Vegetarian Alternatives To Non-Vegetarian Food Items - A Guide To A Healthy Veg Lifestyle
India is considered to be the leader when it comes to the vegetarian population. Indians eat vegetarian food more than other countries in the world. Pew Research Centre survey says almost 40% of the country depends on vegetarian food to get all their nutrients.
Dietitian Krishna at iCure Diet Clinic believes in food independence. Her healthy recipes revolve not only around a patient’s physical requirements but also their religious beliefs. Hence there are separate recipes for both veg and non-veg patients.
Today, in this talk, we’ll discuss various alternatives to generic non-vegetarian food. Animal products like eggs, meat, chicken and fish aren’t preferred by a majority of people. So, here are great substitutes for them.
Eggs are a great source of Vitamin A, B5, B12, D and E. Being rich in iron, iodine, protein and phosphorus, it is a balanced meal. Some even believe that there is no perfect alternative to eggs. However, a majority of healthy food recipes by iCure Diet Clinic are vegetarian. So, here are some vegetarian food alternatives to eggs, suggested by Dietitian Krishna to all her clients.
1. Quinoa: It is rich in protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and 9 essential amino acids. It will improve your heart and gut health and also help in weight loss. It is the best alternative for anyone having coeliac disease and gluten intolerance.
2. Pumpkin seeds: These are rich in manganese, Vitamin K, Zinc and phosphorus. It stimulates the healing of wounds and also boosts your immunity to keep you free from viruses.
3. Paneer: It is the best source of protein. It also contains a healthy amount of fats, calcium, phosphorus, and fat-soluble Vitamin A and D. It takes time to digest hence giving you a feeling of fullness. It gives you feel-good hormones like GLP-1, PYY and CCK.
4. Bananas: It is a natural source of sugar, carbs, calcium, and potassium.
5. Milk: Just like eggs, milk is also a balanced meal. It contains calcium, riboflavin, phosphorus, vitamins A and B12, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iodine.
Fish is low in fat and high in protein. Filled with the goodness of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, B2, calcium and phosphorus. It is good for your heart and muscles. It also has a healthy amount of potassium, iodine, iron, zinc and magnesium. When all of this combines, it gives you good eyesight, a healthy heart and liver, lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s and arthritis.
Fish can be easily substituted by these food items.
1. Tofu: Tofu is naturally free from gluten, lactose, calories and cholesterol. It keeps your colon healthy and also reduces the risk of cancer.
2. Flax and Chia seeds: Flax seeds contain omega 3. It regulates your blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol levels. It is rich in fibre and helps you manage your weight effectively. Chia seeds contain quercetin which keeps your heart healthy.
3. Carrots: Carrots are good for your eyesight. It contains Vitamin A and beta-carotene that lowers the risk of Diabetes. It also contains calcium and vitamin K that is healthy for bone development.
1. Green Leafy Vegetables: It contains vitamins, minerals and rich fibers. It reduces the risk of obesity, heart disease and mental disorders.
2. Beans and Chickpeas: Beans contain folates and vital antioxidants. While chickpeas contain raffinose. It keeps your blood sugar and insulin levels under control.
Chicken is good for bones and muscles. It keeps your heart healthy and your weight in check. It is important for the brain functions in the elderly and good for children in their transformative years. Here are some solid alternatives to chicken.
1. Soya: It is a cholesterol-free alternative to all non-veg products.
2. Brinjal: It has a low glycemic index and is thus good for patients having diabetes. It is low in sodium, and high in folates, fiber and antioxidants. Thus it is good for weight watchers.
3. Mushrooms: Mushrooms contain Vitamin D and selenium. It takes care of your immunity, heart and gut health as well as diabetes.
1. Jackfruit: It is rich in Vitamin A, antioxidants and carotenoids. It protects you from cancer, cataracts, macular degeneration and heart diseases.
2. Daal (Lentils): It is a rich source of plant proteins and iron. Lentils improve blood circulation and thus keep your heart healthy. It is good for the regeneration of cells. It reduces the risk of anaemia and obesity.
Meat is rich in iron, protein, zinc and other bioavailable nutrients. It boosts your heart, brain and bone health. It controls your blood sugar levels and also helps you manage your weight.
1. Soy Bean: It is an excellent source of protein, with various mineral contents like Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Zinc, and phosphorus. People who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet can consume soybean to get all the needed substances included in meat.
2. Nuts: Nuts like almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, etc., have high amounts of antioxidants, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Copper, Manganese and Selenium.
3. Lentils: It contains Vitamin B, magnesium, and zinc, and is rich in fibre, folate and potassium. You never knew but lentils are the secret superfood that can reduce the risk of the diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart.
4. Milk & Milk Products: Milk and milk products are a full pack of nutrients. If you want to gain a great balance with the protein you can have milk or milk products. Apart from protein, it contains fat and carbohydrate in the highest amount.
Taking everything into account, eating healthy and exercising are important for you. What you eat, veg or non-veg is secondary. Abstaining from unhealthy food will keep you fit in a long run.
Dt. Krishna’s recipes are always designed by taking into account your medical history, your food preferences and your lifestyle. So a vegan person will always be given a vegan recipe, and so is the case of veg or non-veg.
There are healthy food items for all of you, and it’s up to you to choose them. So eat healthily, exercise daily and we’ll be back again with a new blog!