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Is vegetarianism healthy for teens?

Vandana  R. Sheth
Nutrition & Dietetics

Yes, vegetarianism can be healthy for people of all stages of life including teenagers. The key is to ensure that it is a well-planned, nutritionally varied and balanced diet. A registered dietitian specializing in vegetarian diets would be a valuable resource.

A vegetarian diet can be exceptionally healthy, but it requires planning and thought. For example, if you eat potato chips and coca-cola, that’s vegetarian, but not healthy! The term “vegetarian” can mean a number of different things from someone who eats no animal products at all (vegan) to someone who eats dairy and eggs (lacto-ovo vegetarian) to someone that includes fish as the only animal product in their diet (pescatarian), and other types as well. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, "well-planned vegan and other types of vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence.” They key words here are “well planned.” People that do not eat animal products must get certain nutrients in which animal products are rich (i.e. protein, iron, zinc, B12, and calcium) from other sources.

Continue Learning about Vegetarian Diets

How Can a Plant-Based Diet Help Me Lose Weight?
How Can a Plant-Based Diet Help Me Lose Weight?
Why Am I Gaining Weight on a Vegetarian Diet?
Why Am I Gaining Weight on a Vegetarian Diet?
How Do I Get Enough Protein If I Am a Vegetarian?
How Do I Get Enough Protein If I Am a Vegetarian?
Treadmill Talks: The Government Goes Vegetarian…for a Little While
Treadmill Talks: The Government Goes Vegetarian…for a Little While

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.