What does it mean to be vegetarian? There are several different types of diets that can be considered vegetarian, depending on their inclusion or exclusion of certain food items. Any of the various vegetarian eating patterns have the potential to offer great nutrition, if an individual prioritizes a well-planned and balanced diet. While most vegetarians have a high intake of fiber, vitamins, and minerals due to their reliance on fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, others may need to prioritize dietary intake of high quality protein, calcium, iron, and vitamin B12 to ensure their continued health and well-being.
Understanding the different types of vegetarian diets is important as it may help you select the one that is right for you. Here are the different definitions of the types of vegetarian diets:
Types of Vegetarians
A person who eats a mostly vegetarian diet, but occasionally eats meat.
Focusing on eating more plant-based foods, but can vary in degree often for sustainability or disease prevention. Does not imply vegan, or vegetarian.
Lacto-ovo Vegetarian/Ovo-lacto Vegetarian
A lacto-ovo vegetarian is a vegetarian whose diet includes dairy products and eggs, but no meat.
A lacto vegetarian is a vegetarian whose diet includes dairy products, but no meat or eggs.
An ovo-vegetarian is a vegetarian whose diet includes eggs, but no meat or dairy products.
Pesco vegetarian/Pescatarian (move to the vegetarian section)
A pesco vegetarian is a vegetarian whose diet includes fish and other seafood, but no other meat.
A vegan is a person who does not eat any food that comes from animals, fish, or insects (such as meat, dairy, eggs, honey, etc.) and who often also does not use animal products (such as leather).
A vegetarian is a person who does not eat meat or seafood, but who may eat vegetables, eggs, and dairy products.
Check out these meal ideas for vegetarians: