Types of vegetarians

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This report is prepared to understand the rise in popularity of vegetarian cuisine and how it has affected current and future trends of menu and business in hospitality industry. This study has been undertaken and result has been drawn keeping consumer surveys in mind as well. The study has resulted in some interesting facts which are the increase in public awareness to consume a well balanced diet, new fortified products introduced in the market and varieties which have been supplied to the customers in current market situation. The conclusion clearly depicts that if a restaurant has to survive in the current market situation, it has to offer well balanced diet to its customers supplying loads of vegetarian options and knowledge of new products is essential. Thus the vegetarian cuisine study is a must and has been explained in detail in my report.

Ravi Lohani


A vegetarian is a person who does not eat meat or seafood, or products containing these foods such as gelatin Originally, the term vegetarian meant, "with or without eggs or dairy products", which is the definition the Vegetarian Society still holds to today. Vegetarians live on a diet of grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruit, with or without free-range eggs, milk and milk products. Vegetarians not eating anything containing dairy products or eggs are called vegans. The eating patterns of vegetarians may vary considerably.

There are different characteristics/ types of vegetarians.

Total Vegetarian:

Their diet consists only of plant food and excludes animal foods, which along with meat includes, Dairy products, Eggs, Fish, and Honey.


Vegans not only eliminate animal products from their diet like vegetarians. However, they take it a step further. They don't use any products made from animals. This includes Leather, Wool, and Silk

Lacto Vegetarians:

Like vegetarians they too eliminate meat from their diet; they do eat dairy products with the exception of eggs.

Lacto Ovo Vegetarians:

Lacto Ovo vegetarians diet consists of include dairy products and eggs in their diet with the exception of meat. This is the most common type of vegetarian.


Semi-vegetarians restrict their intake of animal products but do allow specific kinds of meat in their diet. These restrictions vary from one person to another. If you are a semi-vegetarian, you'll find that purists don't look at semi-vegetarians as real vegetarians. Semi-vegetarians include:

Pesco Vegetarians:

Allow fish in their vegetarian diet.

Pollo Vegetarians:

Eat a largely plant-based diet but do allow poultry to be consumed. This includes: Chicken, Duck, Turkey, and Wild fowl

Raw Foodists: They don't believe in heating their food above 115 degrees Fahrenheit because they believe the cooking process kills valuable enzymes. This diet consists mostly of: Fruits, Raw vegetables, Nuts and seeds

Fruitarians: Fruitarians believe in eating fruit and fruit-like vegetables (about 75 percent of their diet) it consists of a minimal amount of processed or cooked foods. The additional feature of their diet is that they only eat fruit harvested without killing the plant. This includes things like Avocados, Cucumbers, Grains, Nuts, Squash, Tomatoes

Consumer Trends:

To understand consumer trends there were certain research activities conducted by Food Standards Agency in the form of survey. The idea was to be aware of rapid increasing popularity of vegetarian cuisine amongst people of UK. The results of the study are:

Previous Study

According to the Food Standards Agency there have been variety of surveys conducted to establish the number of people turning vegetarians. Study of the past ten years, which are from 2000-2009, has been studied for the purpose of analyzing the change in consumer trends. It was also referred as Public Attitudes to Food survey. According to the study and research, it was observed that there has been an increase of 5% of vegetarians every year.

The study clearly shows the popularity of increasing vegetarian cuisine amongst people of UK from 2000-2009. There has been a surprising increase of people who started liking vegetarian cuisine in spite of its myth as a boring cuisine.

This study has lead to different observations. They have been extremely informative and educative as well.

Reasons for the increase of popularity and change in the trend was due to or

Common reasons for people choosing a vegetarian diet are:

Variety offered in a vegetarian menu: Plenty of vegetables provide loads of variety in vegetarian cuisines. Such extensive variety was not available to people who follow meat diet.

Health considerations: People slowly started becoming aware of the nutrients offered by the food and this increasing awareness leaded to the increase in popularity of the vegetarian cuisine. Some people follow the vegetarian diet as a part of a heart diseases reversal program. Many studies have observed that following the vegetarian diet (natural diet) helps not only sustain life, but it can actually aid people in avoiding many of the most common western illnesses.

Allergies caused due to consumption of animal byproducts: This awareness also leaded to different advantages such as knowledge of different allergies caused due to consumption of animal byproducts. One such example is lactose intolerance, which is caused due to indigestion of milk.

Concern for the environment: there have been several organizations working for the concern of the environment. Over utilization of livestock and over fishing is leading to the ecological misbalance in various parts of the continents and putting many species under the endangered species.

