What is a lacto vegetarian, an ovo vegetarian, a vegan and a fruitarian. What would be a balanced diet for a vegetarian and what special requirements would they have?

Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish and poultry.

A lacto vegetarian is an individual that only consumes dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.) as their sole source of animal foods.

An ovo vegetarian is a vegetarian that only includes eggs as their sole source of animal protein.

A vegan is an individual that avoids all animal foods, including eggs, dairy, fish, poultry, and meats of all kinds.

A fruitarian is an individual that only consumes fruit as a food source. This is an extremely unhealthy diet, that will result in ill health, and numerous deficiencies.

A balanced diet for a vegetarian requires the intake of all essential nutrients, with emphasis on iron, calcium, zinc and B-12. This can be difficult if you are a vegan, or if you are allergic or sensitive to dairy foods. I personally believe that vegetarian diets are not for everyone. Having been a vegetarian in the past, I am aware that my body type is not conducive to a diet void of animal protein. However, others will have different experiences. I recommend that you contact the Vegetarian Resource Group for more information on the vegetarian lifestyle [P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203].

Good Luck!

Robert L. Pastore, Ph.D., CNC, CN
Senior Nutritionist at Metabolism.com

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  • Beverly

    I have read that a Vegetarian diet is not good for recovering from adrenal fatigue. Is that true and if so, why?

  • Al Lazzara

    I live in arizona and we have here something called a Pesci-vegetarian(spelling?). Vegetarians who in addition to a vegetarian diet eat fish.
    Im not joking theyre very serious. Since i eat mainly chicken and cut out all other meats can i be an avian-vegetarian? lol Where does it end?

    Oh as far as the B12 vitamins are concerned. I was told by a vegan that certain types of beans contain those B vitamins and if not he has a huge bottle of amino acid(looks and tastes more like soy sauce to me) that is enriched with B vitamins especially 12.

  • Thank you so much, I love to read about other vegetarians as it gives me the strength to continue. I have about a thousand vegetarian feeds in my google reader, but I’m sure another can’t hurt!! I did manage to find a good lentil recipe here, but I’ll be sure to try yours too. Thanks!