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Vegetarian Diet

Summary

A vegetarian diet focuses on plants for food. These include fruits, vegetables, dried
beans and peas, grains, seeds and nuts. There is no single type of vegetarian diet.
Instead, vegetarian eating patterns usually fall into the following groups:

  • The vegan diet, which excludes all meat and animal products
  • The lacto vegetarian diet, which includes plant foods plus dairy products
  • The lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, which includes both dairy products and eggs

People who follow vegetarian diets can get all the nutrients they need. However, they
must be careful to eat a wide variety of foods to meet their nutritional needs. Nutrients
vegetarians may need to focus on include protein, iron,
calcium, zinc and vitamin B12.

United States Department of Agriculture

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