A Wonderful Vegetarian Diet – Part 3

Alternatives to meat

Vegetarians can easily meet all of their nutritional needs by eating a variety of different foods each day. Plant-based foods are particularly important in achieving a balanced vegetarian diet. These foods help to ensure you receive adequate protein, iron and zinc, from sources other than meat.

The foods listed below are similar to meat, poultry, and fish in their contribution of nutrients, so make sure you’re getting enough of these each day.

Suitable alternatives to meat include:

  • Peas, beans and lentils
  • Soya-based foods, including tofu
  • Seeds, nuts and nut butters (such as peanut butter)
  • Eggs (if appropriate)

Peas, beans and lentils

Peas, beans and lentils, otherwise known as pulses, are essential in the vegetarian diet, because they contain a higher amount of protein than most other plant foods. They are rich in carbohydrate and fibre, and low in fat, and are also an important source of some of the B vitamins.

Soya-based foods

The Soya bean is a species of legume. It can provide an excellent source of protein in the vegetarian diet. Soya foods include tofu, tempeh, textured vegetable protein (TVP), and mycoprotein (Quorn).

The Vegetarian Society have provided detailed information on Soya-based foods, check out their site for further information.

Nuts and seeds

Nuts in general are very nutritious, providing a good source of protein, and they are packed full of essential vitamins, and minerals. Try to include a small handful of almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, walnuts, peanuts, hazel nuts or pine nuts, each day to increase the variety of your diet. Seeds, such as, pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower also make a great snack, and can be sprinkled over salads, vegetables or stews.

How many portions are required from this group?

It is recommended that vegetarians include around 2-3 servings from this group each day.

What does a serving look like?

  • 1 cup beans, peas, or lentils
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 oz. bean curd or tofu
  • 1/2 cup shelled nuts
  • 3-4 tbsp peanut butter

Take a look back at my original post to view the Vegetarian Pyramid in pictorial format.

Email address

About Melanie
Melanie is a Registered Dietitian who started Dietriffic in March 2007. Her aim is to make good health attainable and sustainable, without guilt and torture, making her approach popular with those who desire a level-headed approach to good health. Have you got your copy of her free book yet?


Free Book: The Secret Behind Optimal Health!

Join +17,936 other smart people by entering your email address.
This will send you my book, which is a brief guide to Life Mastery.
It's absolutely free and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Not convinced? Read 7 Reasons to Subscribe!

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: