Nutrition Tips For Vegetarians And Vegans
A vegetarian is someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruits. While all vegetarians focus on plant-based foods, there are a few variations for vegetarianism:
- Lacto-ovo-vegetarians: avoid muscle meats, but still consume both dairy products and eggs
- Lacto-vegetarians: avoid muscle meats and eggs, but still consume dairy products
- Ovo-vegetarians: avoid muscle meats and dairy, but still consume eggs
- Vegan: avoid all animal foods including muscle meats, eggs, dairy, and other products which are derived from animals such as honey.
- Vegans: eat only plant based foods.
While vegetarian and vegan diets can be very healthy, there are a few nutrients to make sure you get enough of. If you choose to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, be sure to incorporate the following foods into your meals and snacks for the best nutrition.
- Protein foods - Soy products such as soy milk and meat substitutes, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, nut and seed butters, and whole grains
- Calcium containing foods - Spinach, turnip and collard greens, kale, broccoli, okra, sesame seeds, turnip greens, soybeans, soy yogurt, fortified soymilk, and tofu enriched with calcium
- Vitamin B-12 containing foods - Enriched cereals, fortified soy products, seaweed, and supplements that contains vitamin B-12
- Iron containing foods - Beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, nut and seed butters, enriched cereals, and dried apricots
- Zinc containing foods - Beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, nut and seed butters, and oats
For further questions or concerns on the vegetarian diet, consult a registered dietitian or qualified health professional.
This medical and/or nutritional information is not intended to be a substitute for individual advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.