Types of Vegetarian Eating: Flexitarian, Lacto-Ovo, and Vegan

Generally, today's vegetarians come in three different forms, flexitarian, lacto-ovo, and vegan. Each of these categories represents a different style of vegetarian eating. Some vegetarians maintain one or a combination of these three eating categories throughout the year. There are no hard and fast rules to becoming a vegetarian. More and more individuals are customizing his or her diet to suit the nutritional demands of each person's body. It is important to keep in mind as a vegetarian, regardless of what type, to replace whatever nutrients restricted by a meatless diet. Aspire to eat a balanced meatless meal with whole foods even if you are vegan, lacto-ovo, or flexitarian.

A flexitarian is a vegetarian who mainly survives on plant foods like fruits, vegetables, diary products, eggs, and, on rare occasions, fish and poultry. Red meat is, generally, avoided. Most flexitarians become flexible around Thanksgiving and Christmas. The main thing to keep in mind with a flexitarian is that fish and poultry are eaten rather sparingly. Even though a flexitarian eats poultry and fish at times, this doesn't mean that it is not possible to suffer from nutritional deficiencies. A flexitarian, like any other vegetarian, will stand to benefit nutritionally by consuming mainly whole foods.

A lacto-ovo vegetarian is an individual who doesn't eat meat, poultry, or fish at all. However, these individuals do eat eggs and diary products. So while this category of vegetarian is more restrictive in that it does not allow for the consumption of animal products of any kind, he or she does indulge on eggs, milk, and cheese. The main thing to remember while maintaining this dietary style is to avoid unhealthy fats and focus on consuming healthy fats found in whole foods like coconut and avocado. Serious medical complications are the results of a diet infested with unhealthy fats.

A vegan is the most disciplined of the vegetarian eating styles. A vegan consumes only plant foods. They do not consume meats, poultry, sea foods, eggs, or dairy products. The ideal diet for a vegan is one that focuses solely on whole foods. Whole foods include fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. This diet of whole foods offers a vegan a complete balanced nutritional diet. A vegan should indulge in the complete array of whole foods available on the market, and even though he or she many not be eating any animal products or bi-products, processed foods should still be avoided, due to their contents of chemicals and preservatives.

If deciding to become a vegetarian, an individual can choose to be a flexitarian, a lacto-ovo vegetarian, or a vegan. These categories range from being flexible and allowing an occasional indulgence of poultry and fish, while others are more disciplined and restrict the consumption of all types of animals and dairy products. Which one any individual chooses will depend on his or her personal nutritional needs. Perhaps a novice should consider the flexitarian diet to start with, gradually move up to lacto-ovo, then settle in on a healthy vegan diet of whole foods.


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  • Wice says
    At least half a dozen of my family have been vegetarians of one sort or another at different times. Now no one is. While the philosophy may remain, often circumstances make the vegetarian diet unfeasible. Mostly, it has been the result of travel that my family’s diets have returned to omnivorous. It just became to ‘inconvenient’ and ‘ungrateful’ when travelling in less privileged parts of the world to maintain a restricted diet according to eating ideals.

    Vegetarianism often starts in adolescence with a dawning awareness of where meat etc., comes from and also a wish to show one’s individualism. Peer pressure can play a part. Unfortunately it is often a time when kids need a balanced diet and they just don’t manage this properly. Thinking back a number of my own friends became ill at school – not seriously but I always remember them as the ones with rashes of anaemia – just generally the most active and energetic of people. This could have had as much to do with the personality as the diet however – don’t know.

    What I have read and experienced , is that there are pros and cons.

    On a social level, one thing that is often not considered is the certain smugness that some vegetarian feel – that because they are on this ‘healthy’ diet, they don’t need to worry about their health in other ways. They may develop a feeling of superiority and self-righteousness. Apart from the sheer inconvenience of catering for vegetarians, this attitude is far from endearing to omnivores.

    On the other hand, vegetarians by and large avoid heart disease and ten to have lower blood pressure. There also seems to be a correlation between colon cancer and meat consumption - thought to be the result of food passing through the system more quickly.

    From what I have seen, being a healthy vegetarian who is able to balance their diet to meet their health needs, is very hard work. It is easy to miss out on certain essentials but this has to be balanced against the benefits if you do get it right. I have occasionally drifted into near vegetarianism simply because I haven’t felt like eating meat for a while. I don’t have any strong views about eating meat however. I believe it is a natural thing to do and simply part of the nature’s life cycles. Mozzies nibble at me now, worms may eat my body one day…to me that’s just living how recycling goes!
  • Wice says
    (Oh dear. yet another one I want to edit in lots of places. Think I am going to have to write my answers in Word and paste them in after checking. I didn't even get the five minute gap on this one!)
  • Anna says
    i find the concept of vegetarianism today a strange one... everyone i know who tells me is a vegetarian always has exceptions and excuses... vegetarian cept i eat chicken.. and not on monday vegan... but i eat cheese... so i like the word flexitarian... never heard it used before... my i know alot of people who should use it!!
  • KH says
    Not on a Monday vegan made me laugh! It's funny because it's true, there are so many rules and exceptions for a lot of people.
  • Wice says
    I sometimes think its just that people don't like some sort of meat so it makes a good excuse. Same goes for the endless 'allergies' people seem to have!
  • Anna says
    lol yer but the funny thing is... you then see them eat there allergy =P
  • khadim says
    There is no hard and fast rule to become a vegetarian. More and more individuals are customizing their diet to suit each person's nutritional needs. She regretted working for https://easywritingservice.com/. It is important to keep in mind as a vegetarian, regardless of type, to replace any nutrient that is restricted by a meatless diet.
  • CheldeWyatt says
    I have based my decision on the leptitox review that it would be better to find some other way to lose weight. Some people have gone as far as calling it a scam so I am not sure.

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