Nutrition and Eating

Learn How to Eat a Healthy Vegetarian Diet

Lee Niemeyer MD, of Group Health, answers a Local 12 viewer question on how to eat a healthy vegetarian diet.

What is the Benefit of a Vegetarian Diet?

“In mainly cardiovascular health,” Dr. Niemeyer tells Local 12’s Liz Bonis. “As we get older and cholesterol gets elevated . . . and it starts to build up in our arteries and our heart, you run the risk for heart attacks and strokes, and things like that.”

Tips for Going Vegetarian in a Safe Way

Dr. Niemeyer says to remember that some nutrients usually found in animal products, like protein, B12 and calcium, "Still have to get into your diet in some fashion."

In order to eat a healthy vegetarian diet, he suggests:

  • Filling at least half of your plate with plant foods (generally you need five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily)
  • Eating three servings of dairy products like milk, cheese or yogurt each day (opt for low-fat varieties)
  • Rather than cutting meat out, start by making lower fat choices (lean toward poultry, chicken, turkey and fish)
  • If you totally cut out meat, work tofu and other soy foods into your diet

Learn more tips for going vegetarian in a healthy, safe way in the Health Library: 

Tags Nutrition and Eating