What is vegetarianism ?

Vegetarianism is a way of eating which completely or partially excludes food from animals. There are several kinds of vegetarianism. Here are the main ones:
  • 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.
  • Ovo-vegetarian diets exclude meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products, but allow eggs.
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish and poultry, but allow dairy products and eggs.
  • Pescatarian diets exclude meat and poultry, dairy, and eggs, but allow fish.
  • 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.

• Tofu • Tempeh • Quorn • Seitan •

Is vegetarianism bad for health ?

The vegetarian diet if it is badly controlled can cause deficiencies: mainly in proteins, iron, calcium and vitamin B12, and Omega 3 fatty acids. However, you just have to follow certain rules and make the right combinations of foods. In addition, vegetarians are generally healthier than people who eat meat: they are less overweight (since they eat low calories food), they get also less cardiovascular disease and hypertension, and vegetarianism could even protect against certain cancers!

Rules to follow to avoid deficiencies


Protein helps maintain healthy skin, bones, muscles and organs. Eggs and dairy products are good sources, and you don’t need to eat large amounts to meet your protein needs. Plant sources include soy products and meat substitutes, legumes, lentils, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

Vegetable protein are often deficient in one or more amino acids.

cereals are deficient in lysine (and sometimes in tryptophan) but rich in methionine and cysteine.
Legumes are deficient in methionine and cysteine but rich in lysine.

To avoid protein deficiencies, make sure to consume grains and legumes on the same day.


Iron is a crucial component of red blood cells. Dried beans and peas, lentils, enriched cereals, whole-grain products, dark leafy green vegetables, and dried fruit are good sources of iron.

Much of our iron intake comes from meat. when you’re a vegetarian, there is a risk of iron deficiency. In addition, non-heme iron is less absorbed than iron from meat. However, there are several solutions to increase the absorption of non-heme iron:

• Consume VITAMIN C along with iron-rich foods. So you can season salad dressings with lemon juice or accompany the meal with a fruit or a fruit juice.

• You should also be careful not to consume too much tea or coffee because the polyphenols they contain can decrease the absorption of iron (as well as phytic acid in whoole grains).


Calcium helps build and maintain strong teeth and bones. Milk and dairy foods are highest in calcium.

Vitamin D also plays an important role in bone health. Vitamin D is added to cow’s milk, some brands of soy and rice milk, and some cereals and margarines. Be sure to check food labels. If you don’t eat enough fortified foods and have limited sun exposure, you may need a vitamin D supplement

For vegetarians who do not consume dairy products, there is also a risk of calcium deficiency. So there are several alternatives to fill the Ca intake:

• Replace cow’s milk with soy milk enriched with calcium

• Drink water rich in calcium

• Expose yourself to the sun to synthesize vitamin D

• Do not consume too much coffe, tea, colas …


Vitamin B-12 is necessary to produce red blood cells and prevent anemia.

Vitamin B-12 deficiency may go undetected in people who eat a vegan diet. This is because the vegan diet is rich in a vitamin called folate, which may mask deficiency in vitamin B-12 until severe problems occur. In addition, Vitamin B12 is only found in animal foods. For this reason, Vegetarians should therefore take supplements in order to avoid a Vitamin B12 deficiency.

However, it is better to be vigilant and seek advice from your doctor!

Omega 3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are important for heart health. Diets that do not include fish and eggs are generally low in active forms of omega-3 fatty acids. Canola oil, soy oil, walnuts, ground flaxseed and soybeans are good sources of essential fatty acids. However, because conversion of plant-based omega-3 to the types used by humans is inefficient, you may want to consider fortified products or supplements or both.


A lot of people may think that vegetarian people will have a special training or something that will make them different. But actually, it’s not the case, as soon as you respect what we’ve said in this article and make sure to combine certain foods, a vegetarian trainee will have the same result as someone who is getting meat.

We can see this with some Athletes like : Zack Belknap, Nimai Delgado, Jehina Malik, Anastasia Zinchenko, Torre Washington and so on …

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