Everything You Need To Know About Going On A Vegetarian Diet In Singapore
Vegetarianism has been gaining traction in Singapore over the years, especially with more modernised vegetarian restaurants popping up that has helped to change the mindset about vegetarian food being “not as tasty” or “not as satisfying to consume”, to “can be as tasty as any other food”.
In fact, in a report by Statista, it was revealed that even though 42% of respondents stated they were meat-eaters, 39% of them were actually following a flexitarian diet which is mostly plant-based but with the consumption of meat and animal products occasionally.
In another survey conducted by YouGov, 46% of respondents were considering a plant-based diet for general health reasons.
These statistics go to show how plant-based diets like vegetarian food have been becoming more widely accepted and that more are willing to give the vegetarian diet a try.
Hence, if you are looking to kickstart your vegetarian diet journey, this guide has all the tips and information you need to know, including where you can get cheap and good vegetarian food in Singapore.
Read on to find out more.
Part 2 – The nitty-gritty details of becoming a vegetarian
2.1 What is vegetarianism?
Before delving deeper into how you can transition to a vegetarian lifestyle and diet successfully, it is important that you understand what vegetarianism is all about.
Vegetarianism is the practice of not eating any animal meat, like chicken, pork, beef and fish for moral, religious or health reasons. It is also not a new fad despite having gained popularity in recent years – the vegetarian diet has enjoyed a long and diverse history and has existed in many cultures since the beginning of time.
Just like any other diet, it requires you to make significant changes to your meals; not only will you have to abstain from consuming animal products, you will also have to take note not to ingest animal byproducts such as gelatin.
At the end of the day, going on a vegetarian diet means only consuming vegetarian-friendly food. The list goes on and on, so there is no need to fret that you will run out of things to eat.
2.2 What are the similarities and differences between vegetarianism and veganism?
While vegetarianism and veganism sound similar and share some correlations, it is also vital to note that the terms are not interchangeable as they ultimately mean different things.
Vegetarians and vegans both do not consume meat products, will reap similar health benefits from their diet and will still need to meet the nutritional requirements in their daily meals.
On the other hand, veganism is stricter in a sense, as it completely prohibits the consumption or use of any products that come from animals. These include dairy products, eggs, honey, leather goods, wool and silk.
Whereas in vegetarianism, vegetarians are still allowed to consume dairy products, eggs, honey, and other byproducts that do not involve the slaughtering of animals. Choosing to go on a vegetarian diet will make it slightly easier for you when shopping for vegetarian-friendly groceries in Singapore, as you will have more options.
However, there are a few different types of vegetarian diets you will have to consider, which we will be discussing in the next point. This can make or break your transition to a full-on vegetarian diet so it is important to think twice before committing.
2.3 The types of vegetarian diets
If you have made up your mind to become a vegetarian, here are the different types of diets to consider based on your lifestyle, needs and preferences.
It is imperative that you decide on the type of vegetarian diet you would like to go for so that ordering vegetarian food online will be a fuss-free process, since you will know exactly what you can eat and what you need to avoid.
A lacto-vegetarian diet excludes meat, poultry, seafood and eggs but allows certain dairy products such as yoghurt, cheese and milk. So if you are a big fan of cheese, for example, adopting the lacto-vegetarian diet may be more suitable and will help to make the transition to a vegetarian diet easier.
An ovo-vegetarian diet is the opposite of a lacto-vegetarian diet. This means that meat, poultry, fish and dairy products are eliminated, but eggs and egg-containing foods like mayonnaise are permitted. As eggs are high in protein, vitamin B and anti-inflammatory compounds, you may choose to include them in your diet to meet your nutritional needs.
Just like its name suggests, a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet is a mixture of both diets mentioned above. This diet excludes meat, fish and poultry but includes dairy and eggs. If you have concerns about not being able to have a balanced diet, going on a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet may help.
Pescatarian is another popular type of vegetarian diet that calls for forgoing meat and poultry but you will still be allowed to consume fish and seafood. You may wish to go on a pescatarian diet to reap the benefits of both plant-based vegetarian food and fish.
Lastly, a vegan diet entails completely excluding meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products, as well as foods that contain these from your daily meals.
2.4 The health benefits of going on a vegetarian diet
Now that you have a clearer idea of the different types of vegetarian diets and probably already have a hunch as to which would be more suitable for you, it is also time to understand more about the benefits.
This way, you will feel even more motivated to source for a reliable vegetarian food supplier in Singapore so that you can get all your ingredients and meals from one place – allowing your transition to a vegetarian diet to be a breeze.
Here are some of the top health benefits of going on a vegetarian diet that will convince you to start immediately:
May help you to lose weight
Eating vegetarian-friendly foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds may help you to lose weight as they are generally lower in calories, fat and protein as compared to animal products.
But some mistakes you might make include eating large portions, substituting with too much carbs and focusing on highly processed vegetarian food; all of which will do more harm than good.
herefore, striking a balance while on a vegetarian diet is important to promote weight loss. Some useful tips to try include consuming more non-starchy vegetables like mushrooms and broccoli, and incorporating more protein like eggs and tofu into your meals.
May reduce the risk of contracting major diseases
According to an article by Harvard, some evidence suggests that vegetarians have a lower risk of contracting heart disease. This could be due to the high intake of heart-protective and vegetarian-friendly food, like nuts and high-fibre whole grains. Walnuts, in particular, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that can help to reduce cholesterol and promote heart health.
May reduce cancer risk
Although going on a vegetarian diet does not have a significant benefit in reducing cancer risk entirely, it does still have a slight edge in lowering your risk. Studies have shown that consuming lots of vegetables and fruits can reduce the risk of developing certain cancers so it will not hurt to give it a try. Additionally, cutting out meat including red meat from your diet eliminates a risk factor for colon cancer at the same time.
May prevent type 2 diabetes
A plant-based diet, especially one that focuses on low-glycemic foods such as fruits and grains, will help to reduce blood sugar levels and may, in turn, prevent type 2 diabetes.
May promote bone health
If you do decide to go on an ovo-vegetarian diet which will require you to cut out dairy products, bone health may become a concern due to the lack of calcium in your daily meal intakes. However, certain vegetarian food like bok choy, kale and spinach contain good calcium that can help to substitute dairy products. They are also high in potassium and magnesium which will reduce blood acidity, lowering the urinary excretion of calcium.
May lower your blood pressure
Plant-based foods are lower in fat, sodium and cholesterol so consuming more of them may have a positive effect on your blood pressure. Certain fruits and vegetables have an appropriate concentration of potassium that will lower blood pressure too.
Part 3 – Going on a vegetarian diet in Singapore
3.1 Best tips for transitioning to a vegetarian diet
Transitioning to any new diet is never easy – not only will you have to make lifestyle and dietary changes, but your mood may also get affected while your body requires time to adjust at the same time. Fortunately, there are some tried and tested tips that will help to make the transition less stressful.
Here are some of them:
Start off slow
There are people who delve straight into the change of diet to vegetarian food without much problems. They already have not been consuming much meat on a daily basis, or they are really committed to making the change. On the other hand, there may be people who prefer to take it slow. Some find it challenging as it is hard to deprive your body of all the foods it has been so conditioned to take in over the years. In reality, this might even make it more challenging as you may find yourself rejecting vegetarian food after a while.
One of the best ways to help your body get used to this new diet is by starting off slow – try having vegetarian food as one of your three daily meals or dedicate a few days within a week to consume only plant-based meals.
This method ensures that your body still gets what it needs, while also preparing it for the real deal so that it will be more receptive when the time comes for you to fully transition to a vegetarian diet.
Cut down on meat
You do not have to entirely cut meat out of your diet when you first try to go on a vegetarian diet; the key is to start cutting down to let your body get used to it. For instance, if you usually go for a two-piece chicken meal at a fast-food restaurant, opt for just one instead. You can also try substituting meat in your daily meals with other forms of protein, such as tofu and tempeh.
Gradually work on changing out animal-based ingredients with vegetarian-friendly foods and you will surely find that the transition is a smooth and painless one.
Stock up on healthy, vegetarian snacks
Snacking is still totally possible while on a vegetarian diet! You just have to make sure they are vegetarian-friendly.
Some popular vegetarian snacks include kale chips (which you can easily bake at home), tempeh, tofu (which can be made into desserts as well) and mixed nut packets. When you find yourself craving that burger, grab some of these healthy snacks instead to amp up on nutrition, all while sticking to a vegetarian diet.
You can always shop for some of these vegetarian snacks online and get them delivered to your home for greater convenience.
Keep your meals fun and exciting
It is only natural to feel tired if you were to eat the same meal every single day and this certainly applies to vegetarian food too. Thus, keeping your daily meals fun and exciting is key to motivating yourself to continue your vegetarian diet journey.
Switch up your vegetables every other day and learn how to cook them in different ways. You can saute, roast, grill and even fry them so that there is always something new to look forward to.
There are also countless vegetarian food recipes available online that are easily accessible – not knowing how to cook is no longer an excuse!
Apart from switching things up and learning different recipes, you can also try consuming more ingredients that are high in umami flavour and load up on herbs and spices to make your food taste even better.
Read our full article for more ways to make vegetarian food taste as good as your usual meals.
