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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is shopping for a vegetarian diet harder?

    If I switch to a vegetarian diet will I have a good selection of foods and products to choose from when I do my groceries?
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  • The Australian Vegetarian Society's aim is to increase the number of vegetarians in Australia in order to stop cruelty to animals, benefit human health, protect … View Profile

    It doesn't have to be. All the staples of a vegetarian diet can be found on the shelves of regular supermarkets or in the gourmet, specially, ethnic and health food sections. More bulk and specially products are now available to meet the growing demands of consumers concerned about their diets. Health food stores and coops - found in most areas - offer vegetarian staples and convenience foods. Mail-order companies also provide vegetarian foods.

  • Alis Alexander

    HealthShare Member

    Just as with omnivorous diets, shopping for a vegetarian diet is restricted only by your imagination & resourcefulness. The main concerns for vegetarians is finding valuable non-meat sources of protein and some nutrients such as iron & zinc. Dairy products, eggs, legumes & legume products (chickpeas, kidney beans, tofu, tempeh, bean burgers, soy sausages etc) are all great sources of protein and are easily found in standard supermarkets & independent grocers. As are iron rich vegetables such as dark green leafy varieties such a spinach, broccoli etc. Alternative sources of iron & protein can be found in nuts & seeds, these are best purchased in bulk from Food co-ops or online as mentioned by the Australian Vegetarian Society above. Indian supermarkets also offer inexpensive bulk options (and some great cooking tips!) for legumes, spices & grains.

    If you are just beginning a vegetarian diet, the supermarket has some great vegetarian options. As you become more familiar and experienced with this way of eating you may find that you naturally seek out alternatives beyond the supermarket.

    There really are lots of options for those choosing a meat free diet in Australia these days. The best way to discover what is available is to talk to other vegetarians, gather recipes and familiarise yourself with local supermarkets, grocers and speciality food stores in your area.

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