A DIET of fresh fruit and vegetables is better than once thought, new research finds.
It puts to rest the long-held belief a vegetarian diet was likely to lack protein and iron.
The review published in today's Medical Journal of Australia, shows a well-planned, plant-based diet can meet the nutritional needs of adults and children.
Scientists found fruit and vegetable-based diets reduced the risk of health problems such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and obesity.
Nutritionist Dr Rosemary Stanton said there were no significant health differences in babies born to vegetarian mothers.
The study, Is a vegetarian diet adequate?, showed there was no noticeable difference in the growth of vegetarian children compared to children who consumed meat as part of their diet.