Special Diet: What is it?

A special diet is one that cannot be selected freely from the main choices available. This could be due to an allergy, intolerance, medical need or lifestyle and social/ethical reasons.

Examples of special diets:

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

What is a Vegetarian Diet?

  • Vegetarian diet: focuses on the consumption of plant-based foods and excludes the consumption of meat. There are many types of vegetarian diet.
  • Advantages: following a vegetarian diet may reduce the risk of some chronic diseases such as heart diseases and cancer.
  • Disadvantages: some vegetarian diets rely heavily on ultra-processed foods containing high amounts of added sugars, salt and unhealthy fats.

Types of Vegetarian Diet

  • Lacto-vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish, poultry and eggs, and all foods that contain them. Dairy products (e.g., milk, cheese, yogurt) 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 all foods that contain these products.
  • Flexitarian diet is mostly a plant-based diet that allows the consumption of meat, dairy, eggs, poultry and fish on occasion or in small quantities.