Vegetarian menu: Design it right and enough

Vegetarian menu: Design it right and enough

A properly designed vegetarian menu will meet your needs, ensure complete nutrition and can bring health benefits in the prevention and treatment of a number of diseases.

The following guide on how to create a vegan menu will help you practice your beliefs with peace of mind and make choosing your sources of nutrition in the world of vegetarian food an enjoyable practice.

Classification of types of vegetarianism

Most of us think that the vegetarian menu will not include animal meat (cattle, poultry and fish, shrimp, seafood). In fact, what to eat and what not to eat depends on personal beliefs or religious regulations and influences the way a vegetarian menu is formulated. Vegetarianism is divided into 5 modes as follows:

Lacto vegetarian diet: do not eat meat, fish, poultry, poultry eggs; can eat milk, cheese, yogurt, butter... and other dairy products.

Ovo vegetarian: no meat, fish, milk and dairy products; eat eggs.

Lacto-ovo vegetarian: no meat or fish; get to eat milk, dairy products, and eggs.

Pescatarian: no meat (cattle, poultry), dairy, eggs, eat fish.

Vegan diet: no whole meat, fish, eggs and dairy.

In addition, flexitarians follow a mostly plant-based diet, but sometimes eat meat, fish, eggs, and dairy in small amounts.

Principles of making a vegetarian menu

Vegetarian menu: Design it right and enough
Food groups and nutritional values ​​in vegetarian menus

Compared to a normal diet, a vegetarian diet increases the consumption of more vegetables and fruits. This group of foods provides a rich source of vitamins and minerals for the body. Besides, it also provides fiber that brings many health benefits such as: supporting the digestive system, helping to improve cholesterol levels and controlling blood sugar after meals...

Moreover, it is the fiber in vegetables and fruits that helps create a feeling of fullness faster, making you limit food intake and from being able to control calories more easily. And this is also a food group that provides lower calories than other food groups, so you can prioritize without worrying too much about calories. However, you need to be aware of moderate consumption of fruits, juices and dried fruits with strong sweetness to control sugar intake.


Starch is the main energy-providing food group in the vegetarian menu. They also provide the necessary fiber, calcium, iron and vitamin B minerals… There are 3 main sources of starch: refined starch (bread, pasta...), tubers (potatoes, sweet potatoes, potatoes). subjects…) and whole grains (whole rice, whole oats, breads and pastas made from whole grains, etc.).

You should choose whole grains as the main source of starch because they still retain vitamins and minerals and have a higher fiber content than cakes and noodles made with refined starch. With the same volume, starch provides 1/2 of the energy compared to fat, so a healthy vegetarian menu should limit the use of butter and oil when cooking.

Plant milk

Soy milk and nuts (almonds, flaxseeds…) provide the same amount of protein and vitamins as animal milk. Unsweetened milk should be a priority because it is healthy in the long run.

Protein (protein)

Alternative sources of animal protein come from legumes, chickpeas, lentils, seeds, nuts, tofu, mushrooms, and some protein-rich vegetables. If you like to diversify your meals with prepared ingredients and enhance the taste, protein-rich plant-based 'meat' foods are available for you to choose from. The vegetarian menu replaces meat with other protein sources to help people prevent gout and diseases related to blood fat and cholesterol.


Many nuts and vegetable oils provide healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Sources of monounsaturated fatty acids include olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, avocado, almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews, etc. Sources of saturated fatty acids include sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, soybean oil, safflower oil, soy milk, and tofu.

Note: Not all vegetarian foods contain only safe fats. Coconut and palm oils themselves are saturated fatty acids – which should be limited to 10% of total calories a day. Industrially processed noodles and cakes such as cookies, bagels, muffins, pizza crusts, snack cakes, chips... magarine butter, vegetable shortenings and foods containing hydrogenated oils All contain a lot of transfat - trans fat, which increases bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) and lowers good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) in our body.

Substance groups that are easily deficient in vegetarian menus

Substance groups that are easily deficient in vegetarian menus

A strict vegetarian menu requires more attention to ensuring nutrition. Vegetarians need to pay attention to not be deficient in the following substances:

Calcium and Vitamin D

To replace calcium and vitamin D found in animal milk and eggs, a vegetarian menu should include dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, bok choy, bok choy, and spinach. Japanese beans, soybeans and soy products… Vegetarians should use more soy milk and cereals fortified with calcium and vitamin D.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is only found in animal products. This vitamin is essential for the formation of red blood cells in the blood and prevents anemia. People who follow a vegetarian diet do not eat eggs and dairy, which is almost exclusively found in products of animal origin, so it is necessary to supplement vitamin B12 orally, vitamin-rich cereals, etc.

