What is Important for Vegetarians and Vegans to Eat?

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Avoiding deficiency

‘Vegetarianism’ encompasses a range of dietary patterns. Lacto-ovo-vegetarians eat dairy products and eggs, pesco-vegetarians (or pescatarians) eat all seafood on top of the foods eaten by lacto-ovo-vegetarians, and vegans do not eat any food of animal origin (including honey). The more restricted the diet, the more care needs to be taken to get all nutrients required by the body.In plant-based diets, several key nutrients may be deficient, absent or poorly absorbed from the gut. These include high quality protein, very long chain omega-3 fatty acids (eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)), iron, zinc, calcium and vitamins D and B12.

In vegetarian and vegan diets, several key nutrients may be deficient, absent or poorly absorbed from the gut. These include high quality protein, very long chain omega-3 fatty acids (eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)), iron, zinc, calcium and vitamins D and B12.

Intakes of these nutrients are usually adequate in pescatarian and lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets. However, iron stores tend to be lower in vegetarians and vegans because the most readily absorbed form of iron, haem iron, is only found in meat, poultry and fish.Read More..

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