What is a lacto vegetarian, an ovo vegetarian, a vegan and a fruitarian. What would be a balanced diet for a vegetarian and what special requirements would they have?

Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish and poultry.

A lacto vegetarian is an individual that only consumes dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.) as their sole source of animal foods.

An ovo vegetarian is a vegetarian that only includes eggs as their sole source of animal protein.

A vegan is an individual that avoids all animal foods, including eggs, dairy, fish, poultry, and meats of all kinds.

A fruitarian is an individual that only consumes fruit as a food source. This is an extremely unhealthy diet, that will result in ill health, and numerous deficiencies.

A balanced diet for a vegetarian requires the intake of all essential nutrients, with emphasis on iron, calcium, zinc and B-12. This can be difficult if you are a vegan, or if you are allergic or sensitive to dairy foods. I personally believe that vegetarian diets are not for everyone. Having been a vegetarian in the past, I am aware that my body type is not conducive to a diet void of animal protein. However, others will have different experiences. I recommend that you contact the Vegetarian Resource Group for more information on the vegetarian lifestyle [P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203].

Good Luck!

Robert L. Pastore, Ph.D., CNC, CN
Senior Nutritionist at Metabolism.com

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