Consult your doctor before you want to take long-term oral vitamin supplements.

The protein

There is no shortage of protein sources for vegetarians, but the protein content of plants is much lower than that of animals. To ensure adequate protein supply, a vegetarian menu should be full and rich in chickpeas, lentils, seeds, nuts, soy products, whole grains, etc.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for heart health. Vegetarian diets without fish and eggs are usually low in omega-3 fatty acids in their active form. Canola oil, soybean oil, walnuts, flax seeds, soybeans are sources of essential fatty acids for the body. However, the body often does not effectively absorb plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, so you should consider taking an omega-3 supplement by mouth.

Iron and zinc

While iron is an important component of red blood cells in the blood, zinc is involved in the formation of many enzymes, body proteins and immune system development. The main sources of iron in a vegetarian diet come from the dried legume family, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, and dried fruit. Sources of zinc come from legumes, soybeans, wheat germ, and whole grains.

The body absorbs iron and zinc from plants only to a certain extent, so vegetarians need to supplement orally. Combined with foods rich in vitamin C such as guava, kiwi, strawberries, citrus fruits, broccoli ... when eating iron-containing foods will help the absorption of iron more effectively.


Iodine is an essential component of thyroid hormone, a hormone that helps regulate metabolism, growth and organ function in the body. Iodine is very important for pregnant women and young children. Iodine is found in many types of seaweed and seafood. 1/4 teaspoon of iodized salt per day will help replenish iodine for the body.

Make a vegetarian menu

Make a vegetarian menu

Vegetarians need to know their energy and nutrient goals for each meal of the day. With 3 main meals a day, each meal should have a full range of vegetables and fruits, starch, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals.


A full breakfast is the switch for a strong metabolism throughout the day. A reasonable breakfast helps vegetarians to promote concentration and memory, ensuring the amount of vegetables and fiber is eaten in a day. Starch and fat in breakfast should be limited to just enough to start the day, avoid feeling heavy after eating.

Lunch and dinner

Do not include canned foods in your menu because they are not good for your health. After lunch, you have a little time to rest, so don't hesitate to eat well and comfortably. Remember to always balance the nutritional ingredients in a vegetarian menu as instructed above. Eat well-prepared meals you like to eat for dinner, and avoid foods that are hard to digest and interfere with sleep.

Reference vegetarian menu for a week


Morning: whole grain bread with peanut butter, pureed fruit

Lunch: fried tofu with mushrooms; steamed chicken thighs with broccoli

Dinner: zucchini ball soup, fried tofu salad


Morning: high-fiber breakfast cereal, fruit, rice milk

Lunch: broccoli and mushroom soup; Braised eggplant tofu

Dinner: brown rice with lotus seeds; pumpkin ginkgo soup


Morning: stir-fried tofu with vegetables, soy milk

Lunch: seaweed soup with lotus seeds; braised red jackfruit

Dinner: red bean soup, bean curd rolls with fried vegetables


Morning: Oatmeal mushroom porridge, fruit

Lunch: sauteed cabbage with mushrooms; Boiled eggplant with vegetarian sauce

Dinner: seaweed tofu soup; Vegetarian Braised Cabbage


Breakfast: tofu sushi; celery, pineapple, cucumber juice

Lunch: shiitake mushroom soup, carrots and peas; vegetarian fried spring rolls

Evening: braised straw mushrooms; pumpkin soup


Morning: mixed vegetarian vermicelli

Lunch: young tofu with mushroom sauce; Vegetarian papaya salad

Evening: hotpot with mushrooms and vegetables; vegetarian braised vegetables


Morning: vegetarian noodle soup

Lunch: spicy tofu with Sichuan sauce; braised bamboo shoots with soy sauce

Evening: vegetarian and sour soup; fried tofu with vegetables

Planning a vegan menu requires that vegans eat as many different foods as possible. Pursuing this will turn out to be an exciting journey, an opportunity for vegans to explore the vast botanical world where any food can be transformed into a delicious and nutritious dish.

Hopefully, through the above article, you have understood better Vegetarian menu: Design it right and enough and nutritious menus that are good for the body. Follow the new articles on Health Life For You to stay updated with useful information about Special Nutrition.

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