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Ask the Expert Archive

Do vegetarians need to take dietary supplements?


Q. Hello, I am attempting to transition to a plant base diet. I am certain that the science supports the benefits it offer, namely in reducing the incidences of chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetics. Are the supplements that I should consider, if so which and how much?


A. A plant based diet rich in fruits and vegetables is certainly a healthy choice. With careful planning, a vegetarian diet can be just as wholesome as a diet that includes animal products. However, some supplements may be needed for health. For example, vitamin B12 found only in animal sources is vital for health and is therefore needed as a supplement by vegetarians. It is also important to make sure your diet is balanced to include vegetables high in iron and calcium. When switching to a plant based diet, work with a registered dietitian to ensure that you are obtaining ideal nutrition.

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