With plentiful supplies of fresh fruits and vegetables year-round, along with an abundance of grains and legumes, there was never a better time to venture into the sumptuous world of vegetarian dining.
The American Heart Association offers the following reminders and suggestions when planning vegetarian menus:
- Like other healthful eating plans, vegetarian meals should contain a wide variety of foods. Smart choices include grains such as barley, dry beans and peas, fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts.
- Proteins that come from plants can provide enough of the essential and non-essential amino acids necessary for healthful meals as long as the sources of the plant protein are varied and the overall caloric intake is high enough to meet energy needs.
- If dairy products are included in vegetarian meals, choose low-fat or non-fat items.
- Keep intake of sweets and fatty foods to a minimum.