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    Greek-Style Vegan Feta

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    Greek-Style Vegan Feta

    This vegan feta recipe has the classic tangy, salty, savory flavors and firm-crumbly texture of classic feta but without any of the dairy. It’s surprisingly easy to make with a block of extra-firm tofu and a few pantry staples. Crumble into salads and wraps, serve on top of crostini, or toss into pasta.

    Every time I’ve ordered a Greek salad since going vegan, it’s felt a little lackluster. It’s always nice and light, but it without any feta, it lacks the same salty, briny, tangy bite that a classic Greek salad has.

    But, this vegan feta has the same savory tanginess of traditional feta (and lots of herby Greek flavor) but without any of the dairy!

    It’s surprisingly simple to make, packed with protein thanks to tofu, can be served in small cubes or crumbled, and will stay good in the fridge for a week. To know more about it you can follow this website

    Why you’ll love this recipe 

    Easy. This recipe could hardly be simpler – just press a block of extra firm tofu, dice it into cubes, then let it hang out it in a special marinade in the fridge, and you’re set!

    Wholesome. This vegan feta is a nourishing, protein-packed alternative to dairy-based feta, with none of the lactose but all of the salty and savory flavor.

    Versatile. This vegan feta is great in salads (especially a watermelon or cucumber salad), grain bowls, and couscous dishes. It’s also delightful on top of flatbreads or pizzas. Or you could stuff it into pasta, eggplant, zucchini, or tomatoes, or even add it to a side of roasted or grilled vegetables.

    And it would be a fabulous way to jazz up my Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad as well as the Greek Gigantes Plaki in my cookbook, The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook!

    Greek-Style Vegan Feta

    How to make this tofu feta 

    Remove tofu from packaging and drain any excess liquid.

    Wrap the tofu in a clean dish towel or several layers of paper towels, then weigh it down with a heavy cookbook, or a large plate weighed down by a few cans of beans. Press the tofu for 1 hour, changing the towels in between. If you have a tofu press, you can use that for 20 to 30 minutes, releasing and then re-setting the clamps halfway through.

    Slice the tofu into 4 vertical slabs, then slice vertically again so you have 8 slabs. Then, dice each slab into small bite-sized cubes.

    Add the ingredients for the marinade to a medium bowl: miso paste, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast, spices, and salt/pepper. Whisk well until the miso is well incorporated.

    Transfer the diced tofu to a container large enough to hold it, or to a large mason jar. Pour the marinade on top, close the lid, and shake back and forth to distribute the marinade.

    Allow the tofu feta to marinate in the fridge for 12 to 48 hours (I recommend 48 hours).

    Tips for making this vegan feta

    Don’t skimp on pressing the tofu.

    Pressing the tofu well is important to successfully making this recipe. Pressing the tofu removes water from the tofu, making the texture firmer and allowing the flavors in the marinade to fully absorb.

    Marinate the feta for 48 hours if you can.

    You can marinate for as little as 12 hours, but the longer it rests, the more the flavors develop and the more it has the briny, salty taste like feta. I prefer to marinate for 48 hours.

    More Vegan Cheese Recipes

    • Fermented Cashew Cheese: one of the most unique and delicious vegan cheese recipes you’ll try! It’s sliceable and spreadable and has so much savory, cheesy flavor!
    • Vegan Queso: 10ish ingredients and 5 minutes of work is all you need for the BEST vegan queso. Great in burritos, tacos, quesadillas, or just as a dip with tortilla chips.
    • Butternut cheese sauce: used in my crispy baked mac cheese, but also great as an all-purpose cheese sauce!
    • Smoky, spreadable cheese: find this easy spreadable recipe in my “pantry quesadillas” recipe

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How should I use vegan feta?

    In all kinds of salads, grain bowls, and wraps! It’s particularly good in my Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad (feta and orzo are a natural match!), Grilled Corn Salad, and Instant Pot Couscous and Lentil Salad.

    In summer, we love making a classic watermelon feta salad. Simply mix watermelon cubes or wedges with torn cucumbers, add fresh mint and basil, along with the vegan feta. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, season to taste with salt and pepper, and enjoy a delicious bite of summer!

    If you have my cookbook The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook, you’ll see the vegan feta gets served along the Gigantes Plaki (giant Greek beans stewed in tomatoes…so so good!).

    For a simple lunch idea, stuff pita pockets or wraps with hummus, chickpeas or lentils, crunchy raw or pickled veggies, and vegan feta!

    You can also toss vegan feta into pasta and pasta salads. If you’re having guests over, use it to round out a Mediterranean mezze platter or use it to make a Greek spin on bruschetta.

    Can I omit the oil or substitute it?

    I personally wouldn’t, as feta naturally has some fat, and we want to mimic that rich mouthfeel (tofu is pretty low in fat, especially compared to animal-based feta). That said, at least one reader substituted aquafaba with oil and enjoyed the results (peep the comments!). So, if you’re oil-free, that’s an option!

    How long does the vegan feta last?

    Store the feta in the fridge in its marinade, and it will stay fresh for about 7 days.

    Vegan Feta

    This vegan feta recipe has the classic tangy, salty, savory flavors and firm-crumbly texture of classic feta but without any of the dairy. It’s surprisingly easy to make with a block of extra-firm tofu and a few pantry staples. Crumble into salads and wraps, serve on top of crostini, or toss into pasta.


    • 1 14-ounce block of extra-firm tofu
    • 2 1/2 tablespoons white miso paste brought to room temperature
    • 1/3 cup 76 mL apple cider vinegar
    • 1/4 cup 60 mL lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 4 garlic cloves crushed
    • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
    • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional


    • Drain the tofu and slice vertically into 4 slabs. Line a cutting board with a few layers of paper towels or a clean dish towel. Place the tofu slabs on top, wrap the tofu in more paper towels or a clean dish towel, then weigh the tofu down with a heavy cookbook, or a large plate weighed down by a few cans of beans (or use a tofu press). Press the tofu for at least 30 minutes (I usually leave it for an hour), changing the towels in between.
    • Once pressed, cut the tofu into small cubes (you don’t want large cubes).
    • In a medium bowl for which you have a lid, whisk together the miso, vinegar, lemon juice, oil, garlic, nutritional yeast, oregano, onion powder, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using) until the miso paste is dissolved. Add the tofu pieces to the marinade (you can also add the tofu to a large glass jar and pour the marinade on top). Mix well, shaking the bowl or jar, but don’t break up the tofu.
    • Refrigerate for at least 12 hours, but preferably for 48 hours. The longer, the brinier it’ll taste, like classic feta. It will stay good in the fridge for up to 7 days.

    Nutrition Info

    Calories: 85kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 295mg | Potassium: 159mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 54IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg

    What Exactly Is Vegan Cheese?

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    What Exactly Is Vegan Cheese?

    If you’re following a vegan or plant-based diet but hankering for some cheese, you may not need to skip it. While real cheese traditionally comes from the milk of cows, goats or sheep, alternatives made with nuts, nutritional yeast and vegetable oils are popping up. Thank food technology, human ingenuity and the popularity of vegan diets for bringing cheese into the dairy-free world. But what exactly is vegan cheese and what do you need to know before you try it? So keep reading on this site to know more about it.

    What Ingredients Are in Vegan Cheese?

    Vegan cheeses are 100 percent animal-free and made using vegetable proteins. Usually they’re made from soy; nuts, such as cashews and macadamias; and vegetable oils, such as coconut oil. You can also find cheeses that derive from agar, tapioca, peas and arrowroot.

    The ingredient list on some vegan cheeses may raise the eyebrows of those trying their best to eat clean and minimally processed foods. Many contain added starches and thickeners such as carrageenan and xanthan gum.

    What Exactly Is Vegan Cheese?

    How Is Vegan Cheese Made?

    When vegan cheesemakers first began creating vegan cheese, the main goal was to make it look like traditional cheese. But over time, they realized that wasn’t going to cut it. They had to figure out ways to make the animal-free cheese taste and act more like the real deal-think melting on toast.

    Vegan cheese is created using a process that shares some similar steps with traditional cheesemaking-sans animal milk, of course.

    Plant proteins are separated using bacteria. Then ingredients such as oils and thickeners are added to help create the desired cheeselike consistency.

    Just like traditional cheeses, the next big thing needed for a tasty vegan cheese is time. The vegetable protein and bacteria sit and break down further. Unlike the animal proteins in dairy cheeses, however, those in vegan cheeses don’t naturally bond to one another. The result is flavors that tend to not be as complex and unique.

    Does Vegan Cheese Taste Like Cheese?

    The biggest thing you’ll notice with your dairy-free cheese is that it doesn’t melt quite the same. Don’t expect quite the same ooey-gooey experience when you top your pizza with vegan cheese. Keep in mind that all brands are different, so if you try one brand you don’t like, don’t give up on the rest. Vegan cheesemakers are coming up with new processes all the time that are making these cheeses taste even more like the traditional stuff.

    Is Vegan Cheese Healthy?

    If you’re avoiding regular cheese because of the saturated fat, you may not need to. Recent research shows cheese may actually be good for your health and reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Vegan cheeses are typically lower in fat, protein and calcium than regular cheese and are likely gluten-free. Because vegan cheese is a processed food, it tends to be higher in sodium, so check your labels. Vegans can’t count on vegan cheese as a protein source, the way that vegetarians may sometimes rely on regular cheese. So while it’s not a super vegan health food the way kale and lentils are, vegans may rejoice in eating pizza, grilled cheese and queso dip again.

    What Are the Best Brands of Vegan Cheese?

    We reached out to vegan cookbook author Dreena Burton of Plant Powered Kitchen and The Colorful Kitchen blogger Ilene Godofsky Moreno to find out their recommendations for the best vegan cheeses on the market. Here’s what they said:

    Vegan Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan substitutes vary from simple shakers made with blends of nutritional yeast and nuts by companies like Parma to more authentic-looking shreds and wedges from Violife, Burton says.

