04-2015, 02:45 PM
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eat more vegetables. get your calcium, other minerals (which are also very important), and protective phytochemicals from leafy greens.

traditional east asian diets did not include dairy products and they did just fine. in fact their rates of osteoporosis were negligible compared to westerners who eat a lot of dairy.
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#7 Old 08-04-2015, 03:13 PM
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It's hard to say what you could get deficient in unless you give us a little more information. What does a typical days diet look like other than cheese and the apple spread on bread? Vegetarians and omnivores are both capable of developing nutritional deficiencies if their diets aren't varied. If we know what else you eat in a day we might be able to recommend some things to add/replace to help make sure you are getting the necessary nutrients.
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#8 Old 08-04-2015, 03:48 PM
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What does eating a slice of bread with apple butter on it mean? As a vegetarian you eat lots of whole grains and fruits, so why the one slice of bread and apple butter? Why not a tablespoon of molasses in oatmeal in the morning? It makes no sense. And as far as milk. Broccoli has more calcium than milk and also Vitamin D is artificially added to milk and should be gotten by exposure to the sun.

The argument now is that milk causes osteoporosis. You can google that too if you would like.
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#9 Old 08-04-2015, 04:54 PM
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I suggest www.choosemyplate.gov.

It is the excellent free USDA nutrition website.

Put everything you eat into the "Supertracker" for two weeks, then create a "nutrients report". It'll tell you if you are low or high on any vitamin, protein, etc .

As an example, I did this and started eating sunflower seeds because it showed I was low in Vitamin E intake.
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#10 Old 08-04-2015, 05:11 PM
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@veggie man you're the hero of the day. Thank you.c:
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#11 Old 08-04-2015, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Gita View Post
What does eating a slice of bread with apple butter on it mean? As a vegetarian you eat lots of whole grains and fruits, so why the one slice of bread and apple butter? Why not a tablespoon of molasses in oatmeal in the morning? It makes no sense. And as far as milk. Broccoli has more calcium than milk and also Vitamin D is artificially added to milk and should be gotten by exposure to the sun.

The argument now is that milk causes osteoporosis. You can google that too if you would like.
I remembered reading that here before and looked it up. It's from an old fashioned way of making apple butter in iron kettles or something that increased the iron, so it's not true for apple butters of today.
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#12 Old 08-04-2015, 06:08 PM
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These are good too:

http://www.kphealthyme.com/Healthy-E...ant-based-Diet
http://www.vegancoach.com/go-vegan.html
http://www.pcrm.org/

Please stop going to websites that clearly have agendas against plant based diets.
It's like someone wanting to join a church reading humanist blogs--and vice versa
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#13 Old 08-05-2015, 11:45 AM
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These are good too:

http://www.kphealthyme.com/Healthy-E...ant-based-Diet
http://www.vegancoach.com/go-vegan.html
http://www.pcrm.org/

Please stop going to websites that clearly have agendas against plant based diets.
It's like someone wanting to join a church reading humanist blogs--and vice versa
Why would anyone have an agenda against plant based diets? What's the use of having an agenda like that? The only reason someone would have an agenda like that is if plant-based diets are unhealthy - which means it's an agenda based on facts, which I support.

Also, if you wanna join a church, I'd highly recommend reading both humanist blogs and religious blogs. Think critically about what you read, and come to your own conclusion. That's how I do anything. I read both pro-vegetarian and "anti"- vegetarian articles and came to the conclusion that I wanted to be a vegetarian. I will, however, not ignore the health risks that vegetarianism may bring, the ones the "anti"-vegetarian articles mentioned.

But thanks for the links.c:
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#14 Old 08-05-2015, 11:47 AM
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I remembered reading that here before and looked it up. It's from an old fashioned way of making apple butter in iron kettles or something that increased the iron, so it's not true for apple butters of today.
I'm both sad and relieved to hear this. Sad to know I need another way of keeping my iron levels up, but relieved to hear I don't have to eat any more of that stuff. It tastes pretty bad.
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#15 Old 08-05-2015, 03:59 PM
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Why would anyone have an agenda against plant based diets? What's the use of having an agenda like that? The only reason someone would have an agenda like that is if plant-based diets are unhealthy - which means it's an agenda based on facts, which I support.

