One of the greatest mysteries of mankind is the Bermuda Triangle. Another is: “What the hell do vegetarians eat?” (Tip: It’s not just lettuce.)
Whether you have tried to switch to a plant-based diet or are just wondering what your friend’s new diet means, we are here to show you what is on the menu.
Here is a breakdown of the six main types of vegetarian diets.
Hani: cereals, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, sometimes meats, poultry and fish
Kalo: can avoid ultra processed foods like processed meat and fast food
A flexible (aka semivegetarian) is someone who has not yet gone 100 percent without meat. They mostly eat vegetarian food, but will enjoy meat occasionally. If you do not feel ready to engage in a strict vegetarian diet, this can be a great stone.
Unlike more restricted vegetarian diets, such as vegan diets, a well-planned semi-vegetarian diet can include all the nutrients your body needs, reducing the chances of nutrient deficiencies or deficiencies.
Plus, research suggests that nutrient-rich vegetarian lifestyles — including flexible diets — are linked to better heart health! ️️
Hani: fish, shellfish, dairy, eggs, cereals, vegetables, fruits, legumes
Kalo: mammals, poultry
Fishermen do not eat red meat or poultry … but they do eat fish! They may also choose to eat crustaceans, mollusks or other seafood. Some fishermen also abstain from eating eggs or other by-products of terrestrial animals.
Eating a pescatarian diet can help you maintain nutrient levels in a healthy range. A diet rich in seafood can be a great source of nutrients that tend to be low in strict vegetarian diets. if:
Another bonus, according to a 2018 study, is that this diet can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes more than a diet that includes meat.
Keep in mind: Eating a ton of fish (especially larger species) can increase the risk of developing high levels of mercury. If you are preggo or breastfeeding, make sure you stick to fish with lower mercury like salmon.
Hani: eggs, dairy, cereals, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts
Kalo: meat, poultry, fish, seafood
When you think of a vegetarian, you are probably thinking of a lacto-ovo-vegetarian. This is someone who does not eat meat, fish or poultry, but does NOT eat dairy products and eggs.
You can also be one lacto-vegetarian (eat dairy but not eggs) or one ovo-vegetarian (eat eggs, but not dairy).
Balance is a key part of the lacto-ovo-vegetarian lifestyle. To make up for the missing meat, make sure your diet is full of:
- iron: legumes, tofu, tempeh
- vitamin D: fortified cereals, milk
- protein: soy products, beans, milk, eggs
- Vitamin B12: nutritious yeast, eggs, fortified foods
Although some foods are good sources of these nutrients, people who follow restrictive diets, including vegetarian diets that avoid animal proteins, may need to take dietary supplements to ensure that their bodies are getting optimal nutrition.
Hani: Plant-based foods (cereals, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts)
Kalo: any animal product or by-product (including honey, milk and gelatin)
Unlike lacto-ovo-vegetarians, vegans do not eat any animal products. This includes animal by-products such as gelatin and honey.
The term “vegan” usually refers more than a person’s diet. A vegan lifestyle also means that you do not buy clothes made from animal products (such as leather, silk and wool) or beauty products with animal-derived ingredients (such as beeswax).
Research suggests that a vegan diet can have numerous health benefits, including:
- reduce the risk of heart disease
- reduce the risk of certain cancers
- possibly lowering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- possible weight loss
PSA: Make sure you are getting the nutrients you need. Try to eat lots of foods rich in iron, vitamin D, calcium and B12. You can also choose to take vegan vitamin supplements.
Vegan diets are often deficient in many nutrients, including B12, iron, zinc, omega-3 and more.
If you are following a vegan diet, it is a good idea to work with a registered dietitian to optimize your diet for nutrients. It’s also important to talk to a doctor to determine what dietary supplements you may need to take to reduce the risk of developing malnutrition or nutritional deficiencies.
Hani: plant-based raw foods
Kalo: any animal by-product and vegan food heated above 115 ° F
This diet is AF restrictive, but some people swear by it. You can only eat vegan foods that are not heated above 115 ° F. The idea is that fruits and vegetables have more nutritional value when raw than when cooked.
In general, a well-planned vegan diet can be considered safe. But many doctors do not recommend it because of its unnecessarily restrictive rules and the high risk of multiple nutrient deficiencies, including:
- vitamin D
- vitamin B12
Keep in mind that raw fruits and vegetables can carry harmful bacteria. To avoid food poisoning, be sure to wash them before eating.
Hani: cereals, seasonal vegetables, legumes, nuts, seaweed, wild fish
Kalo: meat, poultry, any processed food
In addition to the main types of vegetarian diets, there are other plant-based eating patterns, such as the macrobiotic diet. This pattern of eating does not Forever completely excludes animal products, but focuses on plant-based options.
This diet was very popular in the 70s (and with good reason!). The macrobiotic diet is still revered for its health benefits.
Some people argue that the macrobiotic is more of a “lifestyle” than a diet, as it advocates for organic food without chemicals. You mostly eat a lot of vegan foods and fish dishes from time to time.
A typical macrobiotic diet consists of:
- 30 percent whole grains
- 40 percent seasonal vegetables
- 20 percent protein (preferably vegetable based)
- 10 percent seaweed, nuts or other seeds
Pro Tip: The macrobiotic diet excludes meat and milk, so you may need to reserve iron, magnesium, calcium and vitamin B12 supplements.
Vegetarian and vegan diets usually end up relying more on plant-based foods eliminating animal resources. Focusing on whole food substitutes for those meat options may mean including more whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds and nuts. This means you will get even more beneficial plant-based food.
Here is what science says:
- A 2019 review of studies found that there may be short- and medium-term benefits to plant-based foods for weight, systemic inflammation, and the gut microbiome. The authors indicated that more research needs to be done to fully understand the causes and long-term benefits.
- A review of 2017 studies suggested that vegetarian diets may reduce the risk of ischemic heart disease and cancer incidence (but not of everything cardiovascular disease or cancer mortality).
- If you are aiming for weight loss, a 2015 study suggested that those on a vegan diet lose more weight than those on other diets, such as low fat, low glycemic index, or less strict vegetarian diets.
- A 2013 research review noted that some people may benefit from plant-based diets, especially if they have high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or obesity.
This is just a small part of the research being done on plant-based diets, so we will surely hear more about the benefits and disadvantages in the years to come.
It is easy to lose essential nutrients like vitamins D and B12 when eliminating certain foods from your diet, so nutritionists recommend following a comprehensive eating plan and taking appropriate dietary supplements to avoid losing certain nutrients.
To get the most out of your food, it is also important not to replace animal products with over-processed foods that have less nutritional value.
There are many reasons for #GoVeg. Whether you want to be healthier, want to help the planet, or think eating meat is cruel, there are many vegetable-friendly diets to try. It may take some trial and error, but you can find the best balance for your diet and lifestyle.