Studies have compared the nutritional quality of plant based and animal based diets. Generally vegan diets are highly restrictive as they exclude a large number of foods that are normally eaten. Vegan diets therefore tend to have the lowest energy intake, and this can include reductions in the amount and quality of protein. Calcium has also been shown to be below the recommended amount in vegan diets. However, they contain higher than normal levels of fibre, and score highly on the Healthy Eating Index and the Mediterranean diet score. Vegetarian diets, and variations of it including semi-vegetarians and pesco-vegetarians also score well against these indices. If an omnivorous diet that conforms to the Western diet is used, it tends to score badly against these eating indices. However, that the Mediteranean diet is an omnivorous diet and is used as a measuring stick against which to judge other diets, should show that an omnivorous diet can be healthy, as long as high quality foods are consumed.
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