    Vegan Mozzarella Cheese: “Miyoko’s Kitchen Fresh Italian-Style Vegan Mozz is the real deal,” Moreno says. “The texture is eerily similar to traditional mozzarella, and it’s delicious fresh in a caprese salad or melted on pizza.” Burton agrees that Miyoko’s Kitchen makes a terrific mozzarella substitute.

    Vegan Cheddar Cheese: Moreno’s go-to Cheddar is Daiya Cheddar shreds: “It gets super melty when grilled in a sandwich or mixed into pasta.” Other good brands of melty vegan cheeses, according to Burton, include Follow Your Heart and So Delicious.

    Vegan Ricotta Cheese: Kite Hill has nailed the unique texture of ricotta cheese, Moreno says. “My mom recently started swapping out the traditional ricotta in her famous lasagna for Kite Hill’s vegan version, and no one in my family could even tell the difference!”

    Vegan Cream Cheese: Tofutti and Go Veggie are among the best companies offering soy-based cream cheeses, says Burton, who also recommends trying out artisanal nut-based cream cheeses.

    Many artisanal cheeses have their own unique flavors that you may enjoy, so if you’re looking for a fun Friday night activity, buy a few and create an at-home cheese plate taste test.

    “I think artisanal cheeses are the best representation of plant-based cheese because the flavors generally taste very real and fresh,” Burton says. “They come in outstanding flavor varieties and their textures rival any dairy cheeses.” She recommends checking out varieties by Treeline, Dr-Cow and Punk Rawk Labs.

    Is peanut butter vegan? It’s not as simple as you think

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    Is peanut butter vegan? It's not as simple as you think

    Of course, we know the basics of following a vegan diet – absolutely no animal products. This means no meat, no fish, no dairy products, and no eggs. But there are products that may catch you out, like honey or peanut butter.

    Peanut butter is a wildly popular condiment and ingredient which is favoured for the rich taste it offers to a wide range of dishes, a delectably creamy texture, and a surprisingly impressive nutrient profile.

    Peanut butter is a highly versatile spread that works well in a range of recipes. From sweet treats like cookies and smoothies to savoury dips like satay, you may be wondering if a vegan can incorporate one of the world’s favourite things into their diet; and with so many brands on the market today, all offering different styles, you may be unsure which brands, if any, are vegan.

    In order to help you get to the bottom of this dilemma, this‘s article will discuss and investigate whether all commercially available peanut butter is vegan. So, is all peanut butter vegan?

    Is peanut butter vegan? It's not as simple as you think

    Most peanut butter is, indeed, vegan

    In fact, most types of peanut butter in your local supermarket will be made from a few simple ingredients – roasted peanuts, oils, and salt. Some brands may decide to include other additives and ingredients in order to enhance the flavour or preserve the product for longer, and this can include molasses, sugar, or agave syrup – all of which are luckily vegan.

    This does indeed mean that many types of peanut butter that you see are free of animal products and can still be included as part of your vegan diet. Some brands of peanut butter that are vegan friendly include:

    • Meridian
    • Whole Earth
    • Sun-Pat
    • Pip & Nut
    • Manilife

    Please be aware that this is not an exhaustive list of all the brands of vegan peanut butter available in your local supermarket – many own brands and other brands not listed here are indeed vegan, just make sure to check the label!

    Some types of peanut butter are not vegan

    Although a majority of peanut butter brands are vegan, some may actually include animal products for a range of reasons. One of the most common animal product additives is honey – which is typically excluded from vegan diets as it is produced by bees and, therefore, considered an animal product.

    Although less common, some kinds of peanut butter also have omega-3 fatty acid supplements, which are sourced from fish like anchovies or sardines. Furthermore, other brands use cane sugar in the product itself. Although sugar is vegan, cane sugar is sometimes filtered and bleached with bone char; rendering it non-vegan.

    Unfortunately, some brands of peanut butter may have completely vegan ingredients but are prepared in facilities that also process non-vegan products; increasing the risk of cross-contamination. Although some vegans don’t mind consuming products that may contain trace amounts of animal products, due to cross-contamination, many do choose to exclude these items from their diet.

    Is all peanut butter vegan? How you can know for definite

    The easiest and fastest way to determine whether or not your favourite brand of peanut butter is vegan friendly is to check the ingredient list. Non-vegan peanut butter brands will include things like honey, fish oil, and even gelatine – all of which you should steer clear from if you’re following a vegan diet.

    Some products may also be labelled as certified vegan, which ensures they do not contain any animal products and have not been tested on animals, but also shows that they do not contain products that are filtered and bleached with bone char.

    Although some products may be labelled as vegan, they may be processed in facilities that also process animal products. In these instances, in order to qualify for vegan certification, these brands are required to verify that any shared machinery is thoroughly cleaned in order to prevent cross-contamination.

    If you aren’t sure whether a product is definitively vegan or not, another way to check is to get in touch with the company or manufacturer to directly address your concerns.

    7 Fantastic Health Benefits of Eating Vegan

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    7 Fantastic Health Benefits of Eating Vegan

    Eating meat, dairy, and eggs doesn’t just harm animals and the environment – it can also have a negative impact on our health. Eating processed meat increases our chances of developing cancer, and research suggests that consuming animals’ flesh, milk, and eggs could be as detrimental to our health as smoking.

    Many vegan foods are rich in plant-based protein, which doesn’t have the harmful health effects of animal-derived protein.

    Given how healthy plant-based foods can be, it’s no wonder that more and more world-class athletes and other famous names are opting to eat vegan. Check out in this‘s article some of the health benefits below:

    7 Fantastic Health Benefits of Eating Vegan

    1. Vegan foods are rich in the nutrients your body needs.

    You can get all the nutrients you need from a healthy, balanced vegan diet rich in wholefoods including fruits, vegetables, pulses, grains, nuts, and seeds. Several studies have reported that people who eat vegan tend to consume more fibre, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamins A, C, and E.

    2. Eating vegan helps reduce our risk of suffering from cancer and other diseases.

    A recent study suggests that eating vegan can help reduce our risk for disease, as plant-based foods are packed with phytochemicals – including the powerful antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. Researchers found that vegans had higher concentrations of antioxidant carotenoids, a higher proportion of total omega-3 fatty acids, and lower levels of saturated fatty acids than non-vegans, all of which are linked to positive health outcomes.

    An 11-year German study involving more than 800 vegetarian men also found that their cancer rates were less than half those of the general public.

    3. Vegan food can boost your mood.

    It’s a given that following a compassionate lifestyle that avoids harming animals will give you a clearer conscience, and studies show that vegans may actually be happier than meat-eaters. In fact, vegans and vegetarians had better scores on depression tests and mood profiles than those who ate fish and meat.

    4. Eating vegan can help you achieve a healthy body weight.

    Vegan foods tend to be lower in calories than animal-derived ones, making it easier to achieve a healthy body weight without actively focusing on cutting calories. Most vegan foods contain significantly less saturated fat than animal “products” do, and many studies have shown that vegans tend to have lower body mass indexes than non-vegans.

    5. It can help prevent type 2 diabetes.

    Research has shown that people who eat vegan tend to have lower blood sugar levels than non-vegans and may reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 78%. Consuming plenty of healthy plant-based foods can also help mitigate the risk factors associated with developing diabetes, such as obesity.

    6. Your skin may benefit, too.

    Who doesn’t want a glowing complexion? When it comes to skin issues, one of the worst culprits is dairy – multiple studies have shown that dairy consumption exacerbates acne in both men and women. Aside from ditching dairy, vegans typically eat more fruit and vegetables, which means they get more of the good stuff that’s needed for healthy skin, such as antioxidants and vitamins.

    7. Eating vegan can reduce the pain of arthritis.

    Studies have shown that a diet high in healthy vegan foods can help reduce the symptoms of arthritis, since consuming animal-derived foods is linked to pain-causing inflammation. Eating probiotic plant-based foods such as fermented vegetables and non-dairy yogurts with live cultures can boost the good bacteria in the large intestine, also helping to boost nutrient absorption and reduce inflammation.

    15 healthiest vegetables: Nutrition and health benefits

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    15 healthiest vegetables: Nutrition and health benefits

    There is no single most healthy vegetable, but eating a variety of vegetables can improve health and well-being. Nutritious options to try adding to the diet include spinach, peas, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.

    All vegetables contain healthful vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber — but some stand out for their exceptional benefits.

    Specific vegetables may offer more health advantages to certain people, depending on their diets, overall health, and nutritional needs.

    In this‘s article, we look at 15 of the most healthful vegetables and suggest ways to enjoy them as part of a balanced diet.

    1. Spinach

    Spinach is a leafy green vegetable and a great source of calcium, vitamins, iron, and antioxidants.

    Due to its iron and calcium content, spinach is a great addition to any meat- or dairy-free diet.

    One cup of raw spinach is mostly made up of water and contains only 7 caloriesTrusted Source. It also provides:

    • an adult’s full daily requirementTrusted Source of vitamin K
    • high amounts of vitamin A
    • vitamin C
    • magnesium
    • folate
    • iron
    • calcium
    • antioxidants

    Vitamin K is essential for a healthy body — especially for strong bones, as it improves the absorption of calcium.

    Spinach also provides a good amount of iron for energy and healthy blood, and a high level of magnesium for muscle and nerve function.

    It is also rich in antioxidants, and researchTrusted Source suggests that spinach leaves may lower blood pressure and benefit heart health.

    If a person is taking blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin), they should use caution when increasing their intake of dark leafy greens. Doctors recommend maintaining a consistent vitamin K intake over time for people taking these medications.

