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Vegetarian Diets

Definitions of different types of vegetarians.

Becoming a vegetarian can seem like a daunting task. I’ve spoke with several people who think they should become vegetarians because it is healthier for them, which it can be, but they approach it in a way that is more of a mandate than something they actually want to do. It’s like when the doctor tells you that your cholesterol is high and you grudgingly eliminate bacon and butter from your diet. If you go into vegetarianism grudgingly you probably won’t last long. There are several forms of vegetarianism which makes it easier to modify your diet and eat healthier.

Pescatarian is a form of vegetarianism where all meat and animal flesh is avoided but fish may be consumed. This is one of the most common forms of vegetarianism and is often used as a first step toward becoming a vegetarian. Pescatarian’s reap the benefits of the Omega-3 fatty acids from fish which many physicians recommend. There are however other options such as flax seed oil for vegetarian use.

Flexitarian is often referred to as a semi-vegetarian. Flexitarian’s occasionally eat meat but more often than not adopt a vegetarian diet. This form of vegetarian is often less motivated by animal rights and more motivated by the health benefits of a vegetarian diet. Flexitarianism is increasing in popularity and is also an excellent stepping stone toward becoming a full vegetarian.

Lacto-ovo-vegetarian’s do not eat any meat including beef, pork, poultry, fish, shellfish or animal flesh. They do however eat other animal products such as eggs and dairy products. When people think of veterinarians Lacto-ovo-vegetarian’s are the first to come to mind.

Vegans do not consume any meat, eggs, dairy or processed foods containing animal products. Vegans often avoid sugar and gelatin since animal products are often used to process them.

Raw vegans only consume raw foods. People who adopt this diet believe that foods heated above 115 degrees Fahrenheit lose most of their nutritional value and may become harmful. Again, raw vegans avoid all meat, all animal products and only eat raw foods. The raw diet has seen an increase in popularity over recent years with several raw food restaurants opening.

Macrobiotic vegetarians are unique in that they focus on Asian vegetables. This form of vegetarianism is thought to have healing properties. Macrobiotic vegetarians eat unprocessed vegan foods but occasionally include fish in their diets. This diet also avoids baked products and refined grains. Muffins, cookies and cakes are big no-no’s.

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Comments (1)

I am not a Vegetarian or Vegan, but think people should try to reduce the meat they eat (including fish) for many reasons - health, environmental, and to help reduce cruelty. If people cannot give up eating meat, they can try having some meatless meals, meatless days.. and so forth. Its not that hard, spagetti doesnt have to have a meat sauce. I also think free range eggs are great!