Contrary to popular belief, there is more to being a vegetarian than giving up meat. In fact, the vegetarian diet comes in different types and levels. They vary according to the preference of the individual as far as the kind of food s/he wants to eat. To understand the vegetarian diet, you need to know all its levels. In today’s post, we are listing down all types of vegetarian diets:
The vegan diet is the most restrictive of all vegetarian diet. This diet requires complete elimination of animal-based foods including dairy products and eggs. Vegans use protein-rich vegetables, grains, and nuts in order to obtain protein. Because it’s restrictive, a vegan lifestyle requires careful planning and very selective grocery shopping. Some store-bought foods tend to have traces of animal byproducts, this is a no-no among vegans.
The highest level of a vegan diet requires not using heat to cook foods. As such, vegans who adopt this lifestyle will only eat raw or fresh produce.
This is the most popular of all vegetarian diet because it’s the easiest to follow. This diet restricts all kinds of animal meats including pork, beef, seafood, shellfish and poultry. However, eggs and dairy products are allowed. The great thing about lacto- vegetarianism is that it minimizes calcium deficiency. In Latin, “lacto” means milk and “ovo” means egg. Lacto-vegetarianism also comes in three levels: Lacto-vegetarian, Ovo-vegetarian, and Lacto-ovo vegetarian.
Lacto-vegetarian diet does not allow the consumption of eggs but allows dairy. Ovo-vegetarian diet does not allow dairy and meat products but allows eggs. Finally, Lacto-ovo vegetarian allows both eggs and dairy products.
Of all vegetarian diet, pescatarian diet is the least restrictive. All types of meat products are avoided except for fish. Dairy products and eggs are also allowed. Because this diet is not as restrictive, most vegetarians do not consider it as a true vegetarian diet.
Flexitarian is the newest type of vegetarian diet. It follows an “on and off” period of the basic lacto-ovo vegetarian diet. During the off period, flexitarians could eat meat. Usually, the flexitarian diet is used by those who want to go vegetarian, to test the water so to speak. Once they get used to the new lifestyle, they will transition into stricter types of vegetarian diet.
Just like pestacarians, flexitarians are criticized by vegetarians because these diets go against the concept of being a true vegetarian.
Pollotarian diet is very similar to pestacarian diet in terms of restricting most types of meat. However, the pollotarian diet allows poultry and fowl meat.
Knowing the Right Vegetarian Diet for You
The right kind of vegetarian diet for you will depend on your intentions. For instance, if you hate the idea of hurting animals and you want no part in the long-held tradition of eating meat of all kinds, go vegan. If you can’t part with cheese and eggs and you feel the processes of collecting these food items aren’t cruel, choose lacto-ovo vegetarian. Finally, if you want to transition to a vegetarian diet slowly, try the flexitarian diet.
If you are interested in adopting a vegetarian lifestyle, we recommend exploring your options and knowing if such lifestyle suits your budget and needs.