    How to eat spinach

    People enjoy spinach raw in salads, sandwiches, and smoothies. Cooked spinach also has significant health benefits and is a great addition to pasta dishes and soups.

    2. Kale

    Kale is a very popular leafy green vegetable with several health benefits. It provides around 7 caloriesTrusted Source per cup of raw leaves and good amounts of vitamins A, C, and K.

    Kale may benefit people with high cholesterol. One small 2008 study reports that males with high cholesterol who drank 150 milliliters of kale juice each day for 12 weeks experienced a 10% reduction in low-density lipoprotein, or “bad,” cholesterol and a 27% increase in high-density lipoprotein, or “good,” cholesterol.

    Research from 2015Trusted Source, meanwhile, suggests that kale juice can reduce blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.

    If a person is taking blood thinners, such as Coumadin, they should use caution when increasing their intake of dark leafy greens. It is best to maintain a consistent vitamin K intake while taking these medications.

    How to eat kale

    People use baby kale in pasta dishes, salads, and sandwiches. A person may also enjoy kale chips or juice.

    3. Broccoli

    Broccoli is an incredibly healthful vegetable that belongs to the same family as cabbage, kale, and cauliflower. These are all cruciferous vegetables.

    Each cup of chopped and boiled broccoli contains:

    • around 31 caloriesTrusted Source
    • the full daily requirement of vitamin K
    • twice the daily recommended amount of vitamin C

    According to the National Cancer InstituteTrusted Source, animal research has found that certain chemicals, called indoles and isothiocyanates, in cruciferous vegetables may inhibit the development of cancer in several organs, including the bladder, breasts, liver, and stomach.

    These compounds may protect cells from DNA damage, inactivate cancer-causing agents, and have anti-inflammatory effects. However, research in humans has been mixed.

    How to eat broccoli

    Broccoli is very versatile. People can roast it, steam it, fry it, blend it into soups, or enjoy it warm in salads.

    4. Peas

    Peas are a sweet, starchy vegetable. They contain 134 caloriesTrusted Source per cooked cup, and they are rich in:

    • fiber, providing 9 grams (g) per serving
    • protein, providing 9 g per serving
    • vitamins A, C, and K
    • certain B vitamins

    Green peas are a good source of plant-based protein, which may be especially beneficial for people with vegetarian or vegan diets.

    Peas and other legumes contain fiber, which supports good bacteria in the gut and helps ensure regular bowel movements and a healthy digestive tract.

    They are also rich in saponins, plant compounds that may help protect againstTrusted Source oxidative stress and cancer.

    How to eat peas

    It might be handy to keep a bag of peas in the freezer and gradually use them to boost the nutritional profiles of pasta dishes, risottos, and curries. A person might also enjoy a refreshing pea and mint soup.

    5. Sweet potatoes

    Sweet potatoes are root vegetables. Baked in its skin, a medium sweet potato provides 103 caloriesTrusted Source and 0.17 g of fat.

    Each sweet potato also contains:

    • much more than an adult’s daily requirement of vitamin A
    • 25% of their vitamin C and B6 requirements
    • 12% of their potassium requirement
    • beta carotene, which may improve eye health and help fight cancer

    Sweet potatoes may be a good option for people with diabetes. This is because they are low on the glycemic index and rich in fiber, so they may help regulate blood sugar.

    How to eat sweet potatoes

    For a simple meal, bake a sweet potato in its skin and serve it with a source of protein, such as fish or tofu.

    15 healthiest vegetables: Nutrition and health benefits

    6. Beets

    One cup of raw beets contains:

    • 58.5 caloriesTrusted Source
    • 442 milligrams (mg) of potassium
    • 148 micrograms of folate

    Beets and beet juice are great for improving heart health, as the vegetable is rich in heart-healthy nitrates. A small 2012 studyTrusted Source reports that drinking 500 g of beet juice significantly lowered blood pressure in healthy people.

    These vegetables may also benefit people with diabetes. Beets contain an antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid, which might be helpfulTrusted Source for people with diabetes-related nerve problems, called diabetic neuropathy.

    How to eat beets

    Roasting beets brings out their natural sweetness, but they also taste great raw in juices, salads, and sandwiches.

    7. Carrots

    Each cup of chopped carrots contains 52 caloriesTrusted Source and over four times an adult’s daily recommended intake of vitamin A, in the form of beta carotene.

    Vitamin A is vital for healthy eyesight, and getting enough of this nutrient may help prevent vision loss.

    Certain nutrients in carrots may also have cancer-fighting properties. A 2018 reviewTrusted Source of 10 articles reports that dietary carrot intake was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer.

    How to eat carrots

    Carrots are extremely versatile. They work well in casseroles and soups, and they provide great health benefits when eaten raw, possibly with a dip such as hummus.

    8. Fermented vegetables

    Fermented vegetables provide all the nutrients of their unfermented counterparts as well as healthful doses of probiotics.

    Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are present in the body and in some foods and supplements. Some researchers believe that they can improve gut health.

    According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative HealthTrusted Source, probiotics may help with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. They may also prevent infection- or antibiotic-induced diarrhea.

    Some good vegetables for fermentation include:

    • cabbage, as sauerkraut
    • cucumbers, as pickles
    • carrots
    • cauliflower

    How to eat fermented vegetables

    People eat fermented vegetables in salads, sandwiches, or as a side dish.

    9. Tomatoes

    Although tomatoes are technically a fruit, most people treat them like vegetables and use them in savory dishes. Each cup of chopped, raw tomatoes contains:

    • 32 caloriesTrusted Source
    • 427 mg of potassium
    • 24.7 mg of vitamin C

    Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. ResearchTrusted Source suggests that lycopene may help prevent prostate cancer, and the beta carotene in tomatoes also helps combat cancer.

    Meanwhile, other potent antioxidants in tomatoes, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, may protect vision.

    The Age-Related Eye Disease StudyTrusted Source reports that people who have high dietary intakes of these substances have a 25% reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration.

    How to eat tomatoes

    People enjoy tomatoes raw or cooked, and cooking them releases more lycopene.

    10. Garlic

    People have long used garlic in cooking and medicine. Each garlic clove contains just 4 caloriesTrusted Source and is low in vitamins and minerals.

    However, garlic is a natural antibiotic. For example, a 2018 reviewTrusted Source notes that people have used garlic for purposes similar to those of antibiotics since the 16th century.

    Allium, a component of garlic, may be the source of its health benefits. Confirming this will require more research.

    How to eat garlic

    Heating garlic reduces its health benefits, so it is best to eat garlic raw, in bruschetta or dips, for example.

    11. Onions

    Each cup of chopped onions can provideTrusted Source:

    • 64 calories
    • vitamin C
    • vitamin B6
    • manganese

    Onions and other allium vegetables, including garlic, contain sulfur compounds. Review studies, including a 2019 reviewTrusted Source and a 2015 reviewTrusted Source, suggest that these compounds may help protect against cancer.

    How to eat onions

    It can be easy to incorporate onions into soups, stews, stir-fries, and curries. To get the most from their antioxidants, eat them raw — in sandwiches, salads, and dips such as guacamole.

    12. Alfalfa sprouts

    Each cup of alfalfa sprouts contains only 8 caloriesTrusted Source and a good amount of vitamin K.

    These sprouts also boast several compounds that contribute to good health, including:

    • saponins, a type of bitter compound with health benefits
    • flavonoids, a type of polyphenol known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects
    • phytoestrogens, plant compounds that are similar to natural estrogens

    Traditionally, some have used alfalfa sprouts to treat a range of health conditions, such as arthritis and kidney problems. However, very few scientific investigations have explored these uses.

    Research suggests that alfalfa sprouts contain antioxidants, which are compounds that may help fight diseases including cancer and heart disease.

    Eating sprouted legumes such as these may have other benefits. StudiesTrusted Source suggest that sprouting, or germinating, seeds increases their protein and amino acid contents.

    Germination may also improveTrusted Source the digestibility of alfalfa and other seeds and increase their dietary fiber content.

    How to eat alfalfa sprouts

    People enjoy alfalfa sprouts in salads and sandwiches.

    13. Bell peppers

    Sweet bell peppers may be red, yellow, or orange. Unripe, green bell peppers are also popular, though they taste less sweet.

    A cup of chopped red bell pepper provides:

    • 39 caloriesTrusted Source
    • 190 mg of vitamin C
    • 0.434 mg of vitamin B6
    • folate
    • beta carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A

    Antioxidants and bioactive chemicals present in bell peppers includeTrusted Source:

    • ascorbic acid
    • carotenoids
    • vitamin C
    • beta carotene
    • flavonoids, such as quercetin and kaempferol

    How to eat bell peppers

    Bell peppers are extremely versatile and can be easy to incorporate into pasta, scrambled eggs, or a salad. A person might also enjoy them sliced with a side of guacamole or hummus.

    14. Cauliflower

    One cup of chopped cauliflower contains:

    • 27 caloriesTrusted Source
    • plenty of vitamin C
    • vitamin K
    • fiber

    The American Heart AssociationTrusted Source recommend eating 25 g of dietary fiber each day to promote heart and gut health.

    Also, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables contain an antioxidant called indole-3-carbinol. ResearchTrusted Source has linked this compound with cancer-combatting effects in animals. However, confirming the effects in humans requires more research.

    And like broccoli, cauliflower contains another compound that may help combat cancer: sulforaphane.

    How to eat cauliflower

    A person can pulse raw cauliflower in a blender to make cauliflower rice or turn it into a pizza base for a low-calorie, comforting treat. People may also enjoy cauliflower in curries or baked with olive oil and garlic.

