Démystifions le végétarisme et ses nutriments à consommer

Vegetarianism is a term for a diet mainly based on products of plant origin. However, there are several forms of vegetarianism: pesco-vegetarianism, ova-vegetarianism, veganism, etc. They are generally differentiated by the type of protein consumed. Let's take a look at the most famous types of vegetarianism and what makes them different.

The different types of vegetarianism

Flexitarianism : Flexitarians consume all foods, but seek to reduce their consumption of animal foods.

Pesco-vegetarianism : Pesco-vegetarians exclude meat and poultry from their diet, but consume fish and seafood.

Ovo-lacto-vegetarianism : Ovo-lacto-vegetarians exclude meat, poultry, fish and seafood from their diet, but consume eggs and dairy products.

Lacto-vegetarianism : Lacto-vegetarians exclude meat, poultry, fish, seafood and eggs from their diet, but consume dairy products.

Ovo-vegetarianism : Ovo-vegetarians exclude meat, poultry, fish, seafood and dairy products from their diet, but consume eggs.

Veganism : Vegans only eat plants. This is because they exclude meat, poultry, fish, seafood, dairy products and eggs from their diet. They also do not consume honey.

Veganism : Vegans exclude all animal products from their diet, but also from their lifestyle. For example, they do not wear woolen or leather clothing and do not consume any products tested on animals.

Nutrients to watch out for

The nutrients to watch out for vary depending on the type of vegetarianism. In fact, the more varied the diet, the lower the risk of nutritional deficiencies. Among the nutrients to watch out for are various vitamins, minerals and omega-3s.

Vitamins to watch out for

Vitamin B12

This vitamin is found almost exclusively in foods of animal origin. However, it is also found in some plant products fortified with vitamin B12. This is particularly the case with fortified nutritional yeast and fortified vegetable drinks, such as soy or rice milk. For those types of vegetarianism that include meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, or dairy on a daily basis, vitamin B12 deficiencies are generally not to be feared. For individuals who consume enough vitamin B12 fortified products on a daily basis, deficiencies are also not an issue. However, if the amounts consumed are insufficient, it is also possible to take a supplement to meet the needs of vitamin B12. (you can find some in theTotal Defense by ATP Lab)

Vitamin D

Generally, there are few foods that contain vitamin D. The best sources of this vitamin are fortified milk and fortified vegetable drinks. In addition, the body can also produce vitamin D when exposed to the sun. However, in Canada, sufficient sunlight to produce this vitamin is not available year round. Therefore, from October to April, it is recommended that you take a supplement to meet your vitamin D needs regardless of your diet. (You can get it in its vaporizer form, which absorbs very well:Vitamin D3 from ATP Lab)

Minerals to watch out for

The iron

Several plant foods contain iron. Some of the best sources are legumes, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. However, iron from plant sources has a much lower absorption rate than iron from animal sources. To maximize absorption, it is recommended to accompany it with a source of vitamin C, which is mainly found in fruits and vegetables.


For vegetarians who consume dairy products on a daily basis, calcium needs should be met, since these products are good sources of this mineral. However, in the plant kingdom there are other good sources of calcium. These include almonds, edamame, kale, bok choy and white beans. There are also products fortified with calcium, such as vegetable drinks and tofu made with calcium sulfate. (also available in Total Defense from ATP Lab).


The best sources of zinc are usually foods high in protein like meat, poultry, fish and seafood. However, for vegetarians who do not consume these foods, it is also found in legumes, nuts. , tofu, tempeh, dairy products and eggs. (Available inSynerZinc from ATP Lab)


Sources of iodine include fish, seafood and dairy products. However, for vegetarians who do not consume these products, there are few plant foods that contain iodine. Therefore, the easiest way to meet the needs of these vegetarians is to use a little iodized salt. In fact, only 2.5 ml (½ teaspoon) is sufficient to meet the daily iodine requirements. (Also available in Total Defense from ATP Lab)


Sources of omega-3s include fish, seafood, nuts, vegetable oils, and some fortified products like eggs and milk. However, fish and seafood are the best sources of omega-3s. For flexitarians and pesco-vegetarians who consume it on a regular basis, omega-3 deficiencies are generally not an issue. However, for individuals who do not consume fish or seafood every week or exclude them from their diet, it is recommended to eat plant-based omega-3s daily to meet the needs. The best plant sources of omega-3s include walnuts, canola oil, and ground flax seeds. (see the CollectionOmega 3)


Despite the fact that there are certain nutrients to watch out for when eating a vegetarian diet, it is quite possible to be a vegetarian and eat a healthy diet that meets your daily nutritional needs. Finally, if you wish to obtain help or be accompanied in your process, it is possible to consult a health professional or a dietitian who can provide you with more information and offer you personalized service according to your needs.



  1. https://nutrition.umontreal.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/2019/11/Viens-manger_v%C3%A9g%C3%A9tarisme.pdf
  2. https://www.unlockfood.ca/fr/Articles/Vegetarisme/Ce-qu%E2%80%99il-faut-savoir-au-sujet-de-la-planification-d%E2%80%99un-regime- healthy-vegetarian.aspx
  3. https://www.unlockfood.ca/fr/Articles/Vegetarisme/Quatre-mesures-a-prendre-pour-avoir-un-regime-vegetalien-equilibre.aspx

Article written by:

Marie-Noël Marsan, Nutritionist


AlimentationMode de vieSanté

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