Also, if you wanna join a church, I'd highly recommend reading both humanist blogs and religious blogs. Think critically about what you read, and come to your own conclusion. That's how I do anything. I read both pro-vegetarian and "anti"- vegetarian articles and came to the conclusion that I wanted to be a vegetarian. I will, however, not ignore the health risks that vegetarianism may bring, the ones the "anti"-vegetarian articles mentioned.

But thanks for the links.c:
Do you have any idea the money and power that drives the meat, dairy and egg producers, as well as the profits they derive from slaughterhouse products? They literally can say and so whatever they want and only lately have had any pushback.

I agree that everyone changing up their eating needs to research, and stay away from bias
A site promoting paleo eating of course will say beans and grains are evil.
my comparison was very weak, but when you want to know if humans are responsible for climate change would you ask someone who profits in coal?
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#16 Old 08-05-2015, 04:23 PM
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Why would anyone have an agenda against plant based diets? What's the use of having an agenda like that? The only reason someone would have an agenda like that is if plant-based diets are unhealthy - which means it's an agenda based on facts, which I support.
This is, to be perfectly blunt, simply not true. The meat and dairy industries are billion-dollar worldwide conglomerations with a deep vested interest in keeping everyone consuming their products, health issues be damned. They can and do spend millions lobbying governments around the world to influence governmental nutrition standards, and sponsor biased scientific surveys that conveniently arrive at the conclusions they want them to reach. Trust me, no study sponsored by the dairy industry ever came back saying that people should cut down on dairy.

Look at the tobacco industry. For years, they put out study after study downplaying the risks of using their products so that they could rake in the money on the backs of millions of dead. Do you really think that the CEOs of the meat industry are morally superior to the CEOs of tobacco? That they'd balk at publishing a paper that exaggerates every possible drawback to going vegan—or invents a few new ones, just for good measure? These are the people who have pressured several US states to have laws on the books making it a specific crime to film conditions at animal farms rather than just. I don't know, improving the conditions at those farms!

Basically, your point above presumes that every person involved in disseminating information cares about the truth rather than their own naked self-interest, which is frankly just not very realistic.

90% of the arguments around veganism can be dismantled by understanding that the
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#17 Old 08-05-2015, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Maurits View Post
Hey everyone,

I'm new to the forums, and to vegetarianism.

I want to go vegetarian, but I'm slightly worried about my health. I'm not that healthy (there's something wrong my digestion system, I don't know what) and to stop eating meat would only put me at more health risk. That's why I want to be sure I'm still eating relatively healthy.
I'm sorry if I'm reading this wrong (or missed a part where you've said you've seen a doctor about this).

But, putting aside the vegetarianism for just a second, if your leg was hurting and there was a bone sticking out of your leg, would you go to the doctor and say "Hey doc, something's up with my leg, could you take a look?"

Yes, yes you would. So if you haven't done the same for your digestive health, then you need to go and do that. Do that right now. Or, if it's late at night/early in the morning where you are, at the first chance you get.

I can't tell you how much I don't care how disgusting (and therefore embarrassing) your problem might be to talk about with a doctor, I do care about people's internal health. Do it. Do not leave it too late.


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Originally Posted by Maurits View Post

I currently decided to eat at least one slice of bread with apple spread per day, which is high on iron. I'll also drink one or two glasses of milk per day. I won't stray away from cheese either - I'm Dutch, after all.

This is the vegetarian side of the forum, so I'm not going to tell you to NOT eat cheese or any other form of dairy. That's up to you. Personally, I think it helped my digestion to not have it but we could be different. (My family has a history of lactose intolerance, in fact a lot of people are lactose intolerant).

