Special diets

Do you have Special Dietary Needs?

If you have a specific dietary need, this may affect your diet and choice of food and drink. Potatoes can be a part of diets like vegetarian or vegan or be useful for those with coeliac disease as they are gluten-free. If you're in any doubt about what's right for you, or have a specific dietary need, you can speak to your GP. They may be able to refer you to a registered dietitian.

Why be vegetarian?

Vegetarianism is an increasingly common lifestyle choice, for a variety of reasons. Some have strong religious, moral or ethical beliefs. Others are concerned over the meat-related health scares in recent years, or want to lead a perceived healthier lifestyle. Whatever the reason, a vegetarian is someone eating a diet of grains, pulses, seeds, vegetables and fruits, with the use of dairy products and eggs (vegetarian) or without (vegan).

How to be a healthy vegetarian.

The key thing to remember, as with any other dietary choice, is maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. If you are cutting out certain protein foods such as meat and fish, you need to ensure they are replaced with suitable choices such as pulses like lentils, beans and nuts. If you are cutting out dairy foods you will need alternative sources of calcium, like calcium fortified dairy alternatives. Base meals on starchy carbohydrate foods like potatoes, cereals, pasta or bread choosing higher fibre versions where possible. Try to have at least five servings of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day, include high quality protein foods like pulses and tofu, and other calcium containing foods like nuts, seeds, tofu, bread, dried figs, and green leafy vegetables.

Are potatoes good for vegetarians?

Many of our delicious recipes are suitable for vegetarians and even have their own section. If you eat dairy foods, make sure you don’t overdo the cheese or you may end up having too much salt and saturated fat in your diet.

What is a vegan diet?

Vegans do not eat or use any animal or animal-derived products, ranging from meat and fish through to other foods like cows’ milk, cheese, eggs and honey.

What do vegans eat?

A well planned vegan diet can be healthy and balanced and will typically contain high intakes of fruit and vegetables and wholegrains, some fortified dairy alternatives, some protein foods such as beans and pulses, and nuts and seeds. Vegans may need to take a supplement of vitamin B12 as the main dietary sources are generally derived from animal sources. Starchy carbohydrate foods like potatoes can be included as part of a varied vegan diet.

Potatoes and the vegan diet

Potatoes can be included as part of a healthy, balanced vegan diet and can provide an adaptable and nutritious base for many meals. Many of the vegetarian recipes on the site can be easily adapted for vegans. For more information visit www.vegansociety.com

Although you can be allergic to anything, an allergy to potatoes is extremely rare. If you do think you have a food allergy see your GP who can help determine whether it's likely you have an allergy. They may refer you to a Registered Dietitian who can give you qualified individual dietary advice on a balanced diet.

For more information visit

www.bda.uk.com

www.nhs.uk

www.allergyuk.org

In order to keep healthy we need to eat a balanced diet containing a wide variety of foods to give us all the nutrients we need. If you cut out certain foods or food groups you are more likely to miss out on important nutrients. For example if you cut out dairy you may find it harder to get enough calcium. Therefore, it is important to include other sources of calcium, such as calcium fortified dairy alternatives. 

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This campaign was originally produced in the framework of a programme co-financed by the European Union