Tapeworms are most common in some foods like undercooked meat and seafood but, can vegetarians get tapesworms?
Vegetarians and vegans can get tapeworms even if they don’t consume animal products. Tapesworms can be found in contaminated foods and water in addition to some raw and unwashed fruits and vegetables.
Table of Contents
Can Vegetarians Get Tapeworms
Vegetarians can get tapeworms even without eating meat and seafood products.
Is A Vegetarian More Likely To Get A Tapeworm
Vegetarians are not more likely to get a tapeworm compared to meat-eaters or vegans.
That said, if you are a vegetarian you are not immune from getting tapeworms.
Can You Get Parasites As A Vegetarian
You can get parasites as a vegetarian just as easily as you can if you ate meat and seafood.
It is a misconception that parasites only live in meat and seafood products.
You will also find parasites in fruit, and vegetables and contaminated water which is often consumed by vegetarians and vegans as well as meat-eaters.
Do Tapeworms Only Come From Meat
Many people believe that tapeworms come from meat products which is true but you can get tapeworms from raw seafood, fruit, and vegetables as well as contaminated water.
Can You Get A Tapeworm From Vegetables
It is a misconception that you can only get tapeworms from meat and meat products.
You can also get tapeworms from vegetables and fruit especially if you consume them in their raw form without washing them.
What Foods Can I Get A Tapeworm From
The most common foods that you can get a parasite from are.
- Undercooked Meat
- Raw Fruits & Vegetables
- Raw Seafood
- Raw Aquatic Plants
- Unpasteurized Dairy
- Unpasteurized Apple Cider
How Do You Get Tapeworms
You can get tapeworms from consuming food or water that contains tapeworms or tapeworm larvae or eggs.
You can develop a mild case of tapeworms or a complete infestation that can become serious.
It’s even possible for tapeworms to survive in their host for up to 30 years.
How Do I Know If I Have A Tapeworm
The majority of the symptoms from tapeworms are very mild and may not even be noticeable.
The symptoms you experience will depend on the severity of your tapeworm infestation and where the tapeworms are located in your body.
Some symptoms include.
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Weight Loss
- Salt Craving
- Allergic reactions
- Neurological symptoms
How Are Tapeworms Treated
Your doctor will test your stool and/or blood to diagnose a tapeworm.
In rare cases, you may need to have a CT scan or MRI to look for cysts.
If you have tapeworms the most common method of treatment is anti-parasite prescription medications.
How Can I Avoid Getting Tapeworms
There are many things you can do to reduce your chances of getting a tapeworm.
- Wash your hands often, especially when preparing food and after using the bathroom
- Wash all of your fruit and vegetables
- If traveling only eat washed and cooked fruits and vegetables
- When traveling only drink safe bottled water or boiled water
- Cook meat and seafood well (non-vegetarians)
- Freeze meats for 24 hours to kill eggs and larvae (non-vegetarians)
Common Myths About Tapeworms
- You can only get tapeworms from meat
- Vegans never get tapeworms
- Vegetarians never get tapeworms
- You can only get tapeworms from your pets
- Only “dirty” people can get tapeworms
- Tapeworms are harmless
Writing this articles make me want to wash my hands and over cook my food.
The thought of getting a tapeworm is discussing and makes me think of movie scenes like predator.
Even though vegetarians and vegans can get tapeworms there are things you can do help reduce your chances.
Washing your hands often, drinking from clean water source especially when traveling and washing and cooking your vegetables.