Exploring the Diverse World of Dietary Restrictions

dietary restrictions and preferences

Catering to a large group of employees presents its own set of challenges. With diverse palates, preferences, and dietary restrictions to consider, whether you're managing daily dining or organizing a special event, serving an inclusive meal becomes paramount.

People often refrain from specific foods due to various factors, such as personal choice, medical requirements, religious principles, or cultural traditions. By taking these dietary needs into account, with the help of Sharebite you can create an environment where your team feels valued and embraced, whether it's within your organization or during an event.

This guide aims to familiarize you with the most prevalent dietary restrictions, empowering you to cater to the unique needs of all your workforce and possible guests.


Vegetarianism is a dietary choice that excludes meat but may include dairy and eggs. Some people adopt this lifestyle for ethical reasons, concerned about animal welfare, while others do so for health or environmental benefits.


Vegans take vegetarianism a step further by excluding all animal products, including dairy, eggs, and honey. This choice is often driven by ethical concerns, environmental sustainability, and health considerations.

Paleo Diet

The paleo diet, also known as the "caveman diet," mimics the presumed dietary habits of early humans. It emphasizes whole foods like lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds while excluding processed foods, grains, and dairy.

Keto Diet

The ketogenic (keto) diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that forces the body into a state of ketosis, where it burns fat for energy. This diet is used for weight loss and managing conditions like epilepsy.

Raw Food Diet

Raw foodists consume only uncooked and unprocessed foods, believing that cooking destroys essential nutrients. Their diet typically includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains.

Diabetic Diet

Individuals with diabetes must carefully manage their carbohydrate intake to control blood sugar levels. This often involves monitoring carbohydrate consumption, choosing complex carbohydrates, and avoiding excessive sugar.

Kosher Diet

The kosher diet is rooted in Jewish dietary laws (kashrut) and involves strict rules about food preparation and consumption. Kosher guidelines dictate what foods are permissible and how they should be prepared, with a focus on proper slaughtering and supervision.

Halal Diet

Similar to kosher dietary laws, the halal diet is guided by Islamic principles. It specifies which foods are permissible (halal) and how they should be prepared, with a primary focus on humane slaughtering and prayerful intent.

Other Religious Dietary Restrictions

Apart from kosher and halal diets, various other religious dietary restrictions exist. For example, some Buddhists follow a vegetarian diet, and certain Hindu sects avoid beef and other specific foods. These dietary choices are often deeply rooted in spiritual beliefs.

Common Food Allergies

Annually, 200,000 Americans find themselves in the emergency room due to food-induced allergic reactions. To ensure the safety and well-being of your team, consider asking all employees and guests about their food allergies beforehand and tailoring your menu accordingly. Below are some of the most prevalent food allergies to be mindful of:

Milk / Dairy (Lactose Intolerance)

Lactose intolerance is a medical condition where the body cannot properly digest lactose, the sugar found in dairy products. Those with lactose intolerance may experience digestive issues, leading them to avoid milk, cheese, and other dairy items.

Wheat (Gluten Intolerance)

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder triggered by the consumption of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. People with celiac disease must strictly adhere to a gluten-free diet to prevent adverse health effects.


Peanuts and tree nuts are renowned for their potential to trigger allergies. Nuts can be unexpectedly found in various food items, including cooking oils, flours, and even barbecue sauces. Even minute traces of nuts can provoke severe reactions in individuals with peanut or tree nut allergies. Whenever your meals include nuts, it's crucial to label and highlight their presence clearly.

Here's a list of some common tree nuts to watch out for in your recipes and ingredients:


While soy allergies are more common in children, there is a percentage of adults that have allergic reactions. Watch out for soy sauce, miso, and tempeh. Also soy is fairly common in cookies, nut butters, cereal and in fast foods.

Seafood / Shellfish

Fish and shellfish allergies are one of the most common allergies in adults. Over 2% are allergic to shellfish. Cross contamination is the typically the biggest threat as seafood is typically processed in the same facilities as shellfish. 

Here's a list of some common shellfish to watch out for in your recipes and ingredients:

Making Sure Everyone Can Enjoy a Safe Meal

Dietary restrictions are as diverse as the individuals who follow them. Whether due to personal preference, medical necessity, or religious and cultural beliefs, these restrictions shape the way people interact with food. Understanding and respecting these choices is essential for promoting inclusivity and ensuring that everyone can enjoy a safe meal that aligns with their needs and values.