All About Nutrition

Vegetarian Diet
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The vegetarian diet is included in here, not because it is a "fad" diet, but because it is an important diet which needs to be highlighted and reviewed.


What is a vegetarian diet

The word vegetarian was first by the Vegetarian Society of the UK in 1847 to refer to a person who does not eat meat, fish, poultry or their by-products (milk, eggs).

Vegetarians do not consume meat (and some of the by-products such as dairy and eggs) for a variety of reason - some do so because they do not want to eat any animal flesh, others because they believe of the health benefits of plant-based foods are higher than meat-based foods and yet others because they do not want an animal to suffer just to provide them food. In addition to these reasons, there are other personal reasons people choose a vegetarian diet (and usually lifestyle).

Typical, vegetarians consume the following non-meat sources of food:

Some vegetarians also consume dairy products and eggs.


There are many individuals in many countries who cannot afford to eat meat, like individuals in the Western countries are able to, so a vegetarian diet is a normal way of life for them. In addition, not so long ago (as early as 50 years ago), most people did not consume meat on the same scale as people are used to in the West - meat was considered a treat to be consumed at a special family meal and was not present in every meal.


Types of vegetarian diets

Today are several types of vegetarian diets:


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Benefits of a vegetarian diet

The main benefits of the different types of vegetarian diets :


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Why a vegetarian diet works

Vegetarian diets, if followed correctly, are a great diet plan to follow (but they can sometimes be hard to maintain correctly) as they provide many health benefits and if whole foods are eaten only (with little or no processed foods), maintain a proper weight for the individual.


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Is a vegetarian diet good for you

The benefits of a vegetarian diet (all types) are :

The limitation of a vegetarian diet are:


Cautions for a vegetarian diet

Lacto-ovo and Lacto vegetarians with a wholesome, balanced diet will normally consume the right amount of high quality protein from their diet, given that they eat milk and eggs, which are high quality protein foods and they also consume soy, which is also a very good high quality protein.

Vegans however, need to combine their foods properly in order to get the full benefits of high quality protein, which is not a given for most plant-based foods (with the exception of soy, which is a very good high quality protein).

Most vegetarians will get adequate nutrients (carboydrates, protein, fats, vitamins, minerals, amino acids), from their diet, but if the vegetarian diet is not adhered to properly by intake of adequate food sources, it can make a person deficient in several important nutrients:

Certain individuals may need extra supplementation and/or care if they are on this type of diet, due to their special requirements:

To try this diet, speak to your medical practitioner or dietician to provide a wholesome diet plan that can adequately take care of all nutritional requirements.


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More information

To learn more, go to the following web sites:


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Last reviewed: 27 December 2007 || Last updated: 15 June 2011


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NOTE: Mega doses of vitamins, minerals or other nutrients cannot cure illnesses and in fact can be very dangerous and produce toxic side effects and interfere with medicine you are taking. Always ensure you consult your doctor before taking any type of minerals supplement.
Disclaimer: This guide is not intended to be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. For any treatment or diagnosis of illness, please see your doctor.


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