But I do want to just say, that "I'm Dutch, after all" may be something you have to re-evaluate as a reason. I say that as someone who used to say "I'd NEVER go vegetarian, I'm Australian....". And look where I ended up :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maurits View Post

This should take care of a couple of health issues, but I'm pretty sure I'm still at risk of some deficiencies. I just don't know which ones, and what I could do about them. Does anyone here have tips for me?
For Iron- I try to remember to take a multi-vitamin but forget most days. I make sure I get plenty of vitamin C, which is good for helping to absorb Iron. I eat loads of lentils, chickpeas, tofu and edamame. When it's 'that time of the month', I make sure to add in more spinach to whatever I'm eating, just for my own piece of mind.

My Iron levels are healthy, though are on the slightly lower side. But my doctor didn't seem particularly worried about it, in fact, he was impressed that as a vegetarian I had healthy levels (I'm more likely to be anemic due to a digestive auto-immune disease, hence my insistence you get yourself checked out).

For all the rest- I eat a varied diet, as much as time will allow. I found planning my meals when I first went veg really helped. Also, reading up on vegetarian nutrition put my mind at ease. There's also a whole range of 'fortified' foods and plant milks out there that I take advantage of.


Everyone is at risk of deficiencies. If you go vegetarian then you're going to have to put effort in, in the very beginning, to ensure you don't suffer from that. You're going to mess up, we all do. Whether we accidentally eat someone without knowing it, or don't eat enough calories in the beginning. It happens. But with planning and practice, you can be a healthy vegetarian.
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#18 Old 08-06-2015, 04:13 AM
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I'm sorry if I'm reading this wrong (or missed a part where you've said you've seen a doctor about this).

But, putting aside the vegetarianism for just a second, if your leg was hurting and there was a bone sticking out of your leg, would you go to the doctor and say "Hey doc, something's up with my leg, could you take a look?"

Yes, yes you would. So if you haven't done the same for your digestive health, then you need to go and do that. Do that right now. Or, if it's late at night/early in the morning where you are, at the first chance you get.

I can't tell you how much I don't care how disgusting (and therefore embarrassing) your problem might be to talk about with a doctor, I do care about people's internal health. Do it. Do not leave it too late.

This is the vegetarian side of the forum, so I'm not going to tell you to NOT eat cheese or any other form of dairy. That's up to you. Personally, I think it helped my digestion to not have it but we could be different. (My family has a history of lactose intolerance, in fact a lot of people are lactose intolerant).

But I do want to just say, that "I'm Dutch, after all" may be something you have to re-evaluate as a reason. I say that as someone who used to say "I'd NEVER go vegetarian, I'm Australian....". And look where I ended up :P

For Iron- I try to remember to take a multi-vitamin but forget most days. I make sure I get plenty of vitamin C, which is good for helping to absorb Iron. I eat loads of lentils, chickpeas, tofu and edamame. When it's 'that time of the month', I make sure to add in more spinach to whatever I'm eating, just for my own piece of mind.

My Iron levels are healthy, though are on the slightly lower side. But my doctor didn't seem particularly worried about it, in fact, he was impressed that as a vegetarian I had healthy levels (I'm more likely to be anemic due to a digestive auto-immune disease, hence my insistence you get yourself checked out).

For all the rest- I eat a varied diet, as much as time will allow. I found planning my meals when I first went veg really helped. Also, reading up on vegetarian nutrition put my mind at ease. There's also a whole range of 'fortified' foods and plant milks out there that I take advantage of.

Everyone is at risk of deficiencies. If you go vegetarian then you're going to have to put effort in, in the very beginning, to ensure you don't suffer from that. You're going to mess up, we all do. Whether we accidentally eat someone without knowing it, or don't eat enough calories in the beginning. It happens. But with planning and practice, you can be a healthy vegetarian.
I'm not that worried about my digestive system though. I know there's SOMETHING wrong with it, but I usually don't experience too much trouble from it, especially since I started eating sugar-free at the beginning of this year.
Also, I know of several people in my family who have digestive system diseases (like my sister, she has an auto-immune disease too) but I really don't feel like my problem is that bad. If I started experiencing a lot of trouble from my digestive system, I'd definitely go see the doctor, but I don't feel like it's necessary.

