Food choices of vegetarians and nonvegetarians during pregnancy and lactation

D. A. Finley, K. G. Dewey, B. Lonnerdal, L. E. Grivetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Data on food choices and nutrient intake were obtained from 60 lactating women, including 29 vegetarians. The most common changes in consumption patterns during pregnancy were increased intake of high-protein foods, especially milk products, and decreased intake of coffee, tea, and alcohol. The changes were partially based on food cravings and/or aversions. In addition to high-protein foods, some of the women craved fruits and sweets. Items most commonly eliciting aversive reactions were vegetables, strong-smelling and strong-tasting combination dishes, and greasy foods. Aversions to coffee, tea, and alcohol were almost as frequent as those to greasy foods. Nutrient intake during lactation was measured using 24-hour recalls and 2-day diet records that also considered dietary supplements. A total of 332 intake records were evaluated relative to the RDAs for lactating women. Mean energy intake was 2,200 kcal (88% of the recommendation), and mean protein intake was 86 gm (134% of the RDA). Mean nutrient intakes from diet alone ranged from 89% of the RDA for iron to 154% for vitamin A; mean intakes from diet plus supplements ranged from 133% of the RDA for calcium to 581% of the RDA for thiamin. Dietary supplementation provided a substantial part of the intake of some nutrients; for most women, however, the RDAs were met by diet alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)678-685
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine(all)


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