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Ask the Expert Archive

I would like to know what is the best way to start if you wan to eat more like a vegetarian. I am diabetic and want to eat healthier but because I do not have an income it is hard to but things and I do not live in an area where I can get fresh foods a readily as others. I just want to get help so I do not die before my time. So could you please help me. Thanks

When following a vegetarian diet, it is important to include good sources of non-animal proteins such as beans (like kidney beans), nuts, soy and whole grains. Vitamin and mineral fortification helps in achieving complete nutrient intake, although it’s not absolutely necessary if you are careful. For example: drinking calcium-fortified orange juice is an excellent way to consume calcium when your diet does not include dairy.

It is also very important to include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables (including beans) in your diet to ensure that you are getting enough nutrients.  Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables may be easier for you to include if you do not have access to many fresh foods.  100% fruit juice counts also! Check out our Healthy Cooking with Fruits and Vegetables for some great ways on how to get started. Since you are diabetic, It is important to remember that fruits and vegetables, beans, and grains contain carbohydrates. You may need to consult with a dietitian in your area for further advice on your diet.

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