A vegetarian consumes meals primarily of plant-based ingredients, such as nuts, seeds, grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Vegetarians come in various forms, but the most common definition is not eating meat. A well-planned vegetarian diet is a good way to get the necessary nutrients. Find out what a detailed guide for a vegetarian diet is.
Types of Vegetarian Diets
Those who follow a strict vegetarian diet, refrain from all meats, including fish and poultry. However, there are many different vegetarian diets.
Here are seven:
- Lacto-ovo-vegetarians eat eggs and dairy, but do not eat meat, poultry, or fish.
- Lacto-vegetarians do eat dairy products but do not eat eggs, meat, poultry, or fish.
- Ovo-vegetarians do eat eggs, but not dairy, meat, poultry, or fish.
- Pescatarians eat fish, but do not eat meat or poultry.
- Semivegetarians do eat chicken and fish, but don’t eat red meat
- Flexitarians usually stick to a vegetarian diet, but do occasionally eat meat, poultry, or fish.
- Vegans, the strictest type of vegetarian, do not consume animal products and byproducts, including dairy, eggs, honey, and things made with gelatin.
Vegetarian Diet: What to Eat and Avoid
If you are a proper vegetarian, here is what to eat and what to avoid:
What to Eat
All grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables are acceptable. Additionally, you’ll discover that the grocery store is packed with meat-inspired vegetarian alternatives, such as veggie burgers, chicken alternatives, and fake ground beef. However, they are less healthier than whole, unadulterated vegetarian foods.
What to Avoid
Vegans, the strictest type of vegetarian, avoid chicken, fish, and meat. However, the foods may be flexible depending on the type of vegetarian you are. For example, if you’re lacto-ovo-vegetarians, you can consume fish or eggs.
Potential Health Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet
The well-planned vegetarian diets are fiber-rich and lower in calories and fat than a non-vegetarian diet. In addition, well-planned vegetarian diets can be beneficial to your health in the following ways:
- Heart Help- Your diet will be lower in saturated fat and cholesterol if you don’t consume meat, lowering your heart disease risk. A vegetarian diet can reduce your risk of heart disease and death from cardiovascular disease by 40%.
- Hypertension Management- Consuming a plant-based diet may help lower high blood pressure.
- Improve Insulin Response- As long as you consume a balanced diet, it will help stabilize your blood sugar and increase your body’s responsiveness to insulin, while it won’t cure type 2 diabetes. It might also decrease your risk of developing further type 2 diabetes-related problems.
- Cancer Protection- Consuming a plant-based diet may reduce your chance of developing some types of cancer because vegetarians have lower cancer rates than non-vegetarians.
- Lower Metabolic Syndrome Risk- According to some research, people who eat more plants also tend to have lower rates of metabolic syndrome, a collection of risk factors that may increase your chronic illnesses risk like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
According to research, your health benefits depend on how strictly you follow a vegetarian diet. Vegans see the greatest health benefits, followed by pescatarians.