Learn About The Different Types Of Vegetarian And Vegan Diets
Even today, with the rise in popularity of vegetarian and veganism and all the different types of vegetarianisms, it can be easy to be confused about the differences between them.
People choose to go vegetarian or vegan for a variety of reasons, including health, a distaste for meats, or a love for animals and their protection.
Are you wondering about the different types of vegetarian and wanting to figure out which one may be right for you? Be aware, that you don’t need to fit into any one of the standard vegetarian categories, you can choose to mix and match to suit your own individual dietary and lifestyle choices.
Vegetarians have their reasons for choosing their dietary lifestyle whether it is health reasons, a distaste for meats, or a love for animals. If you are deciding what type or kind of vegetarian you want to be, think about what types of food you want to include or avoid. You don’t need to fit into one of these standard vegetarian categories, but understanding them will help you think about your short-term and long-term goals if you choose to follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.
A vegetarian eats anything they want, fruits, nuts and vegetables, milk, dairy and eggs, but does not eat animal flesh, including meat and poultry, fish and seafood, insects, or fats, gelatine, or stocks derived from animals.
Many people are choosing to be flexitarian,, which, as the name suggest, is a flexible dietary lifestyle. Flexitarian’s choose to eat predominantly vegetarian, or plant based foods, but occasionally consume meat and animal products.
Pescatarians choose to eat a vegetarian diet, with the addition of eating fish and seafood.
It’s a largely plant-based diet of whole grains, nuts, legumes, produce and healthy fats, with seafood playing a key role as a main protein source.
Many pescatarians also eat dairy and eggs.
Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian’s avoid eating meat, fish and poultry while allowing the consumption of dairy, eggs and some other animal-based products.
There are also subsets within the Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian diet:
- Lacto-Vegetarian – avoids eating meat, fish and poultry while allowing the consumption of dairy, and some other animal-based products.
- Ovo-Vegetarian – avoid eating meat, fish and poultry while allowing the consumption of eggs and some other animal-based products.
Pollo-Vegetarian’s follow a mostly vegetarian diet but also consume chicken and in some cases, eggs in their diet.
As with the pescatarian diet, this is not truly vegetarian, but typically, a pollo-vegetarian mostly follows a vegetarian diet, with the occasional addition of poultry.
A Macrobiotic Vegetarian diet is mainly vegetarian, but sometimes includes seafood. All other meat products, eggs and dairy products are excluded. Basically, this diet focuses on eating local and seasonal foods that balance each other in harmonic ways. Some people follow this diet as a philosophy of life and others follow it for health reasons.
Vegans do not eat meat, dairy, or seafood products of any kind including eggs, honey, or processed foods containing these or other animal-derived ingredients such as gelatin, which comes from animal collagen.
Many vegans also refrain from eating foods that are made using animal products even if there are no animal products in the finished food. For example, some sugars are made with bone char in the bleaching and filtering process. And, some wines have “fining agents”–like milk protein, gelatin, and egg whites–that are used in the processing of wine but are not actual ingredients.
Now if you followed that last bit, you may be wondering about the wine part. Yes, even alcohol can be vegan. There are specific vegan beers, wines and spirits available on the market, for those that are very particular about their vegan lifestyle, but still want to consume alcohol.
As well as the dietary restrictions, vegan’s also avoid products made from animals or animal testing, such as leather products, makeup, perfumes and more.
Raw Food Vegan
Raw Food Vegan’s only eat unprocessed raw vegan foods that have not been heated above 115 F (46 C). Adherents of this diet, called “raw foodists”, believe that foods cooked above this temperature lose their enzymes and a significant amount of their nutritional value and are harmful to the body, whereas uncooked foods provide living enzymes and proper nutrition.
Proponents of a raw food diet claim that there are many benefits to eating raw foods, including weight loss, increased energy, clear skin, improved digestion, and improved overall health.
Raw food vegan’s also avoid things such as olive oils, avocado oils and nut oils, due to the fact that they have been processed.
Fruitarian is another variant of a vegan diet, that consists entirely, or primarily of fruits in the botanical sense and possibly nuts and seeds as well.
What Kind Of Vegetarian Do You Want To Be?
After seeing all the Different Types Of Vegetarian, what kind do you want to be? Some people prefer to ease themselves into it slowly, by adopting a Flexitarian diet, while others go the whole hog and jump right into the full whole food, plant based diet of a Raw Food Vegan.
Whichever you choose, from a health perspective, all current advice is that it is beneficial to increase daily intake of fruit and vegetables, so maybe it is time to begin your journey.