6 Common Vegetarian Diet Mistakes You’re Making

by Divyata Raut
FOOD  |  May 15, 2018
  • 1. Depending on meat-substitutes
    1 / 6 1. Depending on meat-substitutes

    Plant-based meat patties do an ace job at satisfying cravings for meat. Because they taste just like the real thing, you may be tempted to overcrowd your vegetarian diet with too many of these substitutes. Mock char siew is mouth-watering, but just like soya-based burgers, meat substitutes are highly processed with tons of artificial ingredients and chemicals. Enjoying juicy plant-based cheeseburgers once in a while is necessary to stay sane, but do not opt for it as your regular choice of protein as these patties contain almost no protein, fibre or nutrients.

    (Also read: How to Go Vegetarian the Easy Way)

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  • 2. Eating too much carbs
    2 / 6 2. Eating too much carbs

    Cutting out animal products from your diet narrows down your meal options to a single vegetarian food stall at the foodcourt during lunch hour. This may compel you to order fried bee hoon with mock meat and fried tofu skin to make up for the tantalising chicken chop your friend is enjoying. Carbohydrates are good for you, but feeding only on that the entire day forces your body to store the excess carbs as extra body weight. So limit your carbohydrate intake and fill your plate up with more vegetables and these amazing vegetarian protein sources.

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  • 3. Justifying your junk food choices
    3 / 6 3. Justifying your junk food choices

    When transitioning to a vegetarian diet, it is easy to reach out for safe options like bread, pizza or pasta. Snacking on cookies and chips may be a-okay in your vegetarian meal plan but making poor food choices only decreases the quality of your diet and may lead to weight gain. Instead, plan your diet with tasty homemade vegetarian dishes and base your meals on a good mix of complex carbohydrates like brown rice and quinoa, healthy fat from nuts and avocados, protein from lentils and beans as well as plenty of cooked or fresh vegetables for a balanced and nutritious diet.

    (Also read: Vegetarian Bee Hoon is a Serious Calorie Bomb)

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  • 4. Not getting enough vitamin B12
    4 / 6 4. Not getting enough vitamin B12

    Vegetarians face the risk of having a vitamin B12 deficiency as this vitamin is found in meat, poultry, seafood, eggs and dairy products. Vitamin B12 is essential for the human body as it is involved in the creation of red blood cells. A lack of this important vitamin could cause tiredness and memory-related issues. If you avoid eggs and dairy, make it a priority to consume vitamin B12-fortified cereal, or opt for vitamin B12 supplements, after careful consideration with your GP.

    (Also read: Top Places For Vegetarian And Vegan Food in Singapore)

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  • 5. Having too much dairy
    5 / 6 5. Having too much dairy

    Vegetarians can include dairy products in their diet, which is great news because it adds a creamy and tasty flavour to dishes, making sinful items like mac and cheese or cheese pizza an excellent go-to meal. But having a large creamy caffeinated beverage, a tub of yogurt, and cheesy pasta in one day endangers your cardiovascular health as it releases saturated fat into your bloodstream. Mashed-up chickpeas and avocado are other alternatives that add an equally excellent flavour to your dishes, without all the saturated fat!

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  • 6. Not monitoring your iron intake
    6 / 6 6. Not monitoring your iron intake

    Iron is absolutely crucial to your overall health as a lack of this important nutrient can potentially lead to anaemia, a condition in which there is a decreased amount of red blood cells in your body. Not having a healthy red blood cell count leads to risky symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath and dizziness. Plan to include vegetarian iron-rich sources such as leafy greens, nuts, seeds, oatmeal, beans and fruits in your daily diet. Ideally, increase your intake of vitamin C as your body more readily absorbs iron from plant-based sources in the presence of vitamin C.

    (Also read: Constantly Tired During Your Period? You Might Have An Iron Deficiency)

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