Vegan and vegetarian diets

Vegetarian diets are plant-based diets that exclude meat and/or animal products. The reasons for doing so differ from person to person, but may include religion, culture, concern for animal welfare and the environment, parental preferences, or just plain taste preference.

There are a few different types of vegetarian diets. Here are a few:

  • 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).

The meat and alternatives food group contains a number of essential nutrients. It’s important that if we are cutting animal products out of our diets, that they are replaced with nutritious alternatives each 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:

If you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian or vegan, talk to a dietitian first to make sure your nutritional needs are being met!