    15. Seaweed

    Seaweed, also known as sea vegetables, are versatile and nutritious plants that provide several health benefits. Common types of seaweed include:

    • kelp
    • nori
    • sea lettuce
    • spirulina
    • wakame

    Seaweed is one of the few plant-based sources of the omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid. These are essential for health and are mostly present in meat and dairy.

    Each type of seaweed has a slightly different nutritional profile, but they are typically rich in iodine, which is an essential nutrient for thyroid function.

    Eating a variety of sea vegetables can provide the body with several important antioxidants to reduce cellular damage.

    Also, many types of seaweed contain chlorophyll, which is a plant pigment that has anti-inflammatory propertiesTrusted Source.

    Brown sea vegetables, such as kelp and wakame, contain another potent antioxidant called fucoxanthin. ResearchTrusted Source suggests that this has 13.5 times the antioxidant power of vitamin E.

    How to eat seaweed

    When possible, choose organic seaweed and eat small amounts to avoid introducing too much iodine into the diet. People enjoy sea vegetables in sushi, miso soups, and as a seasoning for other dishes.


    Eating vegetables every day is important for health. They provide essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, such as antioxidants and fiber.

    Research consistently shows that people who eat at least 5 servings of vegetables a day have the lowest risk of many diseases, including cancer and heart disease.

    Enjoy a range of vegetables daily to reap as many health benefits as possible.

    Fruit and vegetables

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    Fruit and vegetables

    About fruit and vegetables

    Fruit and vegetables should be an important part of your daily diet. They are naturally good and contain vitamins and minerals that can help to keep you healthy. They can also help protect against some diseases. So keep reading on this site to learn more about it.

    Most Australians will benefit from eating more fruit and vegetables as part of a well-balanced, healthy diet and an active lifestyle. There are many varieties of fruit and vegetables available and many ways to prepare, cook and serve them.

    Fruit and vegetables are best bought when they are in season. Otherwise try frozen or canned vegetables as they are just as nutritious and budget-friendly as well.

    You should eat at least 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit each day. Choose different colours and varieties.

    If you are someone who doesn’t look forward to eating fruit or vegetables, start slowly with those you do like. Try serving, flavouring or cooking them in different ways. You can also disguise them in sauces, minced meals or curries.

    Fruit and vegetables

    Vitamins and minerals in fruit and vegetables

    Fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals that are good for your health. Many of these are antioxidants, and may reduce the risk of many diseases:

    • vitamin A (beta-carotene)
    • vitamin C
    • vitamin E
    • magnesium
    • zinc
    • phosphorous
    • folic acid.

    Folic acid may reduce blood levels of homocysteine, a substance that may be a risk factor for coronary heart disease.

    Research has shown that consuming these nutrients as food, within fruits and vegetables, is more beneficial for health than consuming them as supplements.

    Fruit and vegetables for good health

    Fruits and vegetables are low in fatsalt and sugar. They are a good source of dietary fibre, which can make you feel fuller for longer and prevent overconsumption of food. As part of a well-balanced, healthy diet and an active lifestyle, a high intake of fruit and vegetables can help you to:

    • reduce obesity and maintain a healthy weight
    • lower your cholesterol
    • lower your blood pressure.

    Fruit and vegetables and protection against diseases

    Vegetables and fruit contain antioxidants and phytochemicals, or plant chemicals. These biologically active substances can help to protect you from some diseases.

    Scientific research shows that if you regularly eat lots of fruit and vegetables, you have a lower risk of:

    • type 2 diabetes
    • stroke
    • heart (cardiovascular) disease
    • cancer – some forms of cancer, especially bowelstomach and throat cancers later in life
    • high blood pressure (hypertension).

    Types of fruit

    Fruit is the sweet, fleshy, edible part of a plant. It generally contains seeds. Fruits are usually eaten raw, although some varieties can be cooked. They come in a wide variety of colours, shapes and flavours. Common types of fruits that are readily available include:

    • apples and pears
    • citrus – oranges, grapefruits, mandarins and limes
    • stone fruit – nectarines, apricots, peaches and plums
    • tropical and exotic – bananas and mangoes
    • berries – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, kiwifruit and passionfruit
    • melons – watermelons, rockmelons and honeydew melons
    • tomatoes and avocados.

    Types of vegetables

    Vegetables are available in many varieties and can be classified into biological groups or ‘families’, including:

    • leafy green – lettuce, spinach and silverbeet
    • cruciferous – cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and broccoli
    • marrow – pumpkin, cucumber and zucchini
    • root – potato, sweet potato and yam
    • edible plant stem – celery and asparagus
    • allium – onion, garlic and shallot.


    Legumes or pulses contain nutrients that are especially valuable. Legumes need to be cooked before they are eaten – this improves their nutritional quality, aids digestion and eliminates any harmful toxins. Legumes come in many forms including:

    • soy products – tofu (bean curd) and soybeans
    • legume flours – chickpea flour (besan), lentil flour and soy flour
    • dried beans and peas – haricot beans, red kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils
    • fresh beans and peas – green peas, green beans, butter beans, broad beans and snow peas.

    Colours of fruits and vegetables

    Foods of similar colours generally contain similar protective compounds. Try to eat a rainbow of colourful fruits and vegetables every day to get the full range of health benefits. For example:

    • red foods – like tomatoes and watermelon. These contain lycopene, which is thought to be important for fighting prostate cancer and heart disease
    • green vegetables – like spinach and kale. These contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which may help protect against age-related eye disease
    • blue and purple foods – like blueberries and eggplant. These contain anthocyanins, which may help protect the body from cancer
    • white foods – like cauliflower. These contain sulforaphane and may also help protect against some cancers.

    Selecting fruits and vegetables

    To maximise nutrients and appeal, buy and serve different types of fruit and vegetables. Try to buy fruits and vegetables that are in season, and choose for freshness and quality. You should:

    • Eat with the seasons – this is nature’s way of making sure our bodies get a healthy mix of nutrients and plant chemicals.
    • Try something new – try new recipes and buy new fruit or vegetables as part of your weekly shopping.
    • Let colours guide you – get different combinations of nutrients by putting a ‘rainbow’ of colours (green, white, yellow–orange, blue–purple, red) on your plate.

    Fruit and vegetable serving suggestions for your family’s health

    Some examples of serving sizes of fruits and vegetables include:

    • ½ cup cooked green or orange vegetables (for example, broccoli, spinach, carrots or pumpkin)
    • ½ cup cooked dried or canned beans, peas or lentils (preferably with no added salt)
    • 1 cup green leafy or raw salad vegetables
    • 1 medium apple, banana, orange or pear
    • 2 small apricots, kiwi fruits or plums
    • 1 cup diced or canned fruit (no added sugar)
    • 125ml (½ cup) fruit juice (no added sugar) – only occasionally
    • 30g dried fruit (for example, 4 dried apricot halves, 1½ tablespoons of sultanas) – only occasionally.

    Vegetables and fruit are a handy snack food and are easily carried to work or school. Include them in everyone’s meals and snacks for a healthy, well-balanced diet. Some suggestions include:

    • Keep snack-size fruit and vegetable portions easily accessible in your fridge.
    • Keep fresh fruit on the bench or table.
    • Add fruit and vegetables to your favourite family recipes or as additions to your usual menus.
    • Use the colour and texture of a variety of fruit and vegetables to add interest to your meals.
    • Think up new ways to serve fruits and vegetables. Try serving, flavouring or cooking them in different ways. You can also disguise them in sauces, minced meals or curries.
    • Frozen or canned vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh, and are a convenient, budget friendly option as well.
    • Make simple changes every day. Try adding salad to sandwiches, or having extra vegetables with dinner.

    Some simple ways to serve fruits and vegetables include:

    • fruit and vegetable salads
    • vegetable or meat-and-vegetable stir-fries
    • raw fruit and vegetables
    • vegetable soups
    • snack pack, stewed or canned fruits or dried fruits.

    Limit fruit juice, as it does not contain the same amount of nutrients as fresh fruit. It also contains a lot of sugars. These sugars are not necessarily good for your health, even though they are ‘natural’. Instead, have a drink of water and a serve of fruit.

    Preparation and cooking of fruit and vegetables

    Vegetables are often cooked, although some kinds are eaten raw. Cooking and processing can damage some nutrients and phytochemicals in plant foods.

    Suggestions to get the best out of your fruit and vegetables include:

    • Eat raw vegetables and fruits if possible.
    • Try fruit or vegetables pureed into smoothies.
    • Use a sharp knife to cut fresh fruits to avoid bruising.
    • Cut off only the inedible parts of vegetables – sometimes the best nutrients are found in the skin, just below the skin or in the leaves.
    • Use stir-fry, grill, microwave, bake or steam methods with non-stick cookware and mono-unsaturated oils.
    • Do not overcook, to reduce nutrient loss.
    • Serve meals with vegetable pestos, salsas, chutneys and vinegars in place of sour cream, butter and creamy sauces.

    Some nutrients such as carotenoids may actually be increased if food is cooked. For example, tomato has more carotenoids, especially lycopene, when it is cooked – a good reason to prepare fruits and vegetables in a variety of ways.

    Once you’ve prepared and cooked your vegetables and fruit, spend some time on presentation. People are more likely to enjoy a meal if it’s full of variety and visually appealing, as well as tasty.

    Meals with others tend to include more foods from the 5 food groups. For example, people often report that they can’t be bothered cooking vegetables just for themselves.

    Sit at the table to eat and enjoy your food without distractions like television. Television watching is associated with eating more discretionary choices like takeaway or convenience foods and fewer foods from the 5 food groups. It also makes it much more difficult to recognise and respond to our body’s signals about hunger and fullness (satiety).

    Daily allowances of fruit and vegetables

    Different fruits and vegetables contain different nutrients. The Australian dietary guidelines recommend that adults eat at least 5 kinds of vegetable and 2 kinds of fruit every day.

