Vegetarians and vegans

It’s particularly important that you eat a variety of different foods if you’re vegetarian or vegan, to make sure that your body gets all the nutrients it needs for you to be healthy.

Vegetarians, who don’t eat meat or fish, need to make sure that their diet contains enough protein, iron and zinc (usually found in meat). Try to avoid eating too many processed ‘vegetarian alternatives’ like sausages or burgers as these often contain high amounts of salt or fats. Make sure you include plenty of sources of iron and calcium in your diet – see our page on a balanced diet. Useful advice for vegetarians – including tips on achieving a balanced diets and links to a range of vegetarian recipes – can also be found here and here.

Vegans eat only plant foods and not foods that come from  animals, including dairy products. If you follow a vegan diet, it is especially important to make sure that you eat foods that provide your body with enough protein, calcium, iron and vitamin B12. You can find good practical advice on vegan diets, and links to a range of vegan recipes,  here and here.