Q:

Two years ago I became a vegetarian. I do eat eggs and dairy. I'm finding it challenging to understand how to eat a balanced diet and have put on lots of weight. Is there anywhere I can get a simple vegetarian diet plan to lose weight and stay healthy—a simple plan that tells me what to eat on a day-to-day basis over a week or a month, how to cook it (recipes) and what quantities?


A:

Plant-based diets can offer an abundance of low-calorie foods, nutrient dense vitamins, minerals and disease-fighting antioxidants that offer a wealth of benefits for your health and your heart. Special health concerns for vegetarians depend on what foods they eliminate and how much variety they get in their diet. Vegetarians who include dairy products and eggs (known as lacto-ovo vegetarians) can easily meet nutrition requirements. A meatless menu can be very healthful as long as you choose low-fat or nonfat dairy foods, limit consumption of egg yolks and stick to low-fat cooking techniques. The resources below provide a wealth of new recipes and information on healthy vegetarian eating:

American Dietetic Association
Phone: (800) 877-1600
Web site: www.eatright.com

The Vegetarian Resource Group
Phone: (410) 366-8343
Web site: www.vrg.org

American Diabetes Association
Phone: (800) 342-2383
Web site: www.diabetes.org
Recommended reading for meals: Month of Meals: Vegetarian Pleasures by American Diabetes Association

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