Whether you have Celiac disease, you’re vegan, or you simply prohibit items from your diet because your insides don’t agree with them, it can be difficult to restrict your diet and stay healthy at the same time. However, for those with constrained culinary tastes, it is absolutely vital that you are still ingesting the right foods to nourish your body. Whether fructose is your foe or perhaps it’s animal products that are your anti-christ, we’ve collated 6 tips so that you can stay healthy with a restricted diet.
Find a routine – and stick to it
If you do have Celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, a tiny amount of gluten can actually cause real damage to your small intestine. Something as seemingly harmless as a single cookie, half a slice of bread, or even a single cracker can be toxic to your system. For this reason, try to avoid having ‘cheat days’, or deliberately eating foods that you know won’t agree with you.
Even if your restricted diet is for moral or other reasons, try to stick to a food routine that works for you and maintain it. Concoct a weekly, fortnightly or monthly menu that makes sure you are consuming a balanced selection of food that will provide you with all the nutrients you need.
Don’t forget about vitamins and minerals
If you have a strictly monitored diet, it can be difficult to make sure that you are getting an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals. Particularly, vegans and vegetarians need to be wary that they are getting enough omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, iodine, calcium, and vitamins D and B12 from their food.
Fortunately, a highly balanced vegetarian diet can meet current recommendations for these nutrients. However, for some restricted diets, it can be easy to lack in calcium and vitamin D. If you aren’t getting enough of these vital nutrients in your diet, consider investing in an effective organic calcium supplement or a milk substitute that’s been fortified.
Read the label
This may seem clearly conspicuous, but a surefire way to ensure that you are sticking to the diet that is best for you is to start carefully reading the labels on your food. Even if they are vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free, packaged and processed foods are often subject to the same production hazards as non-restricted alternatives.
Moreover, just because you’re eating something that is labeled as ‘vegetarian’ or ‘gluten free’ doesn’t mean that you are necessarily eating something that is healthier or lower in calories. Many restricted diet options can have a surprising amount of fat, sodium and calories, so always make sure you read the label to ensure you know what you’re putting into your body.
If possible, ease into it
If you are choosing to go vegetarian, vegan or otherwise for your own reasons, make sure you check with a doctor for ways that you can ensure you are keeping your body in its best shape. If you get the okay, it is usually best not to go cold turkey when constraining your diet.
First, try making half your meals meatless or restricted in the way you would like, then try three-quarters of your meals the following week. Even if vegetarianism, gluten-free or other restrictive diets are not your calling, always be careful to include lean protein into a diet based on vegetables, fruits, whole grains and good fats.
Are you vegan or gluten-free? Let us know in the comments below!
*This article was contributed.