Deciding on a Vegetarian Diet

Making the switch to a vegetarian diet is difficult to do. That difficulty is only heightened by the fact that there are so many vegetarian diets to choose from, each with positives and negatives to your individual wants and needs. Do you know which vegetarian diet you’d like to try? Here are a few to consider.

The main vegetarian diet, the one that people typically refer to when they say “vegetarian” is that of the lacto-ovo-vegetarian, or more simply, “someone who does not eat meat but will eat eggs and dairy products.” With this diet you get the simplest diet to follow, as it only restricts your meat consumption. You rarely have to be worried that restaurants or friends are slipping something into your food that you weren’t aware of, and finding food on the go is just as simple.

If, however, you can’t give up meat entirely, there are two options to consider. The first is the flexitarian diet, which allows for meat but only on occasions, such as once a month or only when it’s served to you. The second is then pescatarian diet, the same as a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet except it includes fish. Both the flexitarian and pescatarian diets work great as the in-between to help you dip your foot in the vegetarian waters.

Assuming you want something a bit more drastic due to health concerns or personal beliefs, the vegan diet will inevitably come to mind. As a vegan, you won’t eat any meat, eggs, or dairy products. Essentially, anything that comes from an animal is off limits. Eliminating eggs and dairy from your diet is where things become extremely complicated as those are both commonly found in just about everything, mainly any baked goods. You’ll have to become extremely vigilant to ask and check carefully when eating outside your own home, and the cost of food may become more expensive as you’ll have to purchase specialty items.

Even further restrictive is the raw food diet and the macrobiotic diets. The raw food diet is the same as the vegan diet, except it doesn’t allow for food heated over 115 degrees Fahrenheit as it’s believed that’s when nutrients break down and get converted into toxins. The macrobiotic diet follows these principles, but allows for fish again, though places a heavier emphasis on certain types of vegetables over others. These two diets are the hardest because it means, more or less, that you will be the only source of your own food as extremely few restaurants cater to these needs.

The choice to become a vegetarian will only become simpler with time, but you have to take the first step of deciding just how far down the rabbit hole you’re ready to go.

For more on picking a vegetarian diet or how to lead a vegetarian lifestyle, head on over to VegOnline.org!