Back to index
Vegetarianism and other special diets

Why are people vegetarian?

Moral grounds - Killing of animals

Health grounds



Vegetarians do not necessarily want healthier food that meat eaters and there is a tendency to confuse the "Wholefooder" with the vegetarian. The general assumption is the vegetarian is more concerned about eating over-refined foods than the average meat eater. This is probably a misconception formed by the hospitality industry. The main concern should be to produce good tasting food without using meat or animal product content.

Types of vegetarianism

Ovo-lacto vegetarian

- will not eat meat or meat products

- will eat milk, dairy produce and eggs.

Lacto - vegetarian

eat milk & dairy products but not eggs

Ovo - vegetarian

includes eggs but not dairy products



do not eat any meat, dairy or egg products - vegetables only


Fruitarian (fructarian)

eat only the fruit of plants not the plant itself.

Characteristics and attention points

Vegetarian eating can meet all nutrient requirements.

• Tends to be bulky

• High water and high fibre content are common in vegetable foods.

• The ability to create interesting dishes probably requires greater imagination than cooking with meat and is often relatively time consuming.

Two main approaches are adopted -

• To produce foods that emulate meat dishes.


• To produce foods that bear no relation to meat in flavour or texture.


Care is needed to ensure sufficient of certain nutrients

Identify the appropriate sources of:

• energy:

• calcium:

• iron:

• riboflavin:

• B12:

• vitamin D

For further Information see

Vegan Kate

The Vegetarian Society



Special diets:


Numerous types of special dietary or preparation requirements exist which are linked to religious practice for example:

• Kosher


• Hindu


• Halal




• Celiac

• Gluten Free

• Lactose intolerance


• Diabetic


Health reasons

What is a healthy diet?

• "Wholefooders"

• Weight Loss

• low calorie

• low fat/cholesterol

• low salt

• high Fibre