For several years, in Poland, the interest in alternative methods of nutrition, particularly in vegetarianism, has been increasing. A vegetarian diet supplies all the necessary nutrients provided it is well balanced, otherwise some nutrient deficiencies can occur, especially a mineral and vitamin deficiency. In this paper, the dietary intake of minerals in the daily food rations (DFR) of vegetarians and nonvegetarians was evaluated. The data on the dietary habits and methods of the two groups studied were compiled using a 24 h dietary recall. On the basis of the results obtained, a nutritive value (level) of daily food rations was assessed, and it was determined to what degree the rations studied covered the recommended food intake standards with respect to individual nutrients. It was found that the daily food rations of vegetarians contained significantly higher phosphorus, iron, and magnesium quantities than the diets of non-vegetarians, and even more: the contents of these minerals exceeded the recommended standards. The vegetarian DFRs also contained more copper, however, the diets analyzed did not fully cover the daily demand for this microelement. The calcium and zinc intake levels were comparable in the two groups tested, but they were too low, and, thus, the intake of these two microelements did not meet the 100% requirements as recommended by the standard for a given age and sex group.
vegetarians, non-vegetarians, daily food rations, minerals