Unlocking the Best Non Vegetarian Foods for Optimal Health

Unlocking the Best Non Vegetarian Foods for Optimal Health
Written By: Clinical Dietitian
Reviewed By: Counselling Psychologist
MA Psychology Pennsylvania State University, USA
Last Updated: 24-11-2023

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Non-vegetarian foods are those that come from animals, such as meat, poultry, fish, and seafood. While processed meats and red meats have been linked to some health risks, many non-vegetarian foods can be part of a healthy diet.

Benefits of eating healthy non-vegetarian foods:

  • Healthy non-vegetarian foods can help you build and maintain muscle mass.
  • Healthy non-vegetarian foods can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
  • Healthy non-vegetarian foods can help reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Healthy non-vegetarian foods can boost your energy levels and improve your mood.
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Here are some of the best non-vegetarian foods that are super healthy:

1. Salmon: Salmon is an exceptional source of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA, which play a crucial role in heart and brain health. These healthy fats can help reduce the risk of heart disease, lower inflammation, and support cognitive function. Salmon is also rich in high-quality protein and provides various vitamins and minerals, including  vitamin D and selenium.

2. Tuna: Tuna is another fatty fish known for its omega-3 content, which offers similar heart and brain health benefits as salmon. It s an excellent source of lean protein, vitamins (like B vitamins), and essential minerals like selenium and phosphorus. Tuna is relatively low in calories, making it a smart choice for those looking to maintain or lose weight.

3. Chicken: Chicken is a lean protein source that s versatile and low in fat compared to some other meats. It provides essential amino acids and is a good source of various vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, and selenium. These nutrients support muscle health and overall well-being.

4. Eggs: Eggs are a nutrient-dense food, providing high-quality protein, a range of essential vitamins (such as B vitamins, vitamin A, and vitamin D), and minerals (like iron, phosphorus, and zinc). They also contain healthy fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Eggs are an excellent addition to a balanced diet.

5. Lean Pork: Lean cuts of pork, such as tenderloin and sirloin chops, offer a lean source of protein. Pork is rich in vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins (like B6 and B12), iron, zinc, and phosphorus. It s worth noting that lean pork can be lower in saturated fat compared to fattier cuts of red meat.

Incorporating a variety of these healthy non-vegetarian foods into your diet can provide an array of essential nutrients and contribute to your overall well-being. As with any dietary choices, it s important to prepare these foods in a healthful manner, such as grilling or roasting rather than frying, and consume them as part of a well-balanced diet for maximum health benefits.

Indeed, there are several healthy non-vegetarian foods that provide valuable nutrients and can be part of a  balanced diet. Here are some examples:

1. Turkey: Turkey is a lean meat that offers a substantial amount of high-quality protein. It s also a source of vitamins like B3 (niacin) and B6, as well as essential minerals like selenium and phosphorus. Turkey can be a nutritious and versatile addition to your meals.

2. Shrimp: Shrimp is a low-calorie seafood choice that is rich in protein, making it an excellent option for those looking to boost their protein intake without excess calories. Shrimp also contains vitamins like B12, iodine, and selenium, which are essential for overall health.

3. Scallops: Scallops are another low-calorie and high-protein seafood. They are a good source of minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. Scallops can be a delicious and nutritious addition to various dishes, from salads to seafood entrees.

4. Oysters: Oysters are nutrient-dense seafood, packed with protein, vitamins (including B12 and zinc), minerals (such as iron and copper), and omega-3 fatty acids. They are particularly known for their exceptional zinc content, which is vital for immune function and wound healing.

Including a variety of non-vegetarian foods like these in your diet can provide essential nutrients and help diversify your protein sources. As with any dietary choices, it s important to consume them in moderation and as part of a balanced overall diet to maximize their health benefits.

To make the most of the health benefits of non-vegetarian foods, it is important to choose lean meats and seafood, and to cook them in healthy ways. For example, grilling, baking, and broiling are all healthy cooking methods. It is also important to limit processed meats and red meats, as they have been linked to some health risks.

Tips for incorporating healthy non-vegetarian foods into your diet:

  • Make fish or seafood a part of your weekly meal plan. Aim to eat at least two servings of fish or seafood per week.
  • Choose lean cuts of meat, such as chicken breast, turkey breast, and pork tenderloin. Avoid processed meats, such as hot dogs, bacon, and sausage.
  • Cook meat and seafood in healthy ways, such as grilling, baking, and broiling. Avoid frying meat and seafood, as this can add unhealthy fats to your diet.
  • Pair meat and seafood with healthy sides, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

By following these tips, you can incorporate healthy non-vegetarian foods into your diet and enjoy the many health benefits they have to offer.

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