Most Indians tend to observe vegetarian diet at least two to three times a week. Some are life long vegetarians. There are many types of vegetarian:
a) lacto vegetarian : Diet includes dairy products but not eggs
b) vegan: Only plant based products are consumed
c) lacto- ovo vegetarian: Diet includes dairy products and egg.
No matter what type of vegetarian you are, you need to place importance on the type of food you consume for each meal. Some vegetarians only eat rice, rasam and pickles. By eating this type of food, you will not gain sufficient protein, vitamins and minerals.
Some vegetarians consume vegetarian mock meats, i.e. vegetarian chicken, vegetarian mutton, vegetarian egg etc. If we were to compare the nutrient value between vegetarian egg and a normal egg, there is a big difference whereby vegetarian mock eggs has more salt, sugar and fat content. In fact all vegetarian mock meats have high sugar, salt and fat content as the ingredients are needed to provide flavour to the product. Try to reduce consuming vegetarian mock meats as much as possible and opt for natural vegetables, fruits and grains to keep your body fit and healthy.
If a vegetarian were to eat a complete balance food, he/she will not have any health problems. By being vegetarian, you can prevent the risk of getting cancer, diabetes and weight problem. According to research done, if a vegetarian do not consume the right food, they will be prone to vitamin B12 deficiency. This is because vitamin B12 is only available in meat products and not in vegetable products. Therefore vegetarians should and must consume fortified cereals, breads and milk which are enriched with vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient for the heart and nerves.