Animal welfare factors. Various organizations also work for the welfare of animals. They tend to educate people regarding the slaughter of animals and encourage people to become vegetarians.

Economicreasons: vegetarian food is considered to be cheaper and easily accessible to people. Thus it tends to gain popularity amongst people.

Ethical considerations: Some people are principled and according to them slaughtering an animal for the consumption is unethical and thus they stick to vegetarian diet on human grounds.

Religious beliefs: different religions do not allow their followers to consume any kind of meat and alcohol. This also leads to an increase in popularity of vegetarian cuisine.

Additional evidence for the increasing interest in vegetarian diets includes the emergence of college courses on vegetarian nutrition and on animal rights.

Launch of Web sites: the increase in awareness amongst people regarding healthy diet is due to Internet and websites. The value of vegetables has been established and word is spread in the effort to help keep the body free from many of the illness of modern times.

Cookbooks with a vegetarian theme; Easy availability of various cookbooks in the market has also lead to high popularity amongst vegetarians cuisine.

New Product Availability: Ne product leads to new variety, which becomes easy to consume and thus becomes instant hit amongst the people. Supermarket vegetarian produce sections continue to grow with a wide range of available products like: tofu, tempura, vegetarian-style burgers, and meatless sausages. In the frozen department of many supermarkets meatless burgers, dairy free sorbets and tofu-based desserts are readily available. Natural food grocery stores have an even wider variety of these options and many other meat food alternatives in recognition of this growing consumer market share.

Changes in Future trends

This rise in popularity of vegetarian cuisine has caused people from hospitality to be aware of the current market trends and make changes in their menu accordingly.. Thus with wider options available in the market and emergence of fortified foods a drastic changed in the menu as made by the restaurants.

Some clearly visible examples have been: Fast-food restaurants have started to offer salads, veggie burgers, and other meatless options.

Most university foodservices are offering vegetarian options.

The availability of new products, including fortified foods and convenience foods is making a huge impact on the nutrient intake of vegetarians who choose to eat these foods. Fortified foods such as soy milks, meat, analogs, juices, and breakfast cereals are continually being added to the marketplace with new levels of fortification. These products and dietary supplements, which are widely available in supermarkets and natural foods stores is adding substantially to vegetarians intakes of key nutrients such as calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin B-12, vitamin, riboflavin, and long-chain n-3 fatty acids.

Another trends which is developing on a fast pace is concern for the environment people are adopting a plant based eating program. In this approach people are concerned as they observe that fewer natural resources are used when people choose to follow a meatless diet. Due to the widespread of information and as people are getting aware and getting concerned to do the least amount of harm to the earth when raising their food. Adopting organic farming technique's, sustainable agriculture methods and trying to maintain an unpolluted ecosystem are the trends that is going to widespread and followed in the future.

A variety of menu planning approaches can provide adequate nutrition for vegetarians

Thus in order to prepare a vegetarian well balanced menu there have been various factor which have are now being studied and practiced by the current hospitalizes. This is done keeping the current and future trend in mind and providing great deal of options for the vegetarian cuisines. Some of these factors observed are

  • choosing a variety of foods, including whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, Dairy products, and eggs.
  • Minimizing intake of foods that are highly sweetened, high in sodium, and high in fat, Especially saturated fat and trans-fatty acids.
  • availability of increased variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • if animal foods such as dairy products and eggs are used, choosing lower-fat dairy products And use both eggs and dairy products in moderation.
  • Use a regular source of vitamin B-12 and, if sunlight exposure is limited, of vitamin D.

These elements are further explained in the form of a menu considering keeping and restoring its nutritional value. The menu is designed in order to preserve the nutrients of its ingredients to form a well balanced diet. In order to maintain its nutrition care has been taken not only in the selection of ingredients but also its cooking and storing factors.

Nutritional elements of vegetarian cuisine

Getting enough protein and other nutrients when following a vegetarian diet is simply a matter of eating a variety of food that supply the necessary protein, building amino acids along with the required amount of carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and other nutrients.

Many people worry that when they stop eating meat and fish, they might be in danger of some nutritional deficiency. This is not the case as all the nutrients a person need can easily be obtained from a vegetarian diet. Beans/ grains can be eaten throughout the course of a day instead of having to be present at every meal. The value of fibre and the special health maintaining qualities of many vegetables are recognized as an important part of the overall diet. In fact research shows that in many ways a vegetarian diet is healthier than that of a typical meat-eater.

