An apple a day...

Generally, vegetarian and vegan diets are low in fats, particularly saturated fat, and high in healthy fruits and vegetables. However, as more convenience food suitable for vegetarians and vegans becomes available, it is easier to fall into the low-nutrition, high-sugar, high-salt junk food diet, traditionally the province of omnis.

Vegetarians following a balanced diet can easily meet most of their nutritional requirements, although some special thought should be given to some nutrients such as iron (particularly for women of child bearing age). It is also important not to become reliant on cheese, high in saturated fat and salt, as a main protein source

Vegans also need to give some special consideration to sources of nutrients such as iron, calcium, B12 and iodine. A well planned vegan diet can be very healthy, being free from cholesterol, low in saturated fats, and high in fruits and vegetables.

Women who are considering becoming pregnant, or breastfeeding, need to take extra care with their diet, and are recommended to speak to a registered dietitian to ensure the special needs at this time are met. In addition, young infants, and the elderly, and anyone with a reduced appetite, needs to take extra care, particularly as a vegan diet tends to be high in bulk and therefore not nutrient dense; this means a large volume of food may need to be consumed in order to provide sufficient nutrients (including calories), which may be difficult for those with a small appetite.

See the rest of Vegan Volumes' nutritional pages for more detailed information on key nutrients, but please remember, these are a general guide only. if you are in doubt about your health or diet, you may wish to consider a personal dietary assessment, or consult your doctor or a dietitian.

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These pages were last updated 22nd May 2010
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Protein Fats Dietary Assessment