Shop with a vegetarian grocery list
It is easy to get carried away while grocery shopping and you may just end up adding items to your cart that are not vegetarian-friendly. To avoid that, simply shop with a vegetarian grocery list on hand and you will be able to save loads of precious time.
Figure out what you need before going for a grocery run and do research to make sure the items you plan to get are indeed suitable for vegetarians.
There are actually many food items that are not vegetarian-friendly but may seem like it. One such example is marshmallows; they contain gelatin which is derived from animal collagen and should not be consumed if you are on a vegetarian diet.
To make life even easier, shop from a vegetarian grocery store in Singapore so you get peace of mind that everything sold is vegetarian-friendly. This takes away the need to constantly check labels too.
Do not be afraid to try new food items
Step out of your comfort zone and try new things; you may be pleasantly surprised at how good they taste and how similar they are to the real deal!
For instance, jackfruit tastes similar to pulled pork when cooked and almond or oat milk are also great dairy alternatives for your daily cup of coffee. Eggplant has a meaty texture while mushrooms are perfect substitutes for burger patties. Basically, your options are endless as long as you are willing to try.
3.2 Where to get cheap and good vegetarian food in Singapore
Ready to start on your vegetarian diet journey but wondering where you can get cheap and good vegetarian food in Singapore? Consider Vegetarian World Foods!
We are one of the pioneer vegetarian food suppliers in Singapore founded in 1990 with a wide range of vegetarian products for you to choose from.
Our vegetarian frozen food items are the perfect choice for fuss-free cooking and can be easily prepared to achieve hearty meals in the comfort of your own home. Select from soya-based items, gluten, mushrooms, konjac to eggless products that will suit all kinds of vegetarian diets.
Of course, we also bring in non-frozen items like dried goods that are the ideal accompaniments to your meals.
But if you are too busy to cook your own meals, our ready-to-eat vegetarian meals will save the day too. All you have to do is heat them up and you will have a scrumptious meal to keep your tummy full for the rest of the day.
Apart from the usual vegetarian options, we also have a wide variety of unique products that will make daily meals a bit more compelling – consider getting vegetarian Western food like sausages, nuggets, burgers and “meatballs” to add pizzazz to your daily meals.
3.3 Top factors to consider when purchasing from a vegetarian food supplier in Singapore
With so many vegetarian food suppliers to shop from in Singapore, how can you source for a reliable and trustworthy one?
Here are some things to look out for that will make it easier for you:
If you plan on purchasing all your vegetarian food needs from one supplier, then making sure that the prices fit your budget is one of the most important things to consider.
We have more than 30 years of experience here at Vegetarian World Foods and having been in the business for so long helps us to ensure that we only offer competitive prices to our customers.
When ordering vegetarian food online, you would expect your items to reach you as quickly as possible since they are perishable and because you need them for your daily meals. Hence, checking how long each supplier takes to deliver orders is necessary to see if they can meet your requirements.
As we understand our customers’ needs, the team here at Vegetarian World Foods take pride in delivering orders within two to five days while also offering free delivery with a minimum order of just $60! This is to ensure that our products are more accessible so that everyone gets to enjoy a healthier diet.
Variety of products
Once you have found a suitable vegetarian food supplier, chances are you will stick to it. Hence, making sure the supplier brings in a wide variety of products that will allow you to whip up different delicious meals every day is essential too.
This will not only motivate you to continue on your vegetarian diet but also encourage you to cook your own meals.
Our team here at Vegetarian World Foods only brings in products that we eat and not just savoury or popular items that will bring in more sales. We believe in creating a better world with vegetarian food and a variety of alternatives to inspire more people to eat healthily and more compassionately.
Taking the leap of faith to be a vegetarian
Going on a vegetarian diet has many benefits and is easier to do so in today’s society – thanks to all the options available.
There are many vegetarian food suppliers in Singapore to choose from and vegetarian food varieties that will help you to make a smooth transition to a vegetarian diet.
However, meeting all nutritional requirements is also vital in maintaining a healthy body. It is best to do research and find out what you can substitute certain ingredients with so that your body gets what it needs.
It is also advisable that you consult your primary care doctor before going on a new diet, especially if you have any medical conditions. This is to ensure that your diet will be more holistic, taking care of your health issues which could be better supplemented with certain food that is vegetarian friendly. For example, you may like to intake more grains or soy products if you are low in calcium, consume more nori/seaweed or shitake mushrooms if you need more B12 in your food.
If you have done sufficient research and consulted your doctor to find that you are all ready and clear to be a vegetarian, then consider getting your essentials from Vegetarian World Foods, a one-stop platform for all your vegetarian food needs.
To make the transition to a vegetarian diet even easier, keep this guide and the tips and information we have shared at the back of your mind.