Vegetarian Eating

People become or remain vegetarian for a variety of different reasons. Here are just a few.

  • Health
  • Economic
  • Ecological
  • Ethical or religious
  • “It's the way I have always eaten.”

Types of Vegetarian Diets


Diet consists of only foods of plant origin.


Diet consists of plant foods plus some or all dairy products.


Diet consists of plant foods, dairy products and eggs.

Semi- or partial vegetarian

Diet consists of plant foods and may include chicken or fish, dairy products, and eggs. It does not include red meat.

Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet

A vegetarian diet can lead to a lower risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some forms of cancer.

The reduced risk is because vegetarian diets tend to be lower in saturated fat and cholesterol and higher in fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. The key to a healthy vegetarian diet is to eat a wide variety of food.

Vegetarians can get all the nutrients they need from their diet, but it does take effort.

It is possible to get all of the vitamins and minerals you need from plant-based foods, but it will require a proactive approach, especially for vegans. Important nutrients to include in all diets include 

  • protein,
  • calcium,
  • iron,
  • vitamin B-12
  • zinc.