Vegetarian Diets

The popularity of vegetarian diets has increased in recent years. One reason is that vegetarian diets have been linked to lower risks for several diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. There are many different types of vegetarian diets. The similarities among them lie in their emphasis on grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, and nuts to obtain all the necessary nutrients. The main concern people have when deciding to try a vegetarian diet is whether the diets will meet their vitamin, mineral, and protein needs. These needs can be met if vegetarians include foods from all the food groups in the pyramid. Meat, fish and poultry can be substituted with legumes, nuts, seeds, and other meat alternatives. Strict vegetarians who omit animal products from their diets may need to take Vitamin B12 and calcium supplements.

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