Intro to Nutrition #44: Should You Be a Vegetarian? Nutrition Facts on the Vegetarian Diet

The vegetarian diet involves abstaining from
eating meat, fish, and poultry. People often adopt a vegetarian diet for religious or personal
reasons, as well as ethical issues, such as animal rights. There are several forms of
vegetarianism, each of which differs in their restrictions. The most common types include
the lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet which eliminates meat, fish, and poultry but allows eggs and
dairy products. The lacto-vegetarian diet eliminates meat, fish, poultry, and eggs but
allows dairy products. The ovo-vegetarian diet eliminates meat, fish, poultry, and dairy
products but allows eggs. The pescatarian diet eliminates meat and poultry but allows
fish and sometimes eggs and dairy products. And the flexitarian diet is a mostly vegetarian
diet that incorporates occasional meat, fish, or poultry. A well-rounded vegetarian diet
can be healthy and nutritious. However, it may also increase your risk of certain nutritional
deficiencies. Meat, poultry, and fish supply a good amount of protein and omega-3 fatty
acids, as well as micronutrients like zinc, selenium, iron, and vitamin B12. Other animal
products like dairy and eggs also contain plenty of calcium, vitamin D, and B vitamins.
When cutting meat or other animal products from your diet, it’s important to ensure
you’re getting these essential nutrients from other sources as nutritional deficiency
in these key micronutrients can lead to symptoms like fatigue, weakness, anemia, bone loss
and thyroid issues.

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