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Types Of Vegetarian Diets And Their Benefits

By Riddhi Parmar +2 more

Over recent years, people are getting more aware of vegetarian foods. The reasons behind it are varied, including health benefits, environmental benefits and ethical issues. Though being vegetarian is more beneficial, skipping meat is challenging for many.

There are over 50 shades of vegetarianism that are abundant in various nutrients. Apart from the ethical and environmental benefits of cutting meat from your diet, a well-planned vegetarian diet may also reduce your risk of chronic disease. 

Plant-based eating habits are practiced globally. A lot of people want to explore different varieties of this. Choosing a plant-based diet over what one is currently used to is a difficult task.

Here’s what you need to know about the most popular types of vegetarianism –

1: Vegan 

A vegan diet is popular now among health-conscious people. Vegans do not consume animal products or by-products. So in this course, red and white meat, fish or fowl are not allowed. They also do not consume eggs and dairy. Vegans will also abstain from eating things like honey, gelatin, collagen and even white sugar. Vegan diets are pretty restrictive and require more planning than other forms of vegetarianism. This diet can provide you with enough protein, iron, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D.

2: Raw vegan 

Raw vegans do not eat cooked foods. These types will only consume unprocessed plant foods that should not be heated above 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

3: Flexitarian 

As the name suggests, Flexitarians are flexible with their diet. They often eat plant-based foods but they may consume meat occasionally. It emphasizes the benefits of plant-based food while allowing small amounts of animal products.

  1. Pescatarian: Pescatarians are the people who eat a lot of plant-based food with fish and seafood and who may or may not also eat dairy or eggs. They do not consume red meat, white meat or fowl. It is considered a ”semi-vegetarian” or ”Flexitarian” diet.
  2. Lacto-vegetarians: Lacto-vegetarians consume meat, fish, eggs and fowl but they don’t eat dairy products such as milk and yoghurt. 

Read more about Top 10 Zinc-Rich Foods For Vegetarians

4: Lacto-Ovo vegetarians

It is one of the traditional forms of vegetarianism. They don’t consume meat, fish and poultry food. However, they eat animal products like dairy and eggs.

5: Ovo-vegetarians 

Ovo-vegetarians do not eat red or white meat, fish, fowl or dairy products. However, Ovo-vegetarians do consume egg products. This is not a popular type of vegetarian diet. 

Despite not being strictly vegetarian, the Pescetarian diet ideally restricts the use of animal products. Pescetarians are vegetarians who consume fish, dairy products, eggs, and other plant foods and do not consume meat. Pescetarian or flexitarian diets are followed by those who want to get the health benefits of a vegetarian diet without giving up meat.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Health benefits of a vegetarian diet 

 Vegetarian diets have lots of health benefits because they are full of various nutrients. Here are some best health benefits of being vegetarian. 

1: Lower cholesterol levels 

Plant-based foods are cholesterol free naturally. Although cholesterol is an essential component of each human cell, vegetarians do not need to worry about not getting enough cholesterol. As the body can make all the cholesterol it needs from vegan foods. Research suggests that vegetarian people have low levels of bad cholesterol.

Read more about Low-Carb Diet: How Important Is It To Lose Weight?

2: Control weight

Many people have become vegetarian to shed extra pounds. Following a plant-based diet usually means you’ll take in fewer calories overall that helps you to lose weight. A research study concluded that vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) on average when compared with non-vegetarians. 

3: Reduce the risk of diabetes 

Vegetarian people have less risk of getting type 2 diabetes. It helps stabilize your blood sugar and makes your body more responsive to insulin. A healthy vegetarian diet is also easy to absorb, is nutritious and contains fewer fatty acids.

4: Promote heart health 

Vegetarian diets are lower in saturated fat and cholesterol that ends up reducing your risk of heart disease. Adopting a vegan diet is the best way to minimize your chances of having a stroke. Research studies indicate that vegetarianism may be associated with lower blood pressure levels.

5: Improve metabolism 

Vegetarian foods are easy to digest, which keeps your metabolism regular. The resting metabolic rate is higher in vegetarians that speed up to burn fats. 

Also Read: Vitamin D3 Foods for Vegetarians: A Comprehensive Nutrition Guide

6: Cancer protection 

Vegetarians have lower cancer rates than non-vegetarians. It suggests an association between following a plant-based diet and a lower risk of certain cancers. 

There are several distinct kinds of vegetarian diets, even though “vegetarian” often refers to “plant-based” diets. People who eat dairy products and plant foods instead of meat, shellfish, and eggs are known as Lacto-vegetarians. It is believed to aid in obesity and other chronic diseases.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

7: High in dietary fibers 

Vegetables and fruits are rich in dietary fibers that are good for the digestive tract. It helps improve body metabolism and helps in the fast elimination of toxins and other chemicals from the body.

8: Promote healthy skin 

Green vegetables are full of minerals and vitamins that help to keep your skin radiant and healthy. Many vegetarian foods also are rich sources of antioxidants that help you stay disease-free, with healthier skin.

Being vegetarian can be very healthy as well as economically stable. It also helps to protect the environment and support animal welfare. There is a variation of a vegetarian diet that excludes meat but may include eggs, fish, dairy products, or a combination of these.

Read more about Types Of Heart Problems You Should Be Aware Of

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