Having a vegetarian lifestyle definitely is advantageous. It offers numerous benefits from lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases to maintaining ideal weight goals. What most people do now know, however, that there are different types of vegetarians. If you are contemplating about becoming a vegetarian yourself, here are some of the so-called vegetarian lifestyle variations which you can adapt based on your health and dietary considerations.
Before going into detail about the different types of vegetarian, it would be good to have a general take of what a vegetarian lifestyle is all about. Initially, being vegetarian meant being a herbivore, you stick with plants and nothing else. This became the lifestyle of famous figures in history including Confucius and Leonardo Da Vinci to name a few. However, as time progressed, being vegetarian began to have different variation. From being just a solely plant-based diet, it kind of stretched to different types but not largely departing from fruits and vegetables as the staple for this lifestyle.
While the types of vegetarians offer varying benefits, there are some that are common despite some variations here and there. Here are those common benefits being offered by adopting a vegetarian lifestyle as a whole:
- Lowers cholesterol
- Lowers risk of cardiovascular diseases
- Reduces the risk of digestive system concerns
- Lowers risk of type 2 diabetes
- Lowers risk of gallstone formation
- Helps maintain ideal weight goals
- Lowers risk of some forms of cancer
- Boosts immune system
Given the many benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle, this is one switch that everyone should seriously consider especially for those committed to make their health a top priority.
Different Types of Vegetarians
Vegetarianism, as mentioned earlier, is no longer constricted with being just a plant-based diet. It now has various differences but all are encompassed by a vegetarian lifestyle. Here are the different types of vegetarians and what potential benefits you can get from each of them.
You probably have not heard of this because it is the newest type of vegetarianism that has been identified. As the name suggests, this type of vegetarian is open to eat meat on occasion. To be considered a flexitarian, one must strictly adhere to a plant-based diet on most days. You can then include meat in the menu but for certain occasions only. Reducing meat intake is definitely advantageous for both health-wise and environment-wise. Research shows that lesser meat means a drastic reduction of the risk to contract serious illnesses such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Also, it cuts back on water and fuel use as well as greenhouse gas emission. Going flexitarian does not restrict you too much. You get to enjoy, on occasion, that slab of meat.
One of the types of vegetarians is Pescatarian or Pescetarian. The name itself is the dead giveaway of what this variation is all about. It finds its etymology in the word Piscis which means fish. Here, diet is mostly plant-based but they do not restrict from eating seafood and fish. Because fish is still considered meat, some vegetarian hardliners do not consider this a type of vegetarian at all. The debate, however, still continues. Important to note that most literature includes Pescatarian as a vegetarian lifestyle variation. Fish offers protein which is the number one concern for plant-based eaters. However, eating too much may also lead to health problems. Striking a good balance would be most ideal.
Again, the name is the giveaway. Pollo means chicken so, as a parallel to a Pescatrian, this type of vegetarian shuns all meat except for (you guessed it right) poultry and fowl. While most literature, once again, lumps this up as one of the types of vegetarians, hardliners do not consider it so. However, being mostly a plant-based diet coupled by a restriction of meat except for poultry, we are keeping this type on our list. Just like the Pescatarian, added protein is a major plus for this type of vegetarian. However, this would mean more animals killed in a year which is a vegetarian’s nightmare. Being a Pollotarian does mean you gorge on poultry all the time. Manage your consumption and you will create a significant impact in terms of saving animals.
One of the types of vegetarians is that who shuns all types of meat but eats dairy and eggs. This is a great compromise. You get access to protein while ensuring the safety of animals. The downside? Cholesterol. If you plan to be a Lacto-ovo vegetarian, make sure you keep track of your dairy and egg intake so you do not go overboard.
A slight variation to the Lacto-ovo Vegetarian, a person who falls under this type does not eat any type of meat and dairy but is okay with egg consumption. This type of vegetarian can get the same benefits and risks as Lacto-ovo Vegetarians.
This is exactly like Ovo Vegetarian except that it shuns egg consumption but is a go for dairy products. Same benefits and risks are seen here as the previous two (Lacto-ovo and Ovo).
This is the purest form of vegetarianism. Here, one does not eat meat or any meat by-product including eggs, dairy products, honey, gelatin, albumin, or rennet. Anything that has even the slightest animal ingredient in it is shunned. Diet here is solely plant-based and nothing else. So many benefits can be attained by being a Vegan. Here are just some of them:
- Lowers risk of cardiac failure and cancer
- Saves water
- Lessens pollution
- Saves up to 200 to 250 animals per year on average
Going vegetarian is definitely a great change that any person can do. While adjusting one’s diet can be quite difficult, the benefits you can get out of vegetarianism is definitely worth it. By considering the different types of vegetarians, you can now have a better choice of what kind you would want to be.