Introduction to new lacto vegetarians
This is a brief article to assist new Lacto-Vegetarians in getting all the nutrients they need from the right food choices.

Choosing to become a vegetarian of any kind can be a healthy and beneficial decision; however once youíve chosen this nutritional path there are a few things you should keep in mind to gain the most benefit from it. Vegetarian eating can certainly improve your health and well being as well as reduce your risks for certain nutrition related illnesses and certain types of cancer. Becoming a Lacto-Vegetarian means that you will no longer eat any meat or meat products but will continue to drink milk and eat cheese and other dairy products.

Eating this way lowers your risk for heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure and even colon cancer. However if you do not make sure you are still getting all necessary nutrients you may put yourself at higher risk for things like anemia and osteoporosis. You should find this information useful in your new Lacto-Vegetarian lifestyle to make sure you are getting all of the nutrients you need.

Protein is one of the main things that vegetarians often have difficulty in fulfilling as easily because the majority of protein is found in meat. However, eating things like dried beans, peas and legumes and whole grains can significantly boost the amount of protein in a lacto-vegetarian diet.

Iron is an essential nutrient and lack of it can cause anemia. This is another thing that is frequently obtained through meat, but other sources of iron are eggs, dried beans and legumes, lentils and even tofu. Tofu can be purchased many different ways and used as a main course or a filler and is a great way to boost your nutritional intake.

As a Lacto-Vegetarian you should not have too much trouble consuming an appropriate amount of calcium, but if you get tired of milk and cheese items there are some other excellent calcium sources. Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and other greens have plenty of calcium, as do almonds, sesame seeds, tofu and broccoli.

Try to continually choose a wide variety of foods to help keep your interest in staying with a Lacto-Vegetarian diet. There are many different fruits, vegetables, grains, eggs, cheeses and even seeds and nuts to help you get your nutritional requirements and prepare interesting and delicious foods.

Another challenge for the new Lacto-Vegetarian is eating out. This can become a challenge because there are often hidden meat products where you may not even think of. Your soup may be made with chicken or beef stock, the same can be said of gravy that is served over mashed potatoes. Always ask if the restaurant youíre visiting offers vegetable stock based soups and how they make their gravy if you choose to have some.

Most restaurants now offer vegetarian choices that help make it easier for us to choose what we want to eat. Be wary though of vegetables smothered in white or cheese sauce, as they may be vegetarian but also extremely high in fat. Salads are obvious choice as well as whole grain bread or rolls. You can often find meatless dishes such as a spinach lasagna or fettuccini alfredo. Also, many places now are offering vegetarian burgers and extensive salad bars complete with chickpeas and other beans, even vegetarian chili.

A common myth is that it is difficult to be a Lacto-Vegetarian because of the changes in lifestyle and food intake it requires. However with all the focus today on eating healthier finding vegetarian products that are readily available has become as easy as shopping at your local supermarket. While itís true for some things you may need to visit a natural foods shop, most things are available in the fresh, canned or frozen section of your grocer. You can even buy beans and lentils in cans now instead of having to soak dried beans for hours to make that delicious bean soup youíve been craving.

Another plus to the Lacto-Vegetarian lifestyle is that generally vegetables take less time to cook and prepare than meat does so you may find your get dinner on the table quicker and easier than ever. Since most vegetarian dishes use fresh foods you may find your food tastes better and you feel satisfied eating less.

Whatever your reason for embarking on a Lacto-vegetarian path you have chosen an important lifestyle. Keeping on top of nutritional requirements and making sure you continue other healthy behaviors such as regular exercise will help you stay fit and healthy well into old age.