Special Diets to Eat Inorder to be Healthy

Special Diets

  1. Vegetarian Diets: Vegetarian are those people who do not eat animal flesh or fish. There are three types of vegetarian viz:
  • Lacto-ovo-Vegetarians:

These are people who do not eat the flesh of animals, fish or poultry but take milk and milk products and eggs in addition to vegetables which they consume in generous amounts.

  • Lacto-Vegetarians:

These people do not eat the flesh of animals, fish, poultry or eggs. However, they take milk and milk products together with vegetables.

  • Strict Vegetarians:

These people are also known as Vegans. They do not eat the flesh of animals, poultry and fish as well as all the animal or diary products. They eat only vegetables, that is; plant foods. While it is easy to plan a balanced diet for the lacto-ovo and lacto-vegetarians because of the inclusion of eggs,milk, and milk products respectively in their diets, it is not easy to plan a balanced diet for a vegan. Since vegans depend solely on plant foods, their diet may lack some of the essential amino acids and vitamins which can only be obtained from animal foods.

However, through a careful planning and judicious combination of different plant foods, a fairly balanced diet can be prepared. For example, a combination of cereals, legumes and leafy vegetables will produce a balanced diet. Vegetarians should also consume adequate fresh fruits. For the lacto and lacto-ovo vegetarians the consumption of milk and milk products plus eggs respectively will make their diets balanced.


  1. Pulses example; peas, beans, soya beans etc.
  2. Cereals example; rice, maize, millet etc.
  3. Nuts example groundnuts, walnuts, chestnuts, etc.


  1. Nuts example; groundnuts, coconut, palm kernel.


  1. Legumes or pulses
  2. Fresh fruits and vegetables example; cabbage, spinach, water leaf, okro, citrus, etc.


  1. Tubers examples; yams, coco yam, potatoes, etc.
  2. Cereal examples; rices, maize, sorghum, millet, etc.

Additional proteins, vitamins and minerals can be obtained from milk products and eggs for the lacto-ovo vegetarians respectively.

Suggested Menu for the Different Types of Vegetarians

A. Rice, Green beans, Egg stew, Fruit salad and custard sauce

B. Boiled yam or plantain, Vegetable stew with or without eggs, Rice pudding

C. Fried plantain, Beans, Vegetable stew

Invalid and Convalescent Diets:

An invalid is a sick person that is confined to bed while convalescent is someone recovering or has just recovered from an illness. In both cases, they have very weak intestines. Therefore their diets must be easily digestible. They need plenty of protein, vitamins and minerals as well as energy foods. Though fat is a highly concentrated form of energy, it is not easily digested and therefore should not be given to the invalid or to the convalescent. Appropriate methods of cooking that will make the food easily digestible must be used example; stewing, streaming, and boiling.

Here are some suggested meals for invalids and convalescents

  • Milk flavored with ovaltine or any beverage
  • Egg lightly boiled
  • Moi moi (bean pudding) with pap.
  • Soups example; meat, fish or vegetable.
  • Mashed yam/potato/coco yam/cassava
  • Milk pudding including custards
  • Fresh fruits or fruit juice

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