A comparison of the dietary analysis of four vegetarians and four non-vegetarians
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Introduction: There is much debate as to whether vegetarians are able to have a balanced diet while cutting out meat and fish or whether they are healthier as a result of this lifestyle compared to those who are not vegetarians. The purpose of this study was to analyse the diets of young adults, comparing the diets of a group of vegetarians against a group of omnivores. Methods: Four vegetarians and four omnivores completed a five-day food diary, food photography diary and a questionnaire. The different lifestyle diets were analysed and compared using the Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS) and Eatwell Guide (EG). Results: The MDS showed vegetarians to have the better diet in terms of variety of foods. However, the EG indicated that on average the omnivores had a better diet, as the vegetarians missed out meat protein and portions of fish. Discussion: The use of the MDS and EG did not endorse each other when analysing the results. However, from this research the positives and negatives for each diet group were clear. The vegetarians met recommendations for fruit, vegetables, wholegrains and legumes but due to the exclusion of meat and fish they missed out on sources of iron, calcium, vitamin B12 and vitamin D, unavailable from other food groups in the same quantity. Whereas, the omnivores did not reach as many of the recommended targets for food groups, and consumed red and processed meat which is linked with metabolic syndrome, and ischemic heart disease. Yet, they consumed more iron, calcium, vitamin B12 and vitamin D from meat and fish than the vegetarians.
BSc (Hons) Food Science and Technology
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