Nutritional Adequacy of Vegetarian and Omnivore Dietary Intakes

Vegetarian diets take numerous forms with the exclusion of animal products being a shared factor. The most common variation is a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, which excludes meat, fish and poultry but includes dairy and eggs. A vegan diet excludes all animal products so that meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, gelatin, honey, animal derived additives and colours obtained from animal skeletons are not consumed. A fruitarian diet is a modified, more controlled version of the vegan diet that is primarily associated with the consumption of raw or dried fruits thus making this the least common of all vegetarian diets consumed and the one most likely to be lacking in essential nutrients. Interestingly, some individuals consider themselves to be vegetarian despite consuming meat products and a recent survey even reports a daily meat intake of approximately 80 grams by some self-identified vegetarians. Consequently, research concerning vegetarianism can be limited by the definition of a vegetarian diet and the motivating factors for being vegetarian.

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