All types of diets have potential health risks as well as benefits associated with their consumption. Plant based vegetarian diets are no exception to this rule.
Vegetarians living enjoy remarkably good health, exemplified by low rates of obesity, coronary diseases, diabetes, many cancers, and increased longevity.
Typically, vegetarians have relatively high intakes of folate and similar intakes of vitamin B6, as compared with the non-vegeterians. However, vegetarians (and particularly vegans) typically have relatively low intakes of vitamin B12, calcium and iron.
Vitamin B12 is essentially absent from plant foods and is present in small amounts in dairy products (but in somewhat higher amounts in eggs). Therefore, dietary intake of vitamin B12 in vegetarians is low unless they consume large amounts of dairy products and eggs, or regularly consume fortified foods or vitamin supplements.
If you’re a strict vegetarian or if you exercise a lot (or both), you might need extra riboflavin.
Strict vegetarians and vegans need to eat plenty of nuts and whole grains such as oatmeal to meet their RDAs of niacin.
People who don’t eat these foods can get deficient of cobalamin if they don’t take supplements, because cobalamin is found naturally only in animal foods.
There’s very little Vitamin D in plant foods. If you don’t drink milk and also don’t get outside much, you—and your vegan kids—might not be getting enough Vitamin D.
Many delicious plant foods are high in iron so vegetarians don’t need to worry. You can also increase the iron content of
vegetable foods by using cast-iron cookware.
Carnitine is an amino acid you make in your body from the essential aminos lysine and methionine. In foods, carnitine is found in meat, especially beef, pork, and lamb.
There’s virtually none in plant foods, so vegetarians should be sure they’re getting enough foods that contain lysine and methionine, the building blocks for carnitine.
If you atr vegetatian or vegan be sure that get adequate amount of vitamins and minerals. Multivitamins, calcium and iron supplements, etc. can also provide some of these nutrients when diets are lacking.