A vegetarian is someone who doesn’t eat meat, poultry, fish or shellfish. However, there are many different versions and ways of being vegetarian. A lacto-ovo vegetarian still eats eggs and dairy products, while a lacto vegetarian includes dairy in their diet but not eggs. Vegans avoid eating any animal products of any kind, and for some that includes honey. You can also get people who follow less strict versions of vegetarianism, such as pescetarians, who eat fish and shellfish, and flexitarians, who are usually vegetarian but occasionally eat meat or poultry.
There are certainly proven health benefits to following a diet with less meat. Studies have shown that vegetarians have much lower rates of heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and certain cancers. However, this is not necessarily the result of eliminating animal products. After all, crisps, chips, cola and chocolate are all vegetarian. Rather, those who follow a vegetarian diet tend to eat far more fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and pulses (beans and lentils). Such diets are lower in saturated fat, lower in overall calories and have more fibre and phytonutrients (found in fruits and vegetables). It all comes back to a healthy diet being a plant based one.
In the posts below you’re find everything you need to know if you follow, or are considering, a vegetarian or vegan diet.