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HealthInfo Canterbury

Vegetarian eating

Vegetarian eating has been around for over 2,000 years. People choose to follow a vegetarian diet for many different reasons including:

A well-planned vegetarian diet can meet the nutritional needs of people of all ages. This includes children, teenagers, and pregnant or breast-feeding mothers.

There are many types of vegetarian diets, but the two most common are:


This diet includes dairy products and eggs (lacto means dairy and ovo means eggs). It includes all plant foods such as grains, fruit and vegetables. It also includes legumes (dried peas, beans and lentils), nuts and seeds. It excludes meat, chicken and seafood.


A vegan diet consists only of plant foods. It excludes all animal products including meat, chicken, seafood, eggs, dairy, honey and gelatine.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed October 2018.


See also:

Eating well for strong healthy bones

How to get your daily iron

Preventing vitamin B12 deficiency

Page reference: 205377

Review key: HIHEI-34305