Vegetarian Diet Q&A


What does being a vegetarian mean?

Being a vegetarian means making the choice to eat no animal flesh such as meat, poultry or fish. A vegetarian diet can be nutritionally complete and provide all the necessary nutrients your body requires. There are various forms of vegetarians, but the most common two are:

  • Lacto-ovo vegetarians: who will include dairy (lacto) products and/or eggs (ovo) in their diet
  • Vegans: who do not eat any animal products

Are there health benefits of eating Vegetarian?

Yes. The research has shown that among vegetarians, the incidence of heart disease, high blood pressure, “type 2 diabetes”, overweight and obesity tends to be lower. However, the elimination of animal food sources alone does not contribute to a healthier diet. Vegetarianism takes considerable planning to ensure that all of your nutrient needs are being met from plant based foods. Additionally, as with any healthy meal plan, portion control and moderation is important if your goal is to achieve a healthy weight and reduce your risk for the previously mention disease/disorders.

Are there nutrients Vegetarians need to be more aware of?

Definitely, because lacto-ovo vegetarians still consume some animal products, the risk of a vitamin or mineral deficiency is lower. However for individuals who choose a vegan lifestyle, they are more at risk of being deficient in Vitamin B12, Iron, Calcium, Vit D and Zinc, and without careful planning. Vegans can also be deficient in the essential amino acids that come from proteins.

If someone wants to try a vegetarian lifestyle are there any recommendations to begin?

As mentioned before, adopting a vegetarian lifestyle takes a considerable amount of planning to ensure you provide your body with all of the nutrients and energy it needs. Before you decide to cut out the meat, speak with a registered dietitian to help you plan out your meals to achieve your optimal health.

You don’t have to go completely vegetarian to reap the benefits of vegetarian meals. It is also heart healthy to replace a couple meat-centered meals throughout the week with meatless meals. Look to our vegetarian pinterest board for inspiration.