Published in the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA), the scientific research review found that vegetarians were receiving enough protein, iron and zinc from their diets – contrary to claims, often heard from diehard omnivores, that eating an exclusively vegetarian diet leads to deficiencies.
In addition, Australian and international researchers found that cutting meat from the diet entirely helped people avoid a range of health conditions.
“The evidence is quite good that people who follow a vegetarian diet are likely to have less heart disease, less colorectal cancer, less type-II diabetes and they’re less likely to be obese,” said nutritionist Dr Rosemary Stanton, who wrote an article accompanying the research papers.
While vegetarians necessarily received less Omega 3, found in fish, the study found they were not clinically deficient.
Vegans were found to be deficient in B12, found in animal products, which aids in making blood cells and keeping nerves functioning, but the researchers noted that this could be remedied by eating B12-fortified foods or taking a daily supplement.