The most common vegetarian diet in the UK is the lacto-ovo. This consists of cutting out meat, poultry, fish and seafood, but including eggs and dairy. A lot of vegetarians won't eat other animal products such as gelatine or rennet
A balanced and varied vegetarian diet can provide you with all of the nutrients your body needs, however not all are easy to obtain. We've listed some handy plant-based alternatives below to make sure you're getting everything your body needs from your diet:
Iron: adding pulses, leafy greens, fortified breakfast cereals, eggs and bread into your diet where possible will ensure that your body has the iron it needs. Combining these with foods high in vitamin C, such as kiwi fruits, peppers and sweet potatoes will help your body to absorb plant-based iron.
Selenium: commonly found in nuts - especially Brazil nuts - bread and eggs.
Calcium: if you’re avoiding milk, alternative sources include enriched soya/oat/nut/rice-based drinks, dried fruit, leafy green vegetables and sesame seeds.
Omega 3: the richest sources of omega 3 for vegetarians are flaxseeds, walnuts, rapeseed oil and eggs. These provide short-chain omega 3 fats, which our bodies convert into the heart healthy, long-chain omega 3 fats. It can be difficult to obtain enough omega 3 in a vegetarian diet, so you may want to consider an algal supplement.
Vitamin B12: found in eggs, dairy products, yeast extracts and fortified breakfast cereals.
Protein: a range of plant proteins, such as beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, tofu, Quorn and soya, can provide all the amino acids your body needs.
Our Food Halls are full of delicious vegetarian options: just look out for the logo on the front of the packaging or the green vegetarian statement on the back.
Want to plan your shopping list? Take a look at our lists of M&S dishes suitable for vegetarians. We update this list monthly to ensure that it's accurate and you can ask a member of staff to help you find what's available in your local store.
Foods on the M&S vegetarian list will not contain any of the following:
Perfect for vegetarians, flexitarians and everyone looking for the goodness of plants. The M&S Veggie range includes a delicious selection of vegetarian dishes from Edamame Bean Burgers to Beetroot Falafel and Sweet Potato Sausages.
Each dish has been specially developed for all of our customers – from the avid vegetarian to the flexitarian. Keep an eye out for our Veggie logo to find our new products online and hunt out the full range of salads, sandwiches, dessert and confectionary in store.
Our new Veggie range includes soya mince and soya chunks, a healthy source of protein which is naturally low in fat and also suitable for vegans.
Each dish carries the vegetarian logo; plus, look out for the Eat Well logo across the range for healthy choices. The Sweetcorn and Chickpea Burgers and Edamame Bean Burgers are great healthy alternatives that also provide one of your five a day.
From light and bright salads to hearty tagines and desserts, there's something for everyone in our ready-made veggie range
Our simple vegetarian recipe ideas will bring so much inspiration, you won't even think of them as being meat-free, just healthy and delicious