Adherence to a Mediterranean diet by vegetarians and vegans as compared to omnivores.Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2020 May; 71(3):378-387.IJ
To assess adherence to the Mediterranean Diet (MedD) by vegetarians and vegans compared to omnivores, we recruited an internet-based convenience sample of 565, 151 and 514 Israeli (>20 years) vegans, vegetarians and omnivores. Studies assessing vegetarians' and vegans' adherence to the Mediterranean Diet (MedD) are scarce. We recruited an internet-based convenience sample of 565, 151 and 514 Israeli vegans, vegetarians and omnivores, mostly female with a normal weight. We assessed their MedD scores (MedDS) and their food groups' consumption by two food frequency questionnaires: (1) Trichopoulou's MedDS (range 0-9); (2) Literature-based MedDS (LBMedDS) (range 0-18). We found that vegans tend to consume significantly more legumes, nuts, fruits and vegetables than omnivores. The multivariable-adjusted odds for high MedDS (a score ≥4) (compared to omnivores) assessed by Trichopoulou's score were: 32.35-fold higher in vegans (95% CI, 21.43-48.84) and 3.13-fold higher in vegetarians (95% CI, 2.06-4.76). Using the LBMedDS, vegans had 2.30-fold higher odds for high MedD adherence (a score ≥12) and vegetarians 1.66-fold higher odds compared to omnivores. In conclusion, we found a higher MedD adherence among vegans and vegetarians compared to omnivores.