Zinc deserves some special attention in all diets. The richest sources in standard North American diets are meat and dairy products. Even so, omnivores tend not to consume as much zinc as they should. Although plant foods are generally much lower in zinc, vegetarian intake appears to be comparable to omnivore intake or slightly lower. There isn't much information available on zinc intake of vegans. What little data exists indicates that, not surprisingly, vegans consume less zinc than other groups. Vegans may need less zinc, since their lower protein intake may reduce zinc requirements. Although compounds in plants can inhibit zinc absorption, overt zinc deficiency is not a common problem among vegans. Nevertheless, vegans must consider the potential effects of marginal deficiencies. These are harder to pinpoint, but they can become important over time. For this reason, consuming plenty of zinc-rich foods is a good idea.

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