As soon as upon a time, being a vegetarian was fairly black and white. You didn’t eat meat, and that was that. Today, although, there appear to be 50 completely different shades of vegetarianism.

“There’s extra of an emphasis now on plant-based diets, and lots of people wish to discover completely different levels of this,” says Jessica Cording, a registered dietician and creator of The Little Guide of Sport-Changers: 50 Wholesome Habits For Managing Stress & Anxiousness. “That’s why we’re seeing extra folks occupied with various kinds of vegetarian diets versus simply being straight-up vegan or vegetarian.”

The flexibleness component is essential. “It’s a key consider how happy individuals are going to really feel,” Cording says. “We prefer to really feel like now we have a selection over what we’re consuming.” Taking a weight loss plan that’s historically restricted, like being a vegetarian, and making it your personal “may also help you’re feeling such as you’re nonetheless capable of stay a contented, balanced life whereas staying on an consuming plan that helps your targets,” Cording explains.

After all, although, that may get complicated AF for everybody else.

Right here’s what it’s good to learn about the preferred varieties of vegetarianism, so that you’re not left scrambling the subsequent time a flexitarian, pescatarian, or every other sort of vegetarian exhibits up for dinner.

Flexitarian (a.ok.a. Semi-Vegetarian)

Cording calls this model of vegetarianism the “most secure” as a result of it affords probably the most flexibility. A flexitarian weight loss plan is plant-based, which means plant meals take centre stage, however permits dieters to include meat and different animal merchandise right here and there when the temper strikes.

“It’s nice for any individual who’s both new to the concept of consuming a extra plant-based weight loss plan or desires to cut back their consumption of animal merchandise with out going all-in,” Cording says. It can be useful when you’re tremendous busy and don’t have numerous time or assets to plan meals forward of time, she says.


Pescatarians are individuals who select to eat a principally plant-based weight loss plan, however who additionally incorporate seafood as a supply of protein (since they don’t eat meat). Many pescatarians additionally eat dairy and eggs.

“This tends to be good for any individual who desires to be primarily vegetarian however nonetheless loves fish or desires the dietary advantages of fish,” says Cording, who thinks pescatarianism makes masking your dietary bases simpler than conventional vegetarianism.

Pescatarians simply have to be cautious to restrict their consumption of mercury-heavy fish like swordfish and yellowfin tuna, Cording says. As a substitute, the FDA recommends choosing a minimum of two to a few servings of low-mercury seafood, like anchovies, shrimp, and salmon, per week.

Lacto-ovo Vegetarian

One of the crucial in style (and conventional) types of vegetarianism: lacto-ovo vegetarianism. Lacto-ovo vegetarians keep away from meat, fish, and poultry, however nonetheless eat animal merchandise like dairy and eggs.

“That is proper for somebody who desires to be primarily vegetarian however not full-on vegan,” Cording says, who finds lacto-ovo vegetarianism to be fairly approachable.

Nonetheless, when you discover that you just’re feeling drained or aren’t satiated after your meals, take a more in-depth take a look at your general consumption to be sure to’re getting all of the vitamins (like protein!) you want, says Cording.

Lacto Vegetarian

One step past lacto-ovo vegetarians are lacto vegetarians, who eat a plant-based weight loss plan and dairy merchandise, however keep away from meat, seafood, and eggs. Yep, which means you may have loads of milk, cheese, butter, and ice cream on this one.

Although many individuals do effectively on a lacto-vegetarian weight loss plan, Cording recommends protecting tabs in your dairy consumption to be sure to don’t OD on it. In any other case, you would possibly find yourself bloated and constipated.

Ovo Vegetarian

Whereas ovo vegetarians don’t eat meat, seafood, or dairy merchandise, they do eat eggs and merchandise that include eggs. Although not as in style as lacto-ovo vegetarian weight loss plan and even lacto vegetarian diets, this consuming fashion does provide some flexibility, Cording says.

When you go this route, be certain that your eggs are natural to decrease your publicity to antibiotics and pesticides, she says.

Pollo Vegetarian

Whereas “pollo” means hen in Spanish, pollo vegetarians sometimes incorporate a number of types of poultry, like turkey and duck, into their in any other case plant-based weight loss plan. Whereas pollo vegetarians keep away from different types of meat, they might or might not select to include seafood, eggs, and dairy into their weight loss plan.

“It’s actually much like a flexitarian weight loss plan,” Cording says. Simply do your greatest to eat natural hen to cut back your publicity to antibiotics on this one.


The least versatile of the vegetarian diets is veganism. “The entire weight loss plan is plant-based,” Cording says. Vegans don’t eat any animal merchandise, together with meat, fish, poultry, dairy, and eggs.

Since vegan diets are usually excessive in fibre and low in saturated fats, they’ll help coronary heart well being, says Cording. Nevertheless, vegan diets are fairly restrictive and require extra planning than different types of vegetarianism. “It can be more durable to really feel happy, initially, particularly when you’re used to consuming animal merchandise,” she says.

When you plan to go vegan, Cording recommends taking particular care to make sure you get sufficient protein, iron, calcium, omega-Three fatty acids, and vitamin D.

This text was initially printed on Weight Loss.


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