Nutrients are usually divided into five classes: carbohydrates, proteins, fats (including oil), vitamins and minerals. We also need fibre and water. All are equally important to our well-being, although they are needed in varying quantities, from about 250g of carbohydrate a day to less than two micrograms of vitamin B12. Carbohydrate, fat and protein are usually called macronutrients and the vitamins and minerals are usually called micronutrients. Most foods contain a mixture of nutrients (there are a few exceptions, like pure salt or sugar) but it is convenient to classify them by the main nutrient they provide. Still, it is worth remembering that everything you eat gives you a whole range of essential nutrients.

Meat supplies protein, fat, some B vitamins and minerals (mostly iron, zinc, potassium and phosphorous). Fish, in addition to the above, supplies vitamins A, D, and E, and the mineral iodine. Vegetarians can obtain all the nutrients from other sources.

Vegan (also strict or pure vegetarian)

A vegan diet excludes any kind of meat, poultry and fish and they're by products such as gelatin, stock and bases. The vegan diet excludes eggs and dairy products and their byproducts such as lactose, casein and dried egg whites or yolks used in baking.

Many vegans don't consume avoid white sugar as it is often filtered through charred animal bones, many excludes honey as it is an animal byproduct.




Protein, carbohydrates

Hazels, brazils, almonds, cashews, walnuts, pine kernels, peas, beans, lentils, peanuts, fruit, milk and ordinary table sugar.

The importance of protein for the growth and repair of your muscles, bones, skin, tendons, ligaments, hair, eyes and other tissues. Carbohydrate is our main and most important source of energy

Essential fatty acids,

Olive oil or peanut oil,

Sunflower oil

Too much fat is bad for us, but a little is necessary to keep our tissues in good repair, for the manufacture of hormones and to act as a carrier for some vitamins


Vegetables, but the quantity depends on how rich the soil is in iodine

Sea vegetables are a good source of iodine for vegans

Essential for preventing Goiter iodine deficiency is one of the leading causes of preventable mental retardation.


Dairy produce, leafy green vegetables, bread, tap water in hard water areas, nuts and seeds (especially sesame seeds), dried fruits, cheese

Essential for building and maintaining bones and teeth, muscle function and the nervous system


Leafy green vegetables, whole meal bread, molasses, eggs, dried fruits (especially apricots and figs), lentils and pulses

Essential component of hemoglobin, which transport oxygen in the blood


Green vegetables, cheese, sesame and pumpkin seeds, lentils and wholegrain cereals

Essential for a healthy immune system, tissue formation, natural growth, wound healing and reproduction


Red, orange or yellow vegetables, yeasts and whole cereals, Fresh fruit, salad vegetables, all leafy green vegetables and potatoes, Vegetable oil, wholegrain cereals, Bacterial synthesis in the intestine

Vitamin Dwhen skin is exposed to sunlight

Vitamin D in milk helps your bones. Vitamin A in carrots helps you see at night.

Vitamin C in oranges helps your body heal if you get a cut. Vitamins B in leafy green vegetables help your body make protein and energy


Women need about 45g of protein a day (more if pregnant, lactating or very active), men need about 55g (more if very active). Evidence suggests that excess protein contributes to degenerative diseases. Vegetarians obtain protein from:

Nuts: hazels, brazils, almonds, cashews, walnuts, pine kernels etc.

Seeds: sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, linseeds.

Pulses: peas, beans, lentils, peanuts.

Grains/cereals: wheat (in bread, flour, pasta etc), barley, rye, oats, millet, maize (sweet corn), rice.

Soya products: tofu, tempeh, textured vegetable protein, veggie burgers, soya milk.

Dairy products: milk, cheese, yoghurt (butter and cream are very poor sources of protein).

Free range eggs.

You have may have heard that it is necessary to balance the complementary amino acids in a vegetarian diet. This is not as alarming as it sounds. Amino acids are the units from which proteins are made. There are 20 different ones in all. We can make many of them in our bodies by converting other amino acids, but eight cannot be made, they have to be provided in the diet and so they are called essential amino acids.

Single plant foods do not contain all the essential amino acids we need in the right proportions, but when we mix plant foods together, any deficiency in one is cancelled out by any excess in the other. We mix protein foods all the time, whether we are meat-eaters or vegetarians. It is a normal part of the human way of eating. A few examples are beans on toast, muesli, or rice and peas. Adding dairy products or eggs also adds the missing amino acids, macaroni cheese, quiche, porridge.

It is now known that the body has a pool of amino acids so that if one meal is deficient, it can be made up from the body's own stores. Because of this, we don't have to worry about complementing amino acids all the time, as long as our diet is generally varied and well balanced. Even those foods not considered high in protein are adding some amino acids to this pool.


Carbohydrate is our main and most important source of energy, and most of it is provided by plant foods. There are three main types: simple sugars, complex carbohydrates or starches and dietary fibre.