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that adults eat at least 400g, or 5 portions, of fruit and vegetables (excluding potatoes, sweet potatoes and other starchy roots) per day to reduce the risk of disease. This amount of fruits and vegetables also ensures adequate fibre intake and can also reduce total sugar intake.

    A national nutrition survey conducted by the Australian Government showed only 6.8% of Australians eat the recommended amount of vegetables, whilst just over half (54%) met the recommendations for usual serves of fruit.

    Children and teenagers have special food needs because they are growing and developing. They also need extra energy for playing and being more active. Even though they need more energy, children have a smaller stomach capacity than adults and cannot eat the same serving sizes. However, you should encourage your children to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.

    By eating well, your children will have the energy they need to play, concentrate better, learn, sleep better and build stronger teeth and bones. Building good habits in their early years can also provide the protection of a healthy diet throughout their lives.

    Childcare and school lunchboxes, like meals and snacks at home, should continue to reflect the 5 food groups and not include discretionary foods and drinks.

    These Are the Best Countries to Visit as a Vegan in 2023

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    Most Vegan-Friendly Countries in the World

    A decade ago, traveling as a vegan meant sourcing dinner from the nearest tropical fruit vendor, making rice and beans in a hotel microwave, and missing out on compulsory cultural experiences—street meat, chocolate tastings, wine tours, and all. Cut to 2023 and there are designated vegan restaurants in virtually every country. You can go to Nairobi, Kenya and find vegan mac and cheese (yep, really), or travel to the literal edge of the Arctic Circle and feast on falafel. Rice and beans be damned.

    I went vegan five years ago at a campground in New Zealand. Even then, options were limited to $3 avocados and alt milk at the odd coffeeshop. Now, New Zealand travelers have meatless pies, gelatin-free pick ‘n’ mix, and more than one brand of soy or nut milk in their arsenals. They might never even have to chop a whole pumpkin and cook it on a camping stove, those lucky bastards.

    It’s true: Despite our penchant for announcing our veganism to the world, being one of those people is no longer fringe or different. But in losing our edge we’ve gained an infinity of food options in every corner of the world, so, hey, I’ll take it. So‘s here are the best countries to feast on vegan food now that living on vegetables is not only acceptable but cool. –Olivia Young

    Most Vegan-Friendly Countries in the World

    United Kingdom

    Never mind the power that clotted cream, Sunday roasts, and shepherd’s pie once had over Great Britain’s past—this historically meat-loving kingdom has evolved into a vegan mecca. A number of places, like Sutton and Sons, even make their beloved “fish” and chips with seaweed-wrapped banana blossoms now.

    London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Bristol repeatedly rank as some of the most vegan-forward cities in the world. London held the top spot on HappyCow’s 2022 list, not least because it’s home to a whopping 165 fully vegan restaurants within a six-mile radius of the city. Enjoy an internationally-inspired, colorful meal at Mildred’s, which transitioned to a fully vegan menu in 2021, or go for some comforting mac n’ cheese at Wulf & Lamb. Then, when you’re in need of something sweet, indulge in a vegan sourdough donut at Crosstown. Another reason to visit? You’ll never be far from a McDonald’s McPlant burger, a Greggs no-sausage roll, or the famed Burger King Vegan Royale “chicken burger.” Road trip junk food, sorted.


    Plant-based travelers might be surprised to find this East African industrial agriculture and food-processing hub on this vegan-centric list—after all, Ethiopia lays claim to one of the continent’s largest concentration of cattle farms. But thanks to the longstanding prevalence of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, which counts upwards of 45% of the population as professed members, vegan meals are very easy to come by. The religion requires that believers fast for 200 to 250 days per year, but instead of abstaining from all food like other traditions mandate, Ethiopian Orthodoxy only prohibits animal products. That means that depending on the season, vegan options abound, especially in larger cities like Addis Ababa where Happy Cow lists a host of options (don’t miss the daily vegan lunch buffet at the deeply historic Taitu Hotel).

    In terms of national cuisine, it’s rare to come across cheese or eggs, though butter or clarified ghee does sometimes come into play (many restaurants have switched over to vegetable oil, which is cheaper and more inclusive). Injera, the spongy fermented flatbread commonly used as both utensil and plate, is made from iron-rich teff flour and adds a hearty plant-based edge to any dish. Spices are also plentiful, and blends like Ethiopia’s signature berbere light up veggie staples like chickpea-fueled shiro, misir wat, a red lentil stew, and turmeric-laced kik alicha, a fragrant yellow split pea curry. When in doubt, just load up on yetsom beyaynetu, a combo platter spanning several different fasting-friendly (AKA vegan) dishes.

    The Netherlands

    In a country known for its spinning windmills and breezy cycling, it’s no surprise that even the Dutch government backs sustainable eating habits. You’ll find a number of vegan innovations at supermarkets across the country—look out for brands like The Vegetarian Butcher and Vivera—and, of course, a multitude of vegan restaurants in the country’s capital city.

    HappyCow lists Amsterdam as one of the fastest-growing vegan cities, with 78% increase in just a three-year span. A trip to the Dutch capital would not be complete without a technicolor burger at Vegan Junk Food Bar, which now has five locations across the Netherlands. For vegan takes on classic sweets, check out the pancakes at Mr. Stacks or stroopwafels at Van Holland. And if you’re not keen on scouring the city for plant-based meals, The Guardian ranked Vegotel, located in northern Holland, as one of the best vegan hotels in Europe.


    Another country known for its colorful, spice-filled cuisine and associations with vegetarian-leaning religions is India. A vegan simply can’t go hungry in the birthplace of chana masala, aloo gobi, aloo matar, and dal. Just watch out for that sneaky South Asian cooking staple, ghee, and you might even manage the trip without accidental dairy ingestion.

    India is thought to have the most vegetarians globally, with up to 42% of the population avoiding meat products. There are almost 100 fully vegan restaurants throughout the country, the highest concentration being in Mumbai, Bangalore, and, unsurprisingly, Auroville, a hippy-dippy “utopia” that’s been described as a year-round Burning Man festival.


    Australia is a strange place for a vegan. It continues to be one of the world’s top meat-consuming countries, with savory pies, fish and chips, and “shrimp on the barbie” reigning supreme. But it’s also the world’s third fastest-growing plant-based market and home to one of the most iconic vegan fast food institutions of all time, Lord of the Fries. (Don’t dare underestimate the deliciousness of the meatless Chicago dog, best washed down with a peanut butter shake.)

    HappyCow listed both Melbourne as their fourth most veg-friendly city, and Sydney continues to show promise. Besides greasy burger joints, you’ll find a slew of whole-foods kitchens, including Melbourne’s Vegie Bar as well as Sydney’s Kindness Vegan and Bodhi in the Park.


    Thailand is synonymous with the start and end point of the Banana Pancake Trail, a backpacking route that circumnavigates Southeast Asia by way of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. The travel scene here has long been associated with soul-searching, elephant-pant-wearing backpackers. In other words, vegans.

    It can be difficult to source a meatless meal in some of the more remote regions—you might not be able to avoid being served eggy fried rice on account of the language barrier—but urban areas have “jays” (Thai for vegan restaurants) galore. Bangkok and the island city of Phuket are exceedingly vegan-friendly, and their northern counterpart Chiang Mai has been called the “vegan capital of Asia.” Red and yellow signs reading เจ mark vegan eateries around every corner.


    Veganism and kosher share some of the same principles, and Israel is home to a predominant Jewish population. That is to say Israelis were eating falafel and hummus long before vegans turned chickpeas into their own food group. Even the Israeli Defense Force accommodates vegan soldiers with plant-based rations and leather-free boots.

    Tel Aviv, home to almost 100 vegan and vegetarian restaurants citywide, is certainly the vegan capital of Israel—but also, according to The Independent, the “vegan capital of the world.” Thanks to its Mediterranean climate, colorful foods burst from the ground with little coaxing and fill the vibrant shuks with scenes and smells that spark vegan joy. You’ll find no shortage of fresh salads at the many local Middle Eastern eateries, but if you find yourself overcome with a hankering for fake meat, try the New York-style vegan “steak”—or just about anything on the menu, for that matter—at the Western-inspired cocktail bar Four One Six.

    Sri Lanka

    Whoever said traveling as a vegan is expensive has never been to Sri Lanka. With the exception of seafood, most traditional cuisine here is naturally vegan. Classic dishes include eggplant moju (pickle), jackfruit curry, mallung (salad), dal, and any other combination of rice, vegetables, and native fruits—namely coconut. Whereas vegan food is considered a pricey specialty in Western society, a filling meal in Sri Lanka could cost as little as $2.

    Vegan food is so ubiquitous in Sri Lanka that plant-based restaurants are often unmarked. The 91 vegan and vegetarian restaurants listed on HappyCow are but a snapshot of the market. That said, the largest selection of vegan food will undoubtedly be found in Tamil restaurants.


    Though Germany’s traditional fare largely favors pork, today’s schnitzel and vast variety of sausages are often made without meat—to the presumed chagrin of the region’s food purists. Believe it or not, a number of German staple foods are also naturally vegan. Think sauerkraut, pretzels (with mustard rather than cheese sauce), and, obviously, beer.

    Speaking of beer: A variety of plant-based treats are available at Oktoberfest, including “cheese” spread, tomato bread, dumplings, patties, soy steak, pea schnitzel, striezel, and meatloaf. In addition to Europe’s largest beer-drinking festival, the continent’s largest vegan festival, Veganes Sommerfest Berlin, takes place in Germany every year. Happy Cow listed Berlin as its second most vegan-friendly city, and it’s not hard to understand why. Get your kebab fix at Vöner der Vegane Döner or take part in the city’s love for Vietnamese with Quy Nguyen. For the best vegan Berliner, Brammibal’s is a must. Plus, German McDonald’s is now unveiling plant-based nuggets.


