What to know about the vegetarian diet

People following a vegetarian diet do not eat meat or fish but may continue to eat eggs and dairy products.
A person does not have to eat meat to get all the nutrients they need for good health. A meat-free diet can lead to better health for several reasons.
One reason is that many people who follow a vegetarian diet tend to consume a high proportion of fresh, healthful, plant-based foods, which provide antioxidants and fiber. When a person decides to follow a meat-free diet, they often become more active in making overall healthy choices.
Many studies agree that a vegetarian diet can offer a range of health benefits.
Studies show that a vegan or vegetarian diet may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and various types of cancer.
A non-meat diet may also reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome, which includes obesity and type 2 diabetes.
According to a 2019 Gallup poll, 5% of people in the United States describe themselves as vegetarian, including 2% of people aged 55 and over, 8% of those aged 18–34 years, and 7% of people aged 35–54.
Some people who do not eat meat will eat fish. This is a pescatarian diet, rather than a vegetarian diet. A vegan diet excludes all animal-based foods. People following a vegetarian diet must make careful choices about what they eat to ensure that they meet their nutritional requirements. Some people may need supplements.