Vegetarian Diets

Vegetarian Diets are diets that restrict meat. Some Vegetarian Diets allow some meat products, while others forbid all types of animal products.

Principle of the Vegetarian diet

The main principle behind Vegetarian Diets is non-animal products should be restricted in favor of vegetables, fruits and grains.

There are several varieties of Vegetarian Diets. Some Vegetarian Diets restrict eating meat but permit eating animal-derived products such as milk and eggs. A stricter Vegetarian Diet is the Vegan Diet, which forbids the consumption of all meat and animal-derived products.

The main forms of Vegetarian Diets are:

  • Part-Vegetarian: A person on a Part-Vegetarian Diet does not eat red or white meat (such as beef or pork) but will eat poultry and fish.
  • Ovo-Lacto: The most popular Vegetarian Diet, Ovo-Lacto vegetarians are permitted to eat eggs and dairy products. Ovo-Lacto vegetarians also use animal-derived products such as gelatin.
  • Vegan Diet: The Vegan Diet is a strict Vegetarian Diet. Vegas eat only plant foods.
  • Macrobiotic: The Macrobiotic Diet believes in attaining a balance between “positive” and “negative” foods. There are ten levels to the Macrobiotic Diet, with each level gradually removing animal products.
  • Pescetarian: The Pescetarian Vegetarian Diet excludes all meat except fish.
  • Fruitarian: Fruitarians prefer to eat raw foods. The Fruitarian Vegetarian Diet mostly consists of raw fruit, grains and nuts.
  • Sproutarian: Sproutarians eat mostly sprouted seeds, grains, pulses and rice.

A Vegetarian Diet is usually taken by people who believe in not harming animals, or minimizing harm to animals.

Aside from changing dietary habits, Vegetarian Diets also encourage people to notice, and change their general lifestyle. For instance, some Vegetarian Diets would also encourage people not to use animal-derived products, such as gelatin or leather products.

What are Vegetarians allowed to eat?

Generally, Vegetarian Diets allow the following:

  • Fruit;
  • Vegetables;
  • Grains – preferably wholemeal grains and brown rice;

Some Vegetarian Diets will permit eggs, milk and fish.

What foods are forbidden to Vegetarians?

All Vegetarian diets forbid:

  • Red meat – such as beef and lamb;
  • White meat – such as pork.

Vegans will also forbid the following:

  • Honey;
  • Milk;
  • Eggs;
  • Any animal-derived product.

Pros and Cons of a Vegetarian diet

Most Vegetarian Diets are very healthy. Vegetarian Diets contain less saturated fat and higher levels of carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, boron, folate, vitamins and antioxidants.

Amongst the benefits of eating Vegetarian Diets are improved digestion, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and more energy. There are also studies that have shown that Vegetarian Diets can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Most Vegetarian Diets are easy to prepare, and there are many recipes to ensure your diet does not become bland. Only the Vegan Diet can be difficult to maintain due to its strictness, but the other variations of the Vegetarian Diet are reasonably flexible.

However, the benefits of a Vegetarian Diet can only be felt if you eat a balanced diet. An unbalanced Vegetarian Diet can have detrimental effects on your health.

Examples of unbalanced Vegetarian Diets are the Macrobiotic Vegetarian Diet and the Fruitarian Vegetarian Diet. These diets are nutritionally imbalanced and are not recommended.

Daily and Weekly Plans for a Vegetarian diet

Below is a simple example of a daily Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian Diet plan:

Breakfast: 1 scrambled egg, 1 medium tomato, 1 slice of wholemeal or rye bread.

Lunch: 2 slices of wholemeal or rye bread, with 1 teaspoon of peanut butter, 1 apple and low-fat yogurt.

Dinner: 1.5oz of wholemeal pasta, ½ cup of tomato sauce, 1 cup of mushrooms, 1 teaspoon each of olive oil and grated cheese.

Expected Weight Loss on a Vegetarian diet

You can expect to lose around 10lb in a month on Vegetarian Diets.

Vegetarian Diet Rating

Ease: 3/5 – Most Vegetarian Diets are easy to prepare.

Balance: 5/5 – Vegetarian Diets are generally very healthy, and in some cases are healthier than non-Vegetarian Diets.

Maintenance: 5/5 – Vegetarian Diets are generally flexible, which makes for easy maintenance.

Overall: 4/5

More Information

Refer to the Vegetarian Diet Info website for more information on vegetarian diets.

Alternatively, you can get a free personalized Vegetarian Diet Profile from

Vegetarian recipes: