Types of Vegetarians – The term “vegetarian” is often associated with a diet that does not consume animal food sources at all. There are various types of vegetarians, and some still consume animal meat.
So, what are the types of vegetarians, and how to differentiate them? Check out the full explanation!
A vegetarian diet encourages the consumption of more plant-based food sources, such as vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. By adopting this healthy diet, you can indeed reduce the risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
Vegetarianism may be known as a “plant-based” or “plant-based diet.” However, it turns out that there are several types of vegetarians with different dietary rules. Some types allow the consumption of fish, eggs, or milk. Some are one hundred percent avoiding any foodstuffs of animal origin.
Do you only eat vegetables, fruits, and whole grains?
If so, you are most likely a vegetarian of this type. A vegan is a type of vegetarian with the strictest dietary rules. Vegans avoid all animal products, including eggs, dairy products, and gelatin made from animal bones and connective tissue.
Even honey is on the “banned list” for many vegans because it comes from bees, which means it is included in animal products. The vegan diet avoids not only animal-derived ingredients but also animal-derived products in every aspect of life.
A vegan may avoid using leather, wool, and silk items, lard soaps, and other products made with animal ingredients. To meet nutritional needs that may only be obtained from animal sources, a vegan diet must include the following food sources.
- Grains, most likely from bread and calcium-fortified cereals.
- Nuts and types of protein, such as peanut butter, chickpeas, tofu, potatoes, and soy milk.
- Vegetables and fruit.
- Sources of healthy fats, such as sesame oil, avocado, and coconut.
Do you avoid red meat but still eat fish and chicken? You may be this type of vegetarian. A semi-vegetarian, also known as a “flexitarian,” generally eats less meat than mammals.
You may only eat chicken or fish, or even both. If you are a semi-vegetarian, make sure you eat foods that contain vitamins and minerals.
You are also advised to avoid high-fat and high-calorie foods.
3. Lacto-Ovo Vegetarians
Do you avoid all types of meat but still eat dairy and eggs? So you are a lacto-ovo vegetarian. These types of vegetarians are most common in Indonesia.
People with this type of diet do not eat beef, pork, poultry, fish, seafood, and all kinds of animals. However, they still eat eggs, dairy products, and their derivatives.
If you don’t eat meat products at all, experts strongly recommend taking supplements. Take supplements that contain enough vitamin B12, vitamin D, riboflavin, iron, protein, and zinc to avoid nutritional deficiencies.
Do you avoid all meat and eggs and only eat dairy products? It is a lacto-vegetarian diet. This diet excludes red meat, white meat, fish, poultry, and eggs from the list of food sources.
However, Lacto-vegetarians consume dairy products such as cheese, milk, and yogurt. The daily menu of a Lacto-vegetarian diet usually includes the following foods:
- Nuts and seeds.
- Green vegetable.
- Whole fruit or dried fruit.
You also need to consume three servings of dairy products daily and cereals to meet the needs of vitamin B12.
5. Ovo vegetarians
The term “ovo” in this breed refers to the egg. If you are a vegetarian and eat eggs, you can be said to be an “ovo-vegetarian. The ovo-vegetarian diet is usually the first step toward a vegan diet.
Not only do they exclude meat and fish, but ovo-vegetarians also do not consume dairy products and their derivatives, such as cheese, yogurt, butter, and ice cream. Don’t worry about getting bored, even if you only eat eggs, because there are many ways to cook eggs for Ovo vegetarians.
Cook it into scrambled eggs and omelets, or mix it into fried rice and vegetables.
The prefix “pesce” comes from the Italian word for fish. Apart from consuming plant products, this type of diet, which is also called pescatarian, does not consume animal products except fish.
This type of vegetarian diet focuses on the health benefits that can be obtained from the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish.
Even so, some pescatarians still consume eggs and dairy products, so getting protein sources is not difficult.
In addition to advocating the principle of a plant-based diet, the proletarian diet still allows the consumption of foods derived from poultry, such as chicken, turkey, and duck. Some proletarians also still have eggs and dairy products in their diet, but not red meat or pork.
If you want to try a vegetarian diet, you can consider some of the types above. If you are in doubt, consult a nutritionist. This can help you find out which type of vegetarian diet is suitable for your health condition.
Frequently Asked Questions about Vegetarians
Some fundamental questions must be addressed to comprehend vegan and vegetarian diets.
1. What is the difference between vegetarians and vegans?
Vegetarianism is a diet that does not consume meat.
Three types of vegetarians are common. Here’s the type.
- Lacto-ovo-vegetarian: still eats eggs and dairy products.
- Ovo-vegetarians: still eat eggs, but don’t eat dairy products.
- Lacto-vegetarian: consumes dairy products but does not eat eggs.
- Vegan: a diet that does not consume red meat, poultry, fish, or seafood; eggs; honey; milk and its preparations; and gelatin.
Based on the explanation above, vegan is not an abbreviation for vegetarian. The difference between vegan and vegetarian is a vegetarian diet does not use or consume animal sources.
2. What are the health benefits of a vegetarian diet?
Cutting your animal intake may make you ask these vegetarian questions. Of course, there are various benefits to being a vegan or vegetarian. Various studies have found that a vegan diet helps you lose excess weight. The reason is, this healthy diet method increases fiber intake.
So you are full longer and reduce excess appetite. In addition, fiber intake is usually relatively low in calories. In addition, a vegan diet is rich in fiber, which can get rid of cholesterol through the stool. Some meats are high in saturated fatty acids.
Cholesterol and saturated fat are known to accumulate and clog blood vessels, thereby increasing the risk of heart disease.
3. What is the purpose of going vegetarian?
The answer to this question about vegetarianism illustrates the main motivation that needs to be created.
- Some people turn to a vegetarian diet to lose weight and maintain a healthy body.
- Some are concerned about the safety of meat because of the presence of Salmonella and E. coli bacteria.
- Some people become vegetarians because they cannot afford meat and other animal products.
Meanwhile, some people choose to become vegans due to health concerns, but many of them choose this path for moral reasons.
Vegans feel that animals live in this world not to be used by humans, let alone traded. In addition to not consuming animal sources, vegans also do not use products made from animal skins, fur, or shells.
4. Is it true that vegetarians and vegans will lack protein?
Protein intake is mainly found in meat. So, what is the answer to this question about vegetarianism? Many meat substitutes are also rich in protein, such as:
- tofu and tempeh,
- oats, and
- Brown rice.
For people on a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet, this is not a problem because dairy products and eggs are enough to fill their daily protein needs. For vegans, it’s best to consume 0.45 grams of vegetable protein per every kilogram of body weight.
This amount is more than the intake of animal protein. This is because vegetable protein is more difficult to absorb and contains fewer amino acids. Amino acids are needed to make proteins in the body.
5. What is the calcium requirement of vegetarians?
This question about vegetarians needs to be known to prevent nutritional deficiencies that can harm bones. People on a lacto-vegetarian or lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet can get calcium from milk.
If you choose veganism, you can consume plant-based sources of calcium from:
- soya bean,
- red beans,
- cabbage, and
Indeed, a study published in Nutrients (2021) states that vegans tend to experience broken bones and consume less calcium daily. However, consuming 525 mg of calcium per day can reduce the risk of bone injury.
6. Does following a vegetarian diet require a certain lifestyle?
To answer this vegetarian question, you need to remember your initial motivation. If you believe that animals are free beings, you should also do the following.
- Avoid products that have been tested on animals.
- Do not wear clothes made of wool and leather.
- Do not visit entertainment venues that show animal attractions.
If you decide to become a vegetarian because you see a healthy vegetarian diet, you can simply follow the diet’s rules. Neither of these two reasons is better or worse, depending on your principles.
7. What are the other reasons for becoming a vegetarian besides health and animal rights?
People who choose to become vegetarians learn and try to care for the environment. Stopping the consumption of animal meat is an effort to avoid animal exploitation while reducing meat production from livestock.
Livestock is known to produce large amounts of methane and carbon dioxide. These two types of gases make the earth warmer, thus triggering climate change.
Moreover, there are several countries clearing forests to plant pastures as cattle feed. Forests play an important role in absorbing carbon dioxide from the air.
Some livestock operations on a large scale do not pay attention to filtering animal feces. It can also pollute rivers.
8. Is a vegetarian diet always healthy?
A vegetarian or vegan diet is not always healthy. Abstaining from animal products does not automatically lead to a healthy diet. Please note, several nutritional intakes may not be obtained if you are on this diet, such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, a type of iron, and the omega-3 fatty acid DHA.