Meal Planning for Vegetarian Diets

Many people are choosing to follow a vegetarian diet these days. People who follow a vegetarian diet do not eat any meat (meaning no red meat, poultry, seafood, or products made with these foods).

This diet is a healthy option to consider, but it should be well-planned. If you choose to follow a vegetarian diet, be sure to eat a mix of vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts, and low-fat dairy products (if you choose to include dairy).

There are many different types of vegetarian diets. The most common types are:

Vegan — This group does not eat meat, eggs, or dairy products.
Lacto-vegetarian — This group does not eat meat or eggs. However, they will eat dairy products.
Lacto-ovo vegetarian — This group does not eat any meat. However, they will eat both dairy products and eggs.

Learn more…

Protein and Vegetarian Diets
Protein is not a problem with a vegan or vegetarian diet when you eat a variety of the many plant foods that provide protein such as…

Here are several meal ideas for different vegetarian diets

Other Types of Vegetarian Diets
Earlier we described the major types of vegetarian diets. Some others are:

Ovo-vegetarian diet—This group does not eat any meat or dairy products. However, they do include eggs.

Macrobiotic diet—People following this diet focus on grains, legumes, and vegetables. They also eat a small amount of fruit, nuts, and seeds. Some also eat fish so it may not be a true vegetarian diet.

Raw foods diet—This is usually a form of the vegan diet. Most or all foods are eaten uncooked. They are raw and unprocessed. The diet includes raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sometimes unpasteurized dairy or raw meat or fish. (Those who eat raw meat or fish do not follow a true vegetarian diet.)

Fruitarian—This is a vegan diet that only includes fruit, nuts, and seeds. It is very limited and is considered nutritionally inadequate.

Key Nutrients
People following a vegetarian diet need to consider a few key nutrients when meal planning. What are they and how can you make sure you’re getting enough of them? Check this list.