Vegan and vegetarian diets

Vegetarian and vegan diets are those that cut out meat and/or animal products. The reasons for doing so differ from person to person, but may include religion, animal rights or just plain taste preference.

There are a few different types of vegetarian diets, depending on how restricting the person chooses to be:

Ovo-lacto-vegetarian = Does not eat meat (red meat, poultry or fish), but still eats eggs and dairy products.

Lacto-vegetarian = Does not eat eggs or meat (red meat, poultry or fish) but still eats dairy.

Vegan = Does not eat any animal products (red meat, poultry, fish, eggs dairy), only plant-based foods (fruit, vegetables, grains and cereals, nuts and seeds).

These diets may be appropriate, but ONLY if suitable replacements for the foods cut out are eaten every day. A vegetarian diet is not a weight loss diet. To ensure you are getting enough key nutrients vegetarians usually require larger quantities of the vegetarian alternative foods to ensure they meet their nutritional requirements. Key nutrients that need to be thought about include:

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If you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian or vegan, talk to a dietitian first to make sure you’re not doing yourself more harm than good.