The sugars or simple carbohydrates can be found in fruit, milk and ordinary table sugar. Refined sources of sugar are best avoided as they provide energy without any associated fibre, vitamins or minerals and they are also the main cause of dental decay.

Complex carbohydrates are found in cereals/grains (bread, rice, pasta, oats, barley, millet, buckwheat, rye) and some root vegetables, such as potatoes and parsnips. A healthy diet should contain plenty of these starchy foods, as a high intake of complex carbohydrate is now known to benefit health. The unrefined carbohydrates, like whole meal bread and brown rice are best of all because they contain essential dietary fibre and B vitamins.

The World Health Organization recommends that 50-70% of energy should come from complex carbohydrates. The exact amount of carbohydrate that you need depends upon your appetite and also your level of activity. Contrary to previous belief a slimming diet should not be low in carbohydrates. In fact starchy foods are very filling relative to the number of calories that they contain.

Dietary Fibre

Dietary fibre or non-starch polysaccharide (NSP), as it is now termed, refers to the indigestible part of a carbohydrate food. Fibre can be found in unrefined or wholegrain cereals, fruit (fresh and dried) and vegetables. A good intake of dietary fibre can prevent many digestive problems and protect against diseases like colon cancer and biventricular disease.

Fats & Oils

Too much fat is bad for us, but a little is necessary to keep our tissues in good repair, for the manufacture of hormones and to act as a carrier for some vitamins. Like proteins, fats are made of smaller units, called fatty acids. Two of these fatty acids, linoleic and linolenic acids, are termed essential as they must be provided in the diet. This is no problem as they are widely found in plant foods.

Fats can be either saturated or unsaturated (mono-unsaturated or poly-unsaturated). A high intake of saturated fat can lead to a raised blood cholesterol level and this has been linked to heart disease. Vegetable fats tend to be more unsaturated and this is one of the benefits of a vegetarian diet. Mono-unsaturated fats, such as olive oil or peanut oil, are best used for frying as the poly-unsaturated fats, like sunflower or safflower oil are unstable at high temperatures. Animal fats (including butter and cheese) tend to be more saturated than vegetable fats, with the exception of palm oil and coconut oil.


Vitamin is the name for several unrelated nutrients that the body cannot synthesise either at all, or in sufficient quantities. The one thing they have in common is that only small quantities are needed in the diet. The main vegetarian sources are listed below:

Vitamin A (or beta carotene): Red, orange or yellow vegetables like carrots and tomatoes, leafy green vegetables and fruits like apricots and peaches. It is added to most margarine.

B Vitamins: This group of vitamins includes B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), B12 (cyanocobalmin), folate, pantothenic acid and biotin.

All the B vitamins except B12 occur in yeasts and whole cereals (especially wheat germ), nuts & seeds, pulses and green vegetables.

Vitamin B12 is the only one that may cause some difficulty, as it is not present in plant foods. Only very tiny amounts of B12 are needed and vegetarians usually get this from dairy produce and free-range eggs. It is sensible for vegans and vegetarians who consume few animal foods to incorporate some B12 fortified foods in their diet. Vitamin B12 is added to yeast extracts, soya milks, veggie burgers and some breakfast cereals.

Vitamin C: Fresh fruit, salad vegetables, all leafy green vegetables and potatoes.

Vitamin D: This is vitamin is not found in plant foods but humans can make their own when skin is exposed to sunlight. It is also added to most margarines and is present in milk, cheese and butter. These sources are usually adequate for healthy adults. The very young, the very old and anyone confined indoors would be wise to take a vitamin D supplement especially if they consume very few dairy products.

Vitamin E: Vegetable oil, wholegrain cereals, eggs.

Vitamin K: Fresh vegetables, cereals and bacterial synthesis in the intestine.


Minerals perform a variety of jobs in the body. Details of the some of the most important minerals are listed below:

Calcium: Important for healthy bones and teeth. Found in dairy produce, leafy green vegetables, bread, tap water in hard water areas, nuts and seeds (especially sesame seeds), dried fruits, cheese. Vitamin D helps calcium to be absorbed.

Iron: Needed for red blood cells. Found in leafy green vegetables, whole meal bread, molasses, eggs, dried fruits (especially apricots and figs), lentils and pulses. Vegetable sources of iron are not as easily absorbed as animal sources, but a good intake of vitamin C will enhance absorption.

Zinc: Plays a major role in many enzyme reactions and the immune system. Found in green vegetables, cheese, sesame and pumpkin seeds, lentils and wholegrain cereals.

