A vegetarian diet is a healthy way to meet your nutritional needs. Find out what you need to know about a vegetarian diet.

Vegetarian Diets

Vegetarian Diets

Depending on who you talk to, a vegetarian diet can mean many different things. There are different kinds of vegetarians, depending on what they eat. While there are several types of diets that limit meat, most people stick to the vegetarian label. However, in addition to the vegetarian label, there is also pescetarian, ovo-vegetarian, vegan, and raw vegan diets

There is also a diet called flexitarian, which is a relatively new term used to describe those that eat mostly vegetarian and meat just once in a while. Many do not consider this to be any true type of vegetarian diet, however, since people following this path eat meat.

Semi-vegetarian

Someone who’s cutting back on his or her intake of meat, in general. A pollo vegetarian avoids red meat and fish but eats chicken. A pesco pollo vegetarian avoids red meat but eats chicken and fish. These terms stretch the true definition of a vegetarian, and only the term semi-vegetarian is actually used with much frequency.

Vegetarian

Vegetarians are often mistaken for vegans, but there is a big difference between the two. Vegetarians are often referred to as lacto-ovo vegetarians, which means they eat both dairy products and eggs. This type of vegetarian diet prohibits flesh of any type. This includes beef, poultry, pork, or any type of fish or shellfish. Vegetarians get most of their protein from eggs, cheese, yogurt, and milk. Be sure to choose low-fat versions of these foods, and limit your intake by finding other plant-based proteins that are lower in fat.

Lacto-ovo vegetarian

Lacto-ovo vegetarians do not consume red meat, white meat, fish or fowl. However, lacto-ovo vegetarians do consume dairy products and egg products. This is the most common type of vegetarian.

Vegan

Vegans do not eat any foods that come from animals. This not only encompasses meat, fish, dairy, and eggs, but it also extends to honey. It also includes any products that use animal products in their production, such as gelatin, sugar, mayonnaise, some wines, and a number of processed foods. Many of those who choose a vegan lifestyle do so for a belief system, as opposed to health, but more and more people are choosing these types of diets for their health benefits. Instead of animal products, vegan diets are rich in soy, legumes, and nuts for protein sources.

Flexitarian

A plant-based diet with the occasional meat item on the menu. These folks do their best to limit meat intake as much as possible and they have an almost entirely plant-based diet. This is not technically considered a “vegetarian” diet, but we commend the effort!

Healthy Vegetarian Diets

Healthy Vegetarian Diets

Raw Vegan

Raw vegans have the most restrictive diet. Not only do they not eat any types of animal products, but they also avoid all types of cooked foods that have reached a temperature of more than 115 degrees F. This excludes any and all processed foods. Any consumed legumes and grains are limited to those that can be soaked or sprouted. Many raw vegans eat a diet that consists mainly of fruits, vegetables, some soaked and sprouted grains, and nuts. Most of their protein is gained from greens, nuts and seeds, and sprouted seeds.