    Taiwan is one of the few places vegan travelers can freely partake in street food traditions rather than gauging the makeup of mishmashed dishes by giving them the sniff test. While stalls in other Asian countries are notoriously meaty, those in Taiwan sling everything from vegan dumplings and sesame noodles to sweet potato balls and veggie soups.

    Taiwan has strict laws regarding the labeling of vegan and vegetarian food, so even though you may not understand the language, you’ll know right away which packaged foods tick all the boxes. The capital, Taipei, has 83 fully vegan restaurants and another 260 vegetarian and veg-option restaurants listed on HappyCow. The highest-rated is Shang Ding HuangJia, a stall across from Taipei Main Station, that sells the only two things you ever need to eat in Taiwan: vegetable dumplings and pan-fried buns.

    United States

    Vegan culture thrives in places like New York City, LA, Seattle, and Portland. There are nearly 50 vegan eateries within a five-mile radius of LA alone—you couldn’t walk a block without tripping over a vegan restaurant—and a staggering 111 in New York City. Vegan travelers in the Big Apple may not be able to indulge in a $2 hot dog from one of the quintessential street carts, but they will be able to try another New York staple: a big-as-your-head “fat slice” of deliciously greasy pizza courtesy of Screamer’s in Brooklyn.

    It might have taken a while for the rib-eating South to catch up with the coastal cities, but Atlanta’s Slutty Vegan burger chain and NOLA’s Original Thought food truck are proving everyone wrong. And we can’t forget about the Midwest, where The Chicago Diner (“meat free since ’83”) reigns supreme. The U.S. also boasts one of the best roaming vegan food festivals, Vegandale.


    It’s no surprise that Indonesia is a breeding ground for vegan food, with Bali being the wellness capital of the world. Buddha bowls and green juices flow through the veins of yogis and beach bums alike. It doesn’t hurt that a lot of traditional Indonesian food—tahu gimbal, peanut tofu, tempeh goreng, kering tempeh—is vegan by default.

    Although Bali is certainly one of its most veg-friendly provinces, the island of Java actually has the highest concentration of HappyCow-listed vegan restaurants in the country. Its specialty? Pepes tahu, spiced tofu steamed in banana leaves. Oh, and serabi, coconut pancakes served with palm sugar syrup. Just… yum.


    Known for its vibrant nightlife and incredible open-air markets, this bustling city-state has long been a culinary paradise. And in recent years, it’s shot up to the top of the plant-based list, boasting nearly 1000 vegan-friendly restaurants including 89 that define themselves as totally vegan, according to HappyCow.

    An amalgamation of cultural influences—namely Malay, Indian, Chinese, and European—contribute to the island’s impressive restaurant and street food scene. As for the hawker stalls, HappyCow recommends hitting up Lotus Vegetarian Kitchen, Xiu Xiu Fried Banana, e Veg 益素食, Xi Shi Fu Vegetarian 惜施福, and Bishan Vegetarian 碧山素食. If you’re looking to stock your cupboards, Everyday Vegan Grocer and 4MY, a vegan cheese shop (!!!) have your back, while more traditional options run the gamut from casual burger shops by way of VeganBurg, NomVnom Bistro, and Love Handle to cheffy, high-end presentations at Analogue Initiative. Elsewhere, raw-foodists love WakaMama, the sweets at Delcie’s Desserts and Cakes and Kind Kones steal the show, Ichigo Ichie 一期一会 whips up excellent vegan sushi, and Pan-Asian mini-chain The Kind Bowl is as soulful as it comes.

    What Every Vegan Should Know About Vitamin B12

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    What Every Vegan Should Know About Vitamin B12

    The information below was prepared by Stephen Walsh, a Vegan Society trustee, and other members of the International Vegetarian Union Science Group (IVU-SCI), in October 2001. This information may be freely reproduced but only in its entirety.


    Very low B12 intakes can cause anemia and nervous system damage. The only reliable vegan sources of B12 are foods fortified with B12 (including some plant milks, some soy products and some breakfast cereals) and B12 supplements, such as our very own VEG 1. Vitamin B12, whether in supplements, fortified foods, or animal products, comes from micro-organisms. Most vegans consume enough B12 to avoid anemia and nervous system damage, but many do not get enough to minimize potential risk of heart disease or pregnancy complications.

    To get the full benefit of a vegan diet, vegans should do one of the following:

    1. Eat fortified foods two or three times a day to get at least three micrograms (mcg or µg) of B12 a day
    2. OR  Take one B12 supplement daily providing at least 10 micrograms
    3. OR  Take a weekly B12 supplement providing at least 2000 micrograms.

    If relying on fortified foods, check the labels carefully to make sure you are getting enough B12. For example, if a fortified plant milk contains 1 microgram of B12 per serving then consuming three servings a day will provide adequate vitamin B12. Others may find the use of B12 supplements more convenient and economical.

    The less frequently you obtain B12 the more B12 you need to take, as B12 is best absorbed in small amounts. The recommendations above take full account of this. There is no harm in exceeding the recommended amounts or combining more than one option.

    Good information supports vegan health, pass it around.

    If you don’t read another word about B12, you already know all you need to know. If you want to know more, read on‘s article.

    What Every Vegan Should Know About Vitamin B12

    Vitamin B12 and vegan diets – Lessons from history

    B12 is an exceptional vitamin. It is required in smaller amounts than any other known vitamin. Ten micrograms of B12 spread over a day appears to supply as much as the body can use. In the absence of any apparent dietary supply, deficiency symptoms usually take five years or more to develop in adults, though some people experience problems within a year. A very small number of individuals with no obvious reliable source appear to avoid clinical deficiency symptoms for twenty years or more. B12 is the only vitamin that is not recognised as being reliably supplied from a varied wholefood, plant-based diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, together with exposure to sun. Many herbivorous mammals, including cattle and sheep, absorb B12 produced by bacteria in their own digestive system. B12 is found to some extent in soil and plants. These observations have led some vegans to suggest that B12 was an issue requiring no special attention, or even an elaborate hoax. Others have proposed specific foods, including spirulina, nori, tempeh, and barley grass, as suitable non-animal sources of B12. Such claims have not stood the test of time.

    In over 60 years of vegan experimentation only B12 fortified foods and B12 supplements have proven themselves as reliable sources of B12, capable of supporting optimal health. It is very important that all vegans ensure they have an adequate intake of B12, from fortified foods or supplements. This will benefit our health and help to attract others to veganism through our example.

    Getting an adequate amount of B12

    National recommendations for B12 intakes vary significantly from country to country. The US recommended intake is 2.4 micrograms a day for ordinary adults rising to 2.8 micrograms for nursing mothers. The German recommendation is 3 micrograms a day. Recommended intakes are usually based on 50% absorption, as this is typical for small amounts from foods. To meet the US and German recommendations you need to obtain sufficient B12 to absorb 1.5 micrograms per day on average. This amount should be sufficient to avoid even the initial signs of inadequate B12 intake, such as slightly elevated homocysteine and methylmalonic acid (MMA) levels, in most people. Even slightly elevated homocysteine is associated with increased risk of many health problems including heart disease in adults, preeclampsia during pregnancy and neural tube defects in babies.

    Achieving an adequate B12 intake is easy and there are several methods to suit individual preferences. Absorption of B12 varies from about 50%, if about 1 microgram or less is consumed, to about 0.5% for doses of 1000 micrograms (1 milligram) or above. So the less frequently you consume B12, the higher the total amount needs to be to give the desired absorbed amount.

    Frequent use of foods fortified with B12 so that about one microgram of B12 is consumed three times a day with a few hours in between will provide an adequate amount. Availability of fortified foods varies from country to country and amounts of B12 vary from brand to brand, so ensuring an adequate B12 supply from fortified foods requires some label reading and thought to work out an adequate pattern to suit individual tastes and local products.

    Taking a B12 supplement containing ten micrograms or more daily provides a similar absorbed amount to consuming one microgram on three occasions through the day. This may be the most economical method as a single high potency tablet can be consumed bit by bit. 2000 micrograms of B12 consumed once a week would also provide an adequate intake. Any B12 supplement tablet should be chewed or allowed to dissolve in the mouth to enhance absorption. Tablets should be kept in an opaque container. As with any supplement it is prudent not to take more than is required for maximum benefit, so intakes above 5000 micrograms per week should be avoided despite lack of evidence for toxicity from higher amounts.

    All three options above should meet the needs of the vast majority of people with normal B12 metabolism. Individuals with impaired B12 absorption may find that the third method, 2000 micrograms once a week, works best as it does not rely on normal intrinsic factor in the gut. There are other, very rare, metabolic defects that require completely different approaches to meeting B12 requirements. If you have any reason to suspect a serious health problem seek medical advice promptly.

    Symptoms of B12 deficiency

    Clinical deficiency can cause anaemia or nervous system damage. Most vegans consume enough B12 to avoid clinical deficiency. Two subgroups of vegans are at particular risk of B12 deficiency: long-term vegans who avoid common fortified foods (such as raw food vegans or macrobiotic vegans) and breastfed infants of vegan mothers whose own intake of B12 is low.

    In adults typical deficiency symptoms include loss of energy, tingling, numbness, reduced sensitivity to pain or pressure, blurred vision, abnormal gait, sore tongue, poor memory, confusion, hallucinations and personality changes. Often these symptoms develop gradually over several months to a year before being recognised as being due to B12 deficiency and they are usually reversible on administration of B12. There is however no entirely consistent and reliable set of symptoms and there are cases of permanent damage in adults from B12 deficiency. If you suspect a problem then get a skilled diagnosis from a medical practitioner as each of these symptoms can also be caused by problems other than B12 deficiency.

