Balancing a Healthy
Heather McCracken, MPH, RD
University of California, San Diego
Student Health Services
What is a vegetarian?
Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or poultry.
Reasons for being vegetarian include:
dislike of meat
compassion for animals
belief in non-violence
Types of vegetarians
Four main types:
lacto-ovo vegetarians: consume plant foods,
eggs and dairy, omit meat, fish and poultry
lacto-vegetarians: consume plant foods and
dairy, omit meat, fish, poultry and eggs
ovo-vegetarians: consume plant foods and
eggs, omit meat, fish, poultry and dairy
vegans: consume only plant foods, omit all
Are vegetarian diets
According to the American Dietetic
Association (ADA), appropriately planned
vegetarian diets are:
provide health benefits in the prevention and
treatment of certain diseases
Making the Change to a
Many people become vegetarian instantly.
They totally give up meat, fish and poultry
Others make the change gradually.
Do what works best for you.
Being a vegetarian is as hard or as easy
as you choose to make it.
Plant sources of protein alone can provide adequate
amounts of essential amino acids if a variety of
plant foods are consumed and energy needs are
It is no longer deemed necessary to consume
complementary proteins at the same time.
Consumption of various sources of amino acids over
the course of the day should ensure adequate
nitrogen retention and use in healthy persons.
protein do we need?
RDA: 0.8 grams protein / kg body weight
Vegans: 0.8 to 1.0 grams / kg body weight
10% of total calories should come from
based on 2000 kcal diet, 200 kcal from protein
200kcal x 1 gram/4 kcal = 50 grams of protein
Sources of Protein
beans / lentils