I don't use "I'm Dutch" as a real reason for eating cheese, it was more of a joke. The actual reason is that I have rather little choice. As I said, I eat sugar-free, and that prevents me from eating a lot of stuff.
But yeah, I'm not completely denying the possibility of ever going vegan. It'd be difficult, but not impossible.

And thanks for the tips! Multivitamin does indeed sound like a really good idea. I'll also make sure to get plenty of Vitamin C.

P.S. Before anyone freaks about me eating sugar-free: I do eat natural sugars, for example the ones you can find in fruits. I just don't eat added sugars, like the ones in cake.
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Last edited by Maurits; 08-06-2015 at 05:12 AM.
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#19 Old 08-06-2015, 08:59 AM
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This is, to be perfectly blunt, simply not true. The meat and dairy industries are billion-dollar worldwide conglomerations with a deep vested interest in keeping everyone consuming their products, health issues be damned. They can and do spend millions lobbying governments around the world to influence governmental nutrition standards, and sponsor biased scientific surveys that conveniently arrive at the conclusions they want them to reach...

...Basically, your point above presumes that every person involved in disseminating information cares about the truth rather than their own naked self-interest, which is frankly just not very realistic.
Despite our recent arguments, totally gotta side with the badass vegan dinosaur on this one.

An "agenda" against plant-based diets certainly sounds silly, but if we didn't have silly people doing silly things we wouldn't have...

The Guiness Book of World Records,
Monty Python,
Wal-Mart,
Westboro Baptist Church,
or Japan.

And as much as I know how we all hate Japan, Japan exists and we just have to accept it.



Last edited by Dogma; 08-06-2015 at 09:01 AM.
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#20 Old 08-06-2015, 05:22 PM
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Very welcome Maurits!
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#21 Old 08-09-2015, 04:00 AM
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I don't use "I'm Dutch" as a real reason for eating cheese, it was more of a joke. The actual reason is that I have rather little choice. As I said, I eat sugar-free, and that prevents me from eating a lot of stuff.
But yeah, I'm not completely denying the possibility of ever going vegan. It'd be difficult, but not impossible.

And thanks for the tips! Multivitamin does indeed sound like a really good idea. I'll also make sure to get plenty of Vitamin C.

P.S. Before anyone freaks about me eating sugar-free: I do eat natural sugars, for example the ones you can find in fruits. I just don't eat added sugars, like the ones in cake.
Thank. Goodness!

I'm not sugar free because....deliciousness reasons. But I see your point.

As far as variety goes, and this is something that helped me as a lacto-vegetarian and continues to help me now, is that the idea that a vego diet is already restrictive....Is a lie.

As soon as I realised the variety that existed in a plant-based diet, it really helped me with cooking and eating in general. Remember, when eating animals we eat like 5 of them, add in their products and you have maybe 7 things you're eating from the 'animal kingdom'. There are literally over 10 different types of potatoes....That's just POTATOES!

So, use that variety in what you're eating and I think you'll feel the difference.


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Originally Posted by Dogma View Post
Despite our recent arguments, totally gotta side with the badass vegan dinosaur on this one.

An "agenda" against plant-based diets certainly sounds silly, but if we didn't have silly people doing silly things we wouldn't have...

The Guiness Book of World Records,
Monty Python,
Wal-Mart,
Westboro Baptist Church,
or Japan.

And as much as I know how we all hate Japan, Japan exists and we just have to accept it.



.... You're joking about hating Japan, right? I mean, there's a few things that Japan does that I'm not thrilled about, but to hate them seems a bit weird.
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#22 Old 08-09-2015, 06:29 AM
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.... You're joking about hating Japan, right?
Yes.
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