There are a lot of plant-based diets these days, and that includes the lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet. Other types of plant-based diets like vegan diet are rigid while the lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet is quite easy and yielding because it is not strictly a hundred per cent plant-based.
What does this mean? A lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet is a vegetarian diet that does not include poultry, fish, and other meat, but it is open to the consumption of dairy and eggs. Tagged as a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet, ‘Lacto’ means dairy and ‘ovo’ means eggs.
Furthermore, this kind of diet is more manageable for some people who wish to go plant-based because dairy and eggs are allowed, which provide a little room for taste variety. If you want to try this diet, read the essential details below.
Foods You Have to Avoid
If you’re buying packaged food, make sure to check the ingredients because it might contain animal-based ingredients. Be wary of the following meat, poultry, and fish ingredients when you’re buying packaged lacto-ovo-vegetarian food.
Poultry: turkey, quail, duck, goose, chicken
Fish: shrimp, lobster, crab, shellfish, all types of fish
Meat: lamb, pork, veal, beef, processed meat such as hot dogs, sausage, and bacon
Foods You Are Allowed to Eat
You are encouraged to eat wholesome and unprocessed plant-based food with the inclusion of dairy and eggs.
Vegetables: kale, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, eggplant, lettuce, and others
Fruits: oranges, mangoes, peaches, strawberries, bananas, melons, apples, and others
Whole grains: oats, buckwheat, barley, amaranth, quinoa
Beans and legumes: peanuts, lentils, peas, beans
Dairy products: yogurt, milk, butter, cheese
Eggs: whole eggs (including yolks and whites)
Nuts and seeds: almonds, cashews, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts
Vegetarian protein: tempeh, seitan, tofu, vegetarian protein powder
Multitude of Benefits
Many individuals opt to lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet because of its several health benefits. These health benefits