• Miloš Jovanović Institute of Public Health Pirot, S. vodenice 29, Pirot
  • Miloš Jovanović Faculty of Medicine, University of Niš, Institute of Public Health Nis
  • Katarina Nikolić Faculty of Medicine, University of Niš
Keywords: vegetarian, vegan, health


In the modern age, the most important motives for choosing vegetarianism are ethical, health, environmental and hedonistic. Family and cultural tradition also play an important role. Most studies indicate that cardiovascular and malignancies, as well as type 2 diabetes, are much less likely to occur in vegetarians than non-vegetarians. This diet leads to reduction of weight, hypertension and LDL cholesterol levels. However, the vegetarian diet may be associated with an insufficient intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, protein, calcium, zinc, iron, vitamin B12 and vitamin D. Health care professionals need to be familiar with vegetarianism well enough to properly advise patients on their dietary choices. Many guidelines for the proper conduct of vegetarianism, and in particular veganism, emphasize the need for fortified foods and sometimes dietary supplements. Because of all of the above, the aim of this paper was to analyse the advantages and disadvantages of vegetarianism.


Ruby MB. Vegetarianism. A blossoming field of study. Appetite 2012; 58:141–50.

Nikolić M (ured). Dijetetika. Niš: Medicinski fakultet Univerziteta u Nišu, WUS, 2008.

Rosenfeld DL, Burrow AL. Vegetarian on purpose: Understanding the motivations of plant-based dieters. Appetite 2017; 116:456-463.

de Boer J, Schösler H, Aiking H. Towards a reduced meat diet: Mindset and motivation of young vegetarians, low, medium and high meat-eaters. Appetite 2017; 113:387-97.

Nikolić M, Jovanović A, Stanković A. Šta pediajtri treba da znaju o veštačkim zaslađivačima? Prev Ped 2019; 5(1-2):7-11.

Mathieu S, Dorard G. Vegetarianism and veganism lifestyle: Motivation and psychological dimensions associated with selective diet. Presse Med 2016; 45(9):726-33

Jabs J, Devine CM, Sobal J. Model of the process of adopting vegetarian diets Healt vegetarians and ethical vegetarians. J Nutr Educ 1998; 30:196-203.

Pilis W, Stec K, Zych M, Pilis A. Health benefits and risk associated with adopting a vegetarian diet. Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig 2014; 65(1):9-14.

Petti A, Pulmieri b, Vadala M, Laurino C. Vegetarianism and veganism:not only benefits but also gaps. A review. Progress in Nutr 2017; 19(39):229-42.

Craig W J. Health effects of vegan diets. Am J Clin Nutr 2009; 89:1627S–33S.

Larsson CL, Rönnlund U, Johansson G, Dahlgren L. Veganism as status passage: the process of becoming a vegan among youths in Sweden. Appetite 2003; 41(1):61-7.

Pribis P, Pencak RC, Grajales T. Beliefs and attitudes toward vegetarian lifestyle across generations. Nutrients 2010; 2(5):523-31.

Stein RI, Nemero FCJ. Moral overtones of food: Judgement of others based on what they eat. Pers Soc Psychol Bull 1995; 21:480-90.

Manohar R, Kessler CS. Āyurveda’s Contributions to Vegetarian Nutrition in Medicine. Forsch Komplementmed 2016; 23(2):89-94.

Li D. Effect of the vegetarian diet on non-communicable diseases. J Sci Food Agric 2014; 94(2):169-73.

Davey GK, Spencer EA, Appleby PN, et al. EPIC-Oxford: lifestyle characteristics and nutrient intakes in a cohort of 33 883 meat-eaters and 31 546 non meat-eaters in the UK. Public Health Nutr 2003; 6(3):259-69.

Dewell A, Weidner G, Sumner MD, et al. A very-low-fat vegan diet increases intake of protective dietary factors and decreases intake of pathogenic dietary factors. J Am Diet Assoc 2008; 108(2):347-56.

Nikolić M, Miladinović B, Perović M. Voće i povrće kao fundamentalna hrana u primarnoj prevenciji kardiovaskularnih bolesti. Zdravstvena zaštita 2017; 1:47-53

Drewnowski A, Darmon N. The economics of obesity Dietary energy density and energy cost. Am J Clin Nutr 2005; 82:S265–73.

Micha R, Wallace SK, Mozaffarian D. Red and processed meat consumption and risk of incident coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Circulation 2010; 121:2271–83.

Djousse ́ L, Arnett DK, Coon H, et al. Fruit and vegetable consumption and LDL cholesterol: the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study. Am J Clin Nutr 2004; 79:213–7.

Key TJ, Appleby PN, Spencer EA, et al. Cancer incidence in British vegetarians. Br J Cancer 2009; 101:192–7.

Yang SY, Li XJ, Zhang W, et al. Chinese lacto-vegetarian diet exerts favorable effects on metabolic parameters, intima-media thickness, and cardiovascular risk in healthy men. Nutr Clin Pract 2012; 27:392–8.

Li D. Chemistry behind Vegetarianism. Agric Food Chem 2011; 59(3):777-84.

Roberts I, West R, Ogilvy D, et al. Malnutrition in infants receiving cult diets: a form of child abuse. BMJ 1979; 1:296-98.

Zmora E, Gorodischer R, Bar-Ziv J. Multiple nutritional deficiencies in infants from a strict vegetarian community. Am J Dis Child 1979;133(2):141-4.

Shinwell ED, Gorodischer R. Totally vegetarian diets and infant nutrition. Pediatrics 1982; 70(4):582-6.

Sanders T. Ggrowth and development of British vegan children. Am J Clin Nutr 1998; 48:822-25.

Sanders T and Manning J. The growth and development of vegan children. J Hum Nutr Dietet 1992;5:11-21

Marsh A, Sanchez T, Michelsen O, et al. Vegetarian life-style and bone mineral density. Am J Clin Nutr 1988;48:837–41.

Tylavsky F and Anderson J. Bone health of elderly lacto-ovo-vegetarians and omnivorous women. Am J Clin Nutr 1988; 48:842–9.

Hunt IF, Murphy NJ, Henderson C, et al. Bone mineral content in postmenopausal women: comparison of omnivores and vegetarians. Am J Clin Nutr 1989; 50:517–23.

Lloyd T, Schaeffer J, Walker M, et al. Urinary hormonal concentrations and spinal bone densities of premenopausal vegetarian and omnivorous women. Am J Clin Nutr 1991;56:699–704.

Lau E, Kwok T, Woo J, et al. Bone mineral density in Chinese elderly female vegetarians, vegans, lactoovovegetarians and omnivores. Eur J Clin Nutr 1998; 52:60–4.

Dyett PA, Sabaté J, Haddad E et al. Vegan lifestyle behaviors An exploration of congruence with health-related beliefs and assessed health indices. Appetite 2013; 67:119-24.

Kadambari R, Gowers S, Crisp AH. Some correlates of vegetarianism in anorexia nervosa. Int J Eat Disord 1986; 5:539–44.

O’ Connor MA, Touyz SW, Dunn SM, et al. Vegetarianism in anorexia nervosa? A review of 116 consecutive cases. Med J Aust 1987; 147(11–12):540–2.

Timko A , Hormes JM, Chubski J. Will the real vegetarian please stand up? An investigation of dietary restraint and eating disorder symptoms in vegetarians versus non-vegetarians. Appetite 2012; 58:982–90.

How to Cite
Jovanović, M., Jovanović, M., & Nikolić, K. (2019). ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF VEGETARIAN NUTRITION. Health Care, 48(4), 51-56.
Current topic

Most read articles by the same author(s)