Kathryn E. Bradbury, Tammy Y. N. Tong and Timothy J. Key
Vegetarian diets are defined by the absence of meat and fish, but differences in the intake of other foods between meat-eaters and low or non-meat eaters are also important to document. We examined intakes of high-protein foods (meat, poultry, fish, legumes, nuts, vegetarian protein alternatives, dairy products, and eggs) and other major food groups (fruit, vegetables, bread, pasta, rice, snack foods, and beverages) in regular meat-eaters, low meat-eaters, poultry-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans of white ethnicity participating in UK Biobank who had completed at least one web-based 24-h dietary assessment (n = 199,944). In regular meat-eaters, around 25% of total energy came from meat, fish, dairy and plant milk, cheese, yogurt, and eggs. In vegetarians, around 20% of energy came from dairy and plant milk, cheese, yoghurt, eggs, legumes, nuts, and vegetarian protein alternatives, and in vegans around 15% came from plant milk, legumes, vegetarian alternatives, and nuts. Low and non-meat eaters had higher intakes of fruit and vegetables and lower intakes of roast or fried potatoes compared to regular meat-eaters. The differences in the intakes of meat, plant-based high-protein foods, and other foods between meat-eaters and low and non-meat eaters in UK Biobank may contribute to differences in health outcomes.