Vegetarian Diet Plan
Vegetarians do not eat meat products.
There are, however, different types of vegetarians e.g. some do / don't eat eggs or dairy products.
A vegetarian diet plan meets two criteria, it is:
- A meal plan (sometimes called a diet plan), and it is
A meal plan can be as simple as a list of foods to be eaten at each stage of the day, e.g. for breakfast, lunch and evening meal, usually over a series of days but from as little as a single day to a plan for several weeks or months. A vegetarian meal plan (or 'diet plan') includes only vegetarian foods. A vegetarian diet plan can be either general or designed for a particular person or circumstance e.g. an elderly lady who is moderately overweight.
The following vegetarian diet plan is a general example of a vegetarian meal plan for moderately active adult ovolactovegetarians i.e. people who do not eat meat or fish products but do eat both eggs and dairy products.
The vegetarian diet plan outlined above could be adjusted for someone who has specific needs or medical conditions and so would benefit from attention to ensuring a particular minimum daily supply of a specific mineral or minerals e.g. calcium, iron, etc.. It could also be adjusted to take the person's weight and activity level into account e.g. by managing portion sizes and snacks. Additional considerations would apply for vegetarian children (and, of course, vegan children).
A more detailed individual vegetarian diet plan could include guideline / estimated figures associated with each meal and optional snack. For example, it could include suggested overall calorie intake per meal and / or minimum / maximum suggested quantities of certain types of foods depending on the needs of the individual person. The example vegetarian meal plan shown above includes a range of foods and may suit a moderately active vegetarian man but require adjustment for an elderly inactive but overweight vegetarian woman.
It is important to drink enough water. This could be in the form of ordinary drinking water or as other drinks such as teas and / or as fluids included in meals e.g. as soups or sauces. A more detailed diet plan could include mention of suggested amounts of water / fluid spaced appropriately throughout the day.
What considerations are needed to ensure that a vegetarian diet is healthy ?
A balanced diet includes the correct proportions of the following:
The purpose of a vegetarian diet is the same as that of any other diet: To keep the person healthy by supplying his or her body with appropriate amounts of all necessary nutrients, together with enough energy, to support the functions of his or her body and mind.
Human dietary needs change as life progresses (from birth to old age) and according to other circumstances such as gender, pregnancy, lactation, activity level, and any medical conditions.
As applies to all types of diet, in order to be considered 'healthy' a vegetarian diet should be 'balanced'. That means it should include appropriate amounts of each of the seven dietary components listed on the right.
Vegetarian diets and vegan diets differ from other diets because they include the additional constraint that all foods must meet the criteria of the particular type of vegetarian diet, e.g. ovolactovegetarian, lactovegetarian, ovovegetarian, vegan, etc..