    Infants typically show more rapid onset of symptoms than adults. B12 deficiency may lead to loss of energy and appetite and failure to thrive. If not promptly corrected this can progress to coma or death. Again there is no entirely consistent pattern of symptoms. Infants are more vulnerable to permanent damage than adults. Some make a full recovery, but others show retarded development.

    The risk to these groups alone is reason enough to call on all vegans to give a consistent message as to the importance of B12 and to set a positive example. Every case of B12 deficiency in a vegan infant or an ill informed adult is a tragedy and brings veganism into disrepute.

    The homocysteine connection

    This is not however the end of the story. Most vegans show adequate B12 levels to make clinical deficiency unlikely but nonetheless show restricted activity of B12 related enzymes, leading to elevated homocysteine levels. Strong evidence has been gathered over the past decade that even slightly elevated homocysteine levels increase risk of heart disease and stroke and pregnancy complications. Homocysteine levels are also affected by other nutrients, most notably folate. General recommendations for increased intakes of folate are aimed at reducing levels of homocysteine and avoiding these risks. Vegan intakes of folate are generally good, particularly if plenty of green vegetables are eaten. However, repeated observations of elevated homocysteine in vegans, and to a lesser extent in other vegetarians, show conclusively that B12 intake needs to be adequate as well to avoid unnecessary risk.

    Testing B12 status

    A blood B12 level measurement is a very unreliable test for vegans, particularly for vegans using any form of algae. Algae and some other plant foods contain B12-analogues (false B12) that can imitate true B12 in blood tests while actually interfering with B12 metabolism. Blood counts are also unreliable as high folate intakes suppress the anaemia symptoms of B12 deficiency that can be detected by blood counts. Blood homocysteine testing is more reliable, with levels less than 10 micromol/litre being desirable. The most specific test for B12 status is MMA testing. If this is in the normal range in blood (<370 nmol/L) or urine (less than 4 mcg /mg creatinine) then your body has enough B12. Many doctors still rely on blood B12 levels and blood counts. These are not adequate, especially in vegans.

    Is there a vegan alternative to B12-fortified foods and supplements?

    If for any reason you choose not to use fortified foods or supplements you should recognise that you are carrying out a dangerous experiment – one that many have tried before with consistently low levels of success. If you are an adult who is neither breast-feeding an infant, pregnant nor seeking to become pregnant, and wish to test a potential B12 source that has not already been shown to be inadequate, then this can be a reasonable course of action with appropriate precautions. For your own protection, you should arrange to have your B12 status checked annually. If homocysteine or MMA is even modestly elevated then you are endangering your health if you persist.

    If you are breast feeding an infant, pregnant or seeking to become pregnant or are an adult contemplating carrying out such an experiment on a child, then don’t take the risk. It is simply unjustifiable.

    Claimed sources of B12 that have been shown through direct studies of vegans to be inadequate include human gut bacteria, spirulina, dried nori, barley grass and most other seaweeds. Several studies of raw food vegans have shown that raw food offers no special protection.

    Reports that B12 has been measured in a food are not enough to qualify that food as a reliable B12 source. It is difficult to distinguish true B12 from analogues that can disrupt B12 metabolism. Even if true B12 is present in a food, it may be rendered ineffective if analogues are present in comparable amounts to the true B12. There is only one reliable test for a B12 source – does it consistently prevent and correct deficiency? Anyone proposing a particular food as a B12 source should be challenged to present such evidence.

    A natural, healthy and compassionate diet

    To be truly healthful, a diet must be best not just for individuals in isolation but must allow all people all over the world to thrive and achieve a sustainable coexistence with the many other species that form the “living earth”. From this standpoint the natural adaptation for most (possibly all) humans in the modern world is a vegan diet. There is nothing natural about the abomination of modern factory farming and its attempt to reduce living, feeling beings to machines. In choosing to use fortified foods or B12 supplements, vegans are taking their B12 from the same source as every other animal on the planet – micro-organisms – without causing suffering to any sentient being or causing environmental damage.

    Vegans using adequate amounts of fortified foods or B12 supplements are much less likely to suffer from B12 deficiency than the typical meat eater. The Institute of Medicine, in setting the US recommended intakes for B12 makes this very clear. “Because 10 to 30 percent of older people may be unable to absorb naturally occurring vitamin B12, it is advisable for those older than 50 years to meet their RDA mainly by consuming foods fortified with vitamin B12 or a vitamin B12-containing supplement.” Vegans should take this advice about 50 years younger, to the benefit of both themselves and the animals. B12 need never be a problem for well-informed vegans.

    Good information supports vegan health, pass it around.

    What to know about lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets

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    What to know about lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets

    A lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet includes eggs and dairy but avoids other animal products. Some research associates vegetarian diets with health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and lowering blood pressure.

    However, people should try to avoid too many processed foods, which can negate these health benefits. Instead, they should focus on eating whole foods.

    This article‘s defines what a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet is and looks at what the evidence says about its health benefits and potential risks. It lists what to eat and what to avoid and gives an example of a 5-day meal plan.

    What is a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet?

    A lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet excludes meat, poultry, and fish but includes eggs and dairy products. People commonly refer to this dietary pattern simply as a vegetarian diet.

    The word “lacto” refers to milk, and “ovo” refers to eggs. Similarly, someone could choose to follow a lacto-vegetarian diet, excluding eggs but consuming milk.

    People may follow a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet for ethical reasons, such as animal rights or to help the environment. Other people choose the diet for health or religious reasons, or simply as a personal preference.

    As farmers do not slaughter animals to obtain eggs, milk, and honey, many vegetarians choose to eat these foods. However, some people who follow a vegan diet may argue that the dairy and egg industries do involve slaughter or other animal cruelty and that producing honey exploits bees.

    What to know about lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets

    Health benefits

    A vegetarian diet that includes whole foods, fruits, and vegetables can help reduce a person’s risk of some chronic diseases. The following looks at what the evidence says about potential health benefits.


    A 2019 review and meta-analysis indicated that people eating a vegetarian diet might have lower levels of the inflammatory markers C-reactive protein and fibrinogen.

    According to the authors, these inflammatory markers are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. They also suggest that lower body mass index (BMI) scores among vegetarians may, in part, account for the anti-inflammatory effects.

    Furthermore, eating a wide range of plant foods means that vegetarians may consume higher amounts of antioxidants, which are anti-inflammatory and beneficial to health.

    Lowering blood pressure

    A 2020 systematic review and meta-analysis concluded that there is a link between vegetarian diets and significant reductions in blood pressure compared with omnivorous diets. This may play a key role in managing hypertension.

    The same review indicated that vegetarian diets are low in cholesterol and saturated fat and high in antioxidants, and these factors can lower blood pressure.

    Preventing diabetes

    A 2017 meta-analysis of data from 14 studies indicated that a vegetarian diet could reduce the risk of diabetes.

    The authors suggest that a lower BMI may contribute to the reasons for this, which also include eating risk-reducing foods such as whole grains and vegetables.

    Managing weight

    A 2021 review suggests that vegetarians may have better control of their weight in the long term and may adhere to vegetarian diets better than people who follow other diets, such as paleo, weight loss, or gluten-free.

    However, the review pointed out that some studies have highlighted increased anxiety and eating disorders among vegetarians, raising the possibility that young people may adopt the diet to limit their food intake.


    There are potential risks of a vegetarian diet, particularly for certain groups of people. There are also some myths about the diet’s nutritional inadequacies.

    Inadequate protein myth

    Some people have concerns that vegetarian diets do not provide adequate protein or amino acids.

    However, a 2019 review indicated that vegetarians consume an average of 1.04 grams (g) of protein per kilogram (kg) of body weight, according to two large studies. This amount is higher than the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of 0.8 g/kg body weight.

    The same review also analyzed the amino acid profile of vegetarian diets. The authors concluded that when diets are at least slightly varied, choosing plant proteins with complementary amino acid patterns is overcautious.

    Groups of people at risk

    People of certain ages should be careful to ensure that they consume enough essential nutrients on a vegetarian diet.

    The Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise that young children and people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or chestfeeding should seek nutritional advice on following a vegetarian diet.

    Depending on how many animal products they include in the diet, there is a risk that they may not meet daily requirements for nutrients such as vitamin B12, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids.

    Similarly, older people who may have limited cooking resources or access to healthy food may miss essential nutrients by following a vegetarian diet.

    Groups of people who may be at risk can choose to take a vegetarian supplement. However, they should choose a product that does not contain a gelatine capsule.

    Processed foods

    Another potential risk of a vegetarian diet is that someone may choose more processed foods than whole foods.

    The recent boom in plant-based diets means that many “junk food” alternatives are available with higher sugar, fat, and salt levels than whole food ingredients.

    Eating too many processed foods can cause weight gain and feelings of lethargy and fatigue.

    Ovo-Vegetarian Diet: A Complete Guide and Meal Plan

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    Ovo-Vegetarian Diet: A Complete Guide and Meal Plan

    Vegetarians who cut out all animal-based foods from their diet except eggs are ovo-vegetarians. Here’s an example of a ovo-vegetarian diet meal plan.

    An increasing number of people around the world follow vegetarian diets for a variety of health, environmental, financial, and religious reasons.

    There are several different types of vegetarianism, including the ovo-vegetarian diet.

    This‘s article tells you everything you need to know about the ovo-vegetarian diet and provides a sample menu.

    What is an ovo-vegetarian diet?

    An ovo-vegetarian diet excludes all animal-based foods except for eggs.

    Meat, poultry, fish, or dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese are eliminated, but whole eggs, egg whites, and egg-containing foods like mayonnaise, egg noodles, and certain baked goods are permitted.

    Ovo-vegetarian diets are somewhat less popular than vegan diets, which exclude all animal-derived foods and byproducts completely, as well as lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets, which include dairy products and eggs but not meat, poultry, or fish.

    Well-planned vegetarian diets of any kind tend to be nutritious and very healthy. Still, there are several reasons why someone may choose an ovo-vegetarian diet over other types.

    Whole eggs are both affordable and nutritious, making them a great addition to almost any diet. They serve as an excellent source of high-quality protein, B vitamins, and anti-inflammatory compounds.

    In fact, some people choose to include eggs in an otherwise animal-free diet if they have difficulty meeting their nutrient needs on a strictly vegan diet.

    An ovo-vegetarian diet would also be an appropriate choice for someone who wants to be a vegetarian but has allergies or sensitivities to dairy products.

    Furthermore, others may choose the diet because of religious, environmental, or ethical concerns about the treatment of animals used to produce meat and dairy.

    Those who are motivated by these ethical issues often make sure to only eat humanely sourced eggs and egg products.

    Ovo-Vegetarian Diet: A Complete Guide and Meal Plan

    Many potential benefits

    An ovo-vegetarian diet may benefit your health in various ways.

    May contribute to improved diet quality

    Research suggests that people who follow vegetarian diets typically eat more nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, compared to non-vegetarians.

    They also tend to consume fewer calories from added sugars and saturated fats and are better at adhering to recommendations for sodium intake.

    Many experts think that this may be the reason why vegetarians typically have better health outcomes than non-vegetarians, but more research is needed before a clear cause-and-effect relationship can be established.

    Good for your heart

    If you’re looking to make dietary changes that benefit your heart, an ovo-vegetarian diet could be effective.

    Multiple studies observe that vegetarians may have a 30–40% reduced risk of heart disease, compared to non-vegetarians.

    What’s more, when paired with regular exercise and stress management practices, vegetarian diets have been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as reverse the accumulation of plaque within blood vessels.

    Promotes balanced blood sugar

    Well-planned vegetarian diets may reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by improving blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity.

    A recent review of 14 studies found that vegetarians are approximately 25% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, compared to non-vegetarians.

    Additionally, people who already have the condition may experience improved insulin sensitivity and better blood sugar control on a vegetarian diet.

    The typically higher intake of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables of those on vegetarian diets seems to play a significant role in diabetes prevention.

    More specifically, foods like dark leafy greens and root vegetables that are high in fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and magnesium may have the strongest preventive effects.

    Other benefits

    Vegetarian diets are associated with several other health and lifestyle benefits, including:

    • Weight loss. Vegetarian diets are often lower in calories and may promote weight loss more effectively than omnivorous diets.
    • Support gut health. Vegetarian diets are rich in fiber and health-promoting plant compounds that can increase the growth of healthy gut bacteria, which leads to better digestive function and improved immunity.
    • May reduce cancer risk. Some studies indicate that vegetarian diets may reduce cancer risk by up to 12%, though more research is needed.
    • More affordable. High-quality meat and dairy products can be rather expensive. Thus, vegetarian diets may be more affordable.

    Though vegetarian diets have many positive attributes, it’s important to remember that no specific result is guaranteed.

    Possible drawbacks

    For most people, an ovo-vegetarian diet is very safe and healthy. However, you may fall short of obtaining certain essential nutrients if you don’t plan your diet well.

    Insufficient protein intake

    Eating enough protein is essential for maintaining healthy bones, muscles, organs, skin, and hair.

    Many non-vegetarian diets rely on meat and dairy products for protein. As an ovo-vegetarian diet excludes these foods, you need to ensure that you’re getting protein elsewhere.

    Eggs, legumes, nuts, and seeds are all great protein options that are ovo-vegetarian friendly.

    Vitamins, minerals, and omega-3s

    Some of the most common nutrient deficiencies in vegetarian diets include iron, calcium, zinc, omega-3 fats, and vitamins D and B12.

    Meat, fish, and dairy products are often a major source of these nutrients in non-vegetarian diets. Therefore, removing them may lead to deficiencies if you’re not careful to replace them with vegetarian alternatives.

    Here are a few foods that can provide these nutrients as you transition to an ovo-vegetarian diet:

    • Iron. Including eggs and plant-based sources of iron like lentils, soybeans, garbanzo beans, brown rice, iron-fortified cereals, dried fruit, pumpkin seeds, and pistachios is a smart way to meet your iron needs.
    • Calcium. Regularly include foods like white beans, turnip greens, arugula, bok choy, tofu, and calcium-fortified foods in your diet to ensure adequate calcium intake.
    • Vitamin D. Spending time in the sun is the best way to encourage vitamin D production in your skin. Eggs from pasture-raised chickens, fortified foods, and mushrooms treated with UV light are also good sources.
    • Vitamin B12. Eggs are a good source of vitamin B12. The same holds true for fortified foods like milk substitutes or nutritional yeast.
    • Zinc. Whole grains, eggs, nuts, seeds, and legumes are all good sources of zinc that are ovo-vegetarian friendly.
    • Omega-3 fats. Chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp hearts, and walnuts are great plant-based sources of omega-3 fats. Additionally, eggs from hens that are fed omega-3-enriched feed can provide these healthy fats.

    If you find that you’re unable to meet your needs for any of these nutrients through diet alone, consult your healthcare provider or a dietitian about taking supplements.

    Vegetarian junk foods

    Not all ovo-vegetarian-friendly foods are healthy.

    Dairy-free pastries, fried foods, processed vegetarian meat substitutes, as well as sugar-sweetened beverages, cereals, and candies, technically fit an ovo-vegetarian lifestyle but should be consumed sparingly, if at all.

    A healthy vegetarian diet emphasizes whole, nutrient-dense foods and limits refined grains, added sugars, heavily refined oils, and other ultra-processed junk foods.

    Foods to eat

    Though certain foods are restricted on an ovo-vegetarian diet, you have plenty of nutrient-dense options from which to choose.

    A well-planned ovo-vegetarian diet is ideally comprised of a variety of whole, plant-based foods, such as:

    • Fruit: apples, oranges, pears, berries, bananas, pineapple, mango, grapes, avocado
    • Vegetables: leafy greens, carrots, potatoes, asparagus, turnips, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, radishes, bell peppers, cabbage, tomatoes, summer and winter squash
    • Grains: rice, corn, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, bulgur, barley, oatmeal, pasta, crackers, popcorn, cereals, bread (made without milk or butter)
    • Legumes: soybeans, tempeh, tofu, miso, lentils, black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, peas, peanuts, pinto beans, navy beans
    • Nuts and seeds: walnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, hemp seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, nut butters, flax seeds
    • Eggs and egg products: whole eggs, egg whites
    • Dairy substitutes: soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, hemp milk, cashew milk, dairy-free yogurt, dairy-free cheeses
    • Oils: olive, avocado, walnut, flaxseed, and coconut oils
    • Beverages: coffee, tea, water, mineral water, non-dairy milks

    Keep in mind that just because a food is vegetarian doesn’t mean it’s healthy. To reap the health benefits of an ovo-vegetarian diet, it’s important to focus on whole, minimally processed foods as much as possible.

    Foods to avoid

    The main foods to avoid on an ovo-vegetarian diet are meats and dairy products, but certain meat-based food additives should be excluded as well.

    If you’re transitioning to an ovo-vegetarian diet, avoid the following:

    • Red meat: beef, lamb, pork
    • Poultry: chicken, turkey, duck
    • Fish and shellfish
    • Dairy: milk, yogurt, cheese, butter
    • Baked goods: breads and pastries made with milk or butter
    • Meat- and dairy-derived food additives: gelatin, lard, carmine, casein, whey
    • Other items: animal-based broths, pâté, fish sauce, certain omega-3 supplements, non-dairy creamer, Caesar dressing

    You may find vegetarian alternatives for many of these foods. Still, keep in mind that these substitutes may not always be nutritionally equivalent.

    For example, most dairy-free milk alternatives don’t provide the same amounts of protein and minerals as regular cow’s milk. This doesn’t make them a bad option per se, but it’s worth considering if your goal is to build a nutritionally complete vegetarian diet.

    Sample menu

    Though nutritional needs and dietary preferences may vary, here’s an example of what five days on an ovo-vegetarian diet may look like.


    • Breakfast: coconut-chia pudding with frozen berries and walnuts
    • Lunch: lentil vegetable stew with flax crackers
    • Dinner: tofu-vegetable stir fry with brown rice


    • Breakfast: whole-grain toast with braised greens and poached eggs
    • Lunch: hummus-and-vegetable sandwich wrap with a side of berries
    • Dinner: quinoa bowl with black beans, nutritional yeast, mixed greens, guacamole, and salsa


    • Breakfast: green smoothie made with spinach, hemp protein powder, cashew milk, almond butter, bananas, ginger, and avocado
    • Lunch: egg-salad sandwich on whole-grain bread
    • Dinner: spicy peanut noodles with edamame, purple cabbage, and cilantro


    • Breakfast: oatmeal with fresh fruit, hemp seeds, and slivered almonds
    • Lunch: leftover peanut noodles
    • Dinner: smoky tempeh with roasted vegetables and vegetarian mushroom risotto


    • Breakfast: egg-and-vegetable scramble with a side of fresh fruit
    • Lunch: white bean, kale, and tomato soup with whole-grain toast
    • Dinner: cauliflower-and-chickpea tacos with cilantro-lime cashew cream sauce

    The bottom line

    The ovo-vegetarian diet is a type of vegetarianism that excludes all animal products except for eggs.

    As long as it’s well planned, this way of eating can provide all the nutrients your body needs and may offer various benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes.

    If you plan to transition to an ovo-vegetarian diet, be sure to include a variety of whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruits to ensure you’re getting the most out of your diet.