In recent years people are much more conscious of what they are buying, consuming and how they treat people, animals and the environment. A variety of people are now moving toward a plant-based or meat-free diet and lifestyle for multiple reasons as mentioned. The other reason why people are moving towards a vegetarian diet is due to the countless amounts health benefits you get from it. If you are removing animal products you could be lacking in some vitamins so it is best to take vitamin D tablets and also vitamin B12. The difficult thing to understand though is there are more types of vegetarians than you may first think, there are 7 different variations of vegetarian. In this short piece, we will go through all the different types of vegetarians.
A vegetarian is someone who removes meat from their diet. This includes all chicken, pork, beef, lamb, venison and anything with four or two legs. The difference between the rest of the variations is that of the variety of animal products. In essence, a vegetarian will only eat fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes and grains. Let’s take a look into the different variations.
The first variant of a vegetarian diet is the Lacto-vegetarian. These types comprise much of the same dietary requirements which include removing meat and eggs from their diet and consuming more plant-based foods. Lacto-vegetarians will, however, allow themselves to consume dairy products like cheese, butter and yoghurt and milk.
There are a few different reasons why people may choose this diet. Firstly, they may find it difficult to find things that have no dairy in them. They may just simply enjoy dairy products like cheese. Another reason why people may steer towards this diet is dairy holds a certain type of protein and people may feel they need this.
The other side of a Lacto-vegetarian is an Ovo-vegetarian. This is where they follow the same dietary requirements of a Lacto-vegetarian, however, they choose to swap dairy products with eggs. This may be due to them having the same beliefs over eggs with their nutritional values over dairy products.
I’m pretty sure you already know what this one is considering we have just spoken about them separately. But if you didn’t guess, this is a diet where people still remove meat from their diet, but will also eat dairy products and eggs. This can happen for a variety of reasons but for the most, they may not like meat but prefer everything else, or they feel that removing all the main sources of protein from a diet is not the best option for them. Some may also do this for the different beliefs on animal welfare.
The next on the list is the most restrictive diet of all, the vegan diet. There are some differences between a vegan and a vegetarian diet. Those who opt for a vegan diet will follow the principle of not just eliminating meat, dairy and eggs, but also any animal byproduct like gelatine, white sugar, honey and collagen. Often, vegans will also opt for products that haven’t been tested on animals whilst also aiming to follow a more sustainable lifestyle.
If you thought it couldn’t be any more restrictive, you are wrong. There is now a group of vegans who calls themselves raw vegans. These people will follow the way that our ancestors started where they had no fire to cook their food. The controversial fact about this diet is it is not proven to give you any more health benefits than a normal vegan diet.
While there are different types of vegetarian diets. This s probably one of the most controversial diets due to them being able to eat certain types of meat. There are debates as to whether a pescetarian follows a vegetarian diet but for this article, we will include it to give a better understanding of the whole picture. Pescetarians are those who choose to eat fish and shellfish but still leave other types of meat out of the equation such as red meat, chicken, pork and lamb etc. Pending on the person, they may decide to consume eggs and dairy products but this is up to them.
Due to the minimal restrictions, many will often opt for this type of diet who want to cut down on their intake of animal proteins. This is due to them still being able to restrict themselves a lot more than they would if they eat meat. Fish and seafood are excellent sources of protein, omega 3 and have many more health benefits.
Pollotarian is a diet where they will remove red meat and pork out of their consumption, but they will however eat chicken and other poultry such as duck and turkey. Often people will use this diet to start their journey onto a more plant-based diet. Others will use this option due to their understanding of the concerning health effect of consuming red meat. As with a pescetarian diet, there are fewer restrictions so it will be the right step in the direction you want to go.
Flexitarian is the final type of vegetarian diet. This is the one where people will be more flexible with their diet. This means that they are making a conscious effort to reduce the amount of meat, dairy and eggs that they consume. This can vary with amounts so it is also a very controversial diet. An example of this is someone who eats meat twice a week but will also eat a plant-based or vegetarian diet the rest of the week.