Iodine: Present in vegetables, but the quantity depends on how rich the soil is in iodine. Dairy products also have plenty of iodine. Sea vegetables are a good source of iodine for vegans. Food allergy is often mistaken for food intolerance. It is important to note that allergy is only one of a number of possible reasons for food intolerance.

Lack of well balanced diet results in:

Food intolerance can be defined as a condition where particular adverse effects occur after eating a particular food or food ingredient. Genuine food intolerance is different from psychologically based food aversion, where a person strongly dislikes a food and believes that a food produces a particular reaction.

A genuine food allergy is when a specific immune reaction occurs in the body in response to consuming a particular food. Allergies often run in families, and people who are allergic to some foods may also be allergic to other environmental factors, such as house dust, animal fur and pollen.

A true allergic response involves an altered or abnormal tissue reaction to an antigen. An antigen can be a protein, a substance bound to a protein, a food additive or less commonly, a polysaccharide. The antigen combines with an antibody and produces an immune response, which results in cell damage and the release of histamine. The immune system plays an essential role in our bodies in protecting us from the invasion of harmful substances. An allergy occurs when the mechanism operates inappropriately in response to a harmless substance such as a particular food protein.

Food intolerances, other than allergies, can occur for a variety of reasons including:

Non allergic histamine release

The signs are very similar to an allergy and include headache, swelling, urticaria, vomiting and diareoah. A substance called histamine is released (it is also released in true allergic reactions) in response to foods such as shellfish or strawberries.

Metabolic defects

A lack or deficiency of enzymes responsible for the digestion of food can cause many types of food intolerance. For example, a deficiency in lactase, the enzyme responsible for digesting milk, causes intolerance to milk.

Coeliac disease is gut intolerance to a protein found in wheat, called gluten; it would not be considered an allergy. Following a gluten-free diet controls the symptoms of coeliac disease. It is unknown exactly why or how gluten harms the gut, although it is now thought to be an abnormal immunological response rather than an enzyme deficiency. It is still not considered to be a food allergy in the true sense of the definition.

Pharmacological effects

Some food substances can act like drugs, particularly if taken in large quantities. The most familiar of these substances is caffeine, found in tea, coffee, chocolate and cola drinks. A large intake of caffeine can cause tremor, migraine and palpitations. Other pharmacologically active substances found in food include histamine, tyramine, tryptamine and serotonin, which may be consumed in foods such as red wine, cheese, yeast extract, avocados and bananas. In susceptible people, these foods can trigger urticaria, facial flushing and headaches.

Food intolerance of unknown origin

Reactions can be provoked by many foods and food products, which we cannot be clear about. They may or may not be allergic reactions. Food additives, particularly tartrazine and sodium benzoate, can provoke urticaria, rhinitis and asthma. Yeasts can provoke a number of reactions in some people, particularly skin disorders.

Common Causes of Food Intolerance

The most common food intolerances, in order of frequency are milk, eggs, nuts, fish/shellfish, wheat/flour, chocolate, artificial colour, pork/bacon, chicken, tomato, soft fruit, cheese and yeast.

Whilst not all food intolerances are related to meat and dairy products, it can be seen from the above list that vegetarians, and particularly vegans, will suffer less from food intolerance because they already eliminate some of the most common causes of intolerance.


The most common symptoms of allergy include asthma, gastro-intestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, and diarhhoea), eczema, urticaria (hives), rhinorrhea (heavy discharge from the nose), and angio-oedema (swelling of the blood vessels). Other more long-term symptoms include can depression, anxiety, fatigue, migraine, sleeplessness and hyperactivity in children. Treatment

As it is sometimes quite difficult to distinguish between genuine food allergy and food intolerance, treatment is often similar. The first step is to diagnose the food intolerance. This should not be done without medical supervision, as some reactions to food intolerance can be dangerous.

Sometimes the cause of particular food intolerance is obvious, by the immediate effect that occurs on eating a particular food. In this case the treatment is simply to avoid that particular food. In most cases the suspected food is more difficult to track down. A diary kept of foods eaten and symptoms experienced can sometimes help detect the offending food or foods. Other factors such as the weather, menstrual cycles and difficult relationships can affect the symptoms. Sometimes simple exclusion diets are advised where record keeping suggests a particular food may be the cause. So, for example, milk, egg or wheat may be avoided to see if symptoms improve.

Other more restrictive diets may be advised, which only include a limited amount of foods, which rarely cause a reaction. These diets are usually called exclusion diets. The idea of an exclusion diet is to identify an allergy or intolerance, by limiting the food to a very small choice, checking for symptoms and then very gradually introducing test foods to see if there is a reaction. An exclusion diet should not be followed without sound nutritional advice.