A well-planned vegetarian diet is a healthy way to meet your nutritional needs. Find out what you need to know about a plant-based diet.

By Mayo Clinic staff

A well-planned vegetarian diet can meet the needs of people of all ages, including children, teenagers, and pregnant or breast-feeding women. The key is to be aware of your nutritional needs so that you plan a diet that meets them.

Types of vegetarian diets

When people think about a vegetarian diet, they typically think about a diet that doesn't include meat, poultry or fish. But vegetarian diets vary in what foods they include and exclude:

  • Lacto-vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish, poultry and eggs, as well as foods that contain them. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt and butter, are included.
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish and poultry, but allow dairy products and eggs.
  • Ovo-vegetarian diets exclude meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products, but allow eggs.
  • Vegan diets exclude meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products — and foods that contain these products.

Some people follow a semivegetarian diet — also called a flexitarian diet — which is primarily a plant-based diet but includes meat, dairy, eggs, poultry and fish on occasion or in small quantities.

Vegetarian diet pyramid

A healthy diet takes planning, and a food pyramid can be a helpful tool. The vegetarian pyramid outlines food groups and food choices that, if eaten in the right quantities, form the foundation of a healthy vegetarian diet.

Vegetarian Food Guide Pyramid


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Thank you so much!! I have been looking for this information since a long time ago!! I just became Vegan, and I was wondering if I planned my menu correctly, anyway I think I'm doing it well, I can't feel better!!

you're welcome. Hope this information help you.

I agree. 2 servings of fruits or 4 serving of vegetables are easy to keep up. However 6 serving of grains is impossible for me.

Thanks a lot for the information :)

How do you measure servings? For example I consume soy milk a lot; is one cup of milk equals to one serving?

Thanks :)

Wooooooooooo! Go grains :)

Eggs in the same category as sweets?!?!   What absolute rubbish!  What have you based this "fact" on?  And soy milk is also debatable, depending on the research you read.  Whole grains at every meal (notably, evening meal)?  Not if you are trying to keep your weight down.  If you want some facts, do your own research and work out what is best for you.  Don't take everything you read as gospel.  

Relax, elsie. This is a food guide pyramid. Usually, this are general guidelines for a large group of people & and a great way to begin a new diet. Obviously each person is different and can fine tune their diets to their own needs as they go. But something like this is a great way to start.

6 glasses of water is still too little, u need more to be healthy

helpful information, thx a lot!


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