Topic 9 Plant-based diets

  • Ovo-vegetarians: eat eggs, but avoid all other animal foods
  • Lacto-vegetarians: eat dairy, but no eggs or meat
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarians: eat dairy and eggs (no meat, seafood, or poultry)
  • Pescetarian: eat fish and seafood
  • Semi-vegetarians (flexitarians): may eat meat, seafood, eggs, dairy rarely
  • Vegans: avoid animal sourced foods completely

All plant based diets can reduce the risk of having diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and even some types of cancer!

Vegan diets and possible deficiencies

The most important deficiency that may appear in a vegan diet is the B12 deficiency. Therefore, eating plant-based foods enriched with B12 daily or taking a B12 supplement is advised.

Plant based diets can often accompany a low intake of protein (especially low protein quality), vitamin D, Calcium, Iron, Zinc and Iodine. Therefore, it is crucial to design meals that are acceptable by the vegetarian or vegan community and are rich in these nutrients.