A vegetarian diet can meet an athlete’s nutritional needs, new study says

It takes some planning, but a plant-based diet can provide the same nutrients as a meat-based diet, according to a presentation given at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Expo. Throughout history there have been vegetarian athletes. Studies of bones suggest that Roman gladiators were vegetarians, and today “notable” vegetarian athletes include marathon runner Bart Yasso. Vegetarian athletes need to find ways to reach the levels of macronutrients that are acceptable for all athletes: 45-65% carbohydrates, 20-35% fat, and 10%-35% protein. They also have to be creative to find non-meat sources of iron, creatine, zinc, B12, vitamin D, and calcium because the nutrients could be missing from vegetarian diets. Eating orange/yellow and green vegetables, fruit, fortified breakfast cereals, soya drinks, nuts, and milk can remedy those deficiencies. According to the researcher who compiled the information, the conclusions are based on observational studies. To better understand the impact of a vegetarian diet on athletic performance, a long-term, controlled study is needed.

Here’s a protein packed veggie recipe: Eggs with braised lentils and greens

Not keen on cooking? Find some great, healthy (and vegetarian dishes) here: The Best Curry Spots in SA