A vegetarian diet is one of the most common these days, especially given how easy it often is to remove meat from many dishes. And the addition of a meal kit service can help expand your palate even more, whether you’re new to this type of diet or have been vegetarian for years. Here’s more on the pros and cons of a vegetarian diet, plus how a meal kit service can help you achieve your dietary goals.
What is a Vegetarian Diet?
A vegetarian diet is relatively simple: it simply involves eating no meat. Most vegetarians are Lacto-Ovo vegetarians, meaning they still consume dairy products and eggs. But most avoid consuming fish and other seafood as well.
And while a vegan diet strictly bans the use of animal products at all, vegetarians often consume foods with animal additives. For example, vegetarians usually eat honey, gelatin, and other products which derive from animals.
So while a vegetarian doesn’t consume any beef or other red meat, chicken, turkey, or other animal-based protein, you can still eat eggs, dairy, and more. A vegetarian diet also incorporates plenty of fresh produce, along with legumes, seeds, nuts, and beans.
Therefore, it’s easy to achieve a varied and balanced diet that’s free of meat. In fact, you may find that many dishes are just as delicious—or even better—simply by removing the meat and swapping it for other plant-based or dairy additions.
Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet
The benefits of a vegetarian diet largely mimic those of a vegan diet, but with fewer drawbacks overall. Studies have shown thus far that a vegetarian diet involves the following benefits:
- Lower incidence of heart disease
- Lower blood pressure
- Fewer instances of hypertension
- Low in saturated fat
- High in fiber
Without eating meat, vegetarians must find alternative protein sources, most of which contain less fat than red meat does. Also, a vegetarian diet which relies more heavily on produce rather than dairy or alternatives is even higher in fiber by default.
At the same time, most vegetarians are still consuming adequate amounts of most nutrients, especially if they consume eggs and dairy often.
Cons of a Vegetarian Diet
Although there are a handful of drawbacks to a vegetarian diet, with the right meal prep and planning, most vegetarians easily obtain the nutrients they need for healthy living. Occasionally, disadvantages to a vegetarian diet can include:
- Potentially low in iron
- The potential for B12 deficiency
- The potential for protein deficiency
For vegetarians who also happen to limit their dairy intake or those who avoid eggs, consuming enough B12 can become a challenge. The same applies to iron, which is most commonly found in meat but is also available in dark green leafy vegetables, whole-grain, and enriched bread, and beans and lentils.
How Can a Meal Kit Service Help You Get on Track with a Vegetarian Diet?
If you were previously a big meat eater but have decided to go vegetarian, it can be difficult to adequately fill your plate without beef, chicken, or another meat. Therefore, learning to prepare meals with a variety of ingredients is helpful for making up the difference.
Although meat contains plenty of protein, there are substitutions you can make to ensure you’re consuming enough protein and other nutrients.
Meal kit services help on this endeavor by providing well-rounded meals that are easy to prepare, since the ingredients are already in the box.
Instead of searching the grocery store aisles for meat alternatives or offbeat ingredients, you can open your meal kit and start cooking right away. Plus, meal kits are well-balanced since they use predetermined ingredient lists and menus.
Even if you only use a meal kit service for a few meals per week, doing so can help you achieve a the proper balance of nutrients. This is key when switching to a vegetarian diet, as potential deficiencies can cause health problems such as lethargy, fatigue, and more.
Using a meal kit service is a smart way to transition to a vegetarian diet, too, since the work is all done for you. And as you learn new recipes and become familiar with different ingredients, you’ll recognize what it takes to create a healthy and balanced vegetarian diet.
Best Meal Kit Services for a Vegetarian Diet
Our team of experts has tried all the best vegetarian meal kit services, so we have a few recommendations.
Visit our best vegetarian meal kit services list for details and to find the best meal kit service for your new diet.