For a balanced diet you should be very careful with the food.

Meatless happy as a vegetarian? Advantages and disadvantages of a vegetarian diet

Meat eaters have many prejudices against people who consciously abstain from meat: On the one hand there is the allegation that a vegetarian diet has many disadvantages, for example due to the limited diet and the lack of variety. On the other hand, it is often claimed that vegetarians are unhealthy. But is that really true or isn't it rather the other way around? As a vegetarian, you can eat unhealthy food, just as you can as a meat eater, if you put your food together wrongly and do not supply your body sufficiently with nutrients and vital substances. Vegetarians enjoy many advantages thanks to their diet: Because vegetarians who eat a balanced and varied diet usually have a better state of health than meat eaters.

The different forms of vegetarianism

Depending on individual eating habits, different forms of vegetarianism are distinguished:

  • Ovo-vegetarians: reject meat, fish and dairy products, but eat eggs.
  • Lacto-vegetarians: abstain from meat, fish and eggs, however dairy products are allowed.
  • Ovo-Lacto vegetarians: do not eat meat and fish, but eggs and dairy products.
  • Pescetarians: reject meat and meat products, but eat fish.
  • Vegans: feed exclusively on herbal foods


  • According to the German Nutrition Society (DGE for short in German), a meat-free diet is possible without hesitation. The DGE recommends a balanced and varied ovo-lacto-vegetarian diet as a permanent diet.

    The basic components of a vegetarian diet

    For a balanced diet, you should be very careful about the foods you eat every day. Both meat eaters and vegetarians need an adequate supply of nutrients and vital substances.

    Vegetarianism: Pros & Cons

    All forms of nutrition - including vegetarianism - have their advantages and disadvantages.
    Advantages for vegetarians
  • Diseases of civilization resulting from an unhealthy diet are less common in vegetarians (e.g. cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, gout).
  • The body absorbs less saturated fat and cholesterol.
  • Constipation and intestinal diseases are rarer.
  • A vegetarian diet protects the environment and resources.
  • Many vegetarians feel better, fitter and healthier.
  • Disadvantages for vegetarians
  • A wrong composition of the food can cause deficiency symptoms.
  • In order to prevent nutrient deficiencies, vegetarians have to make greater efforts to feed themselves and acquire a great deal of knowledge about food.
  • The sufficient supply of iron, zinc, protein, iodine and vitamin B12 should be checked regularly.
  • A varied vegetarian diet is often associated with additional costs.
  • Vegetarians often have a harder time than meat eaters (e.g. not so much choice in restaurants or canteens).