Being a nutritionist, you can probably imagine how frequently someone tells me “I’m a vegan.” However, once I dig a little further I discover that what they really are is a lacto-vegetarian. “I’m a vegetarian, but I eat fish and chicken” also comes up a lot… Again, not really a vegetarian. I’m not knocking anyone’s specialized eating plan. I too think the best plans are tailored to the individual and what they are hoping to obtain from eating a specific way. But maybe what I can help you with is being a little more accurate when you talk about how you like to eat!
Here is a break-down of the more popular eating plans:
- Vegan – No animal foods of any kind! Not eggs, yogurt, milk, meat, or fish. Everything that goes into your mouth is plant-based.
- Lacto-vegetarian – No animal foods but does include dairy, like milk and yogurt.
- Lacto-ovo-vegetarian – No animal foods but does include eggs and dairy.
- Ovo-vegetarian – No animal foods but does include eggs (no dairy).
- Pescatarian – No animal foods but does include seafood, dairy, and eggs.
- Pollo-pescatarians – No red meat but does include poultry, seafood, dairy, and eggs.
And if that wasn’t enough names for you, there’s also a semi-vegetarian (AKA flexitarian), which is a vegetarian that occasionally eats small amounts of red meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, and eggs. I think what makes this one confusing is that a “small amount of red meat” is really not defined. What I consider a small amount may differ from what you consider a small amount. I would assume most health conscious people, who haven’t accepted a stricter eating plan, fall into this category.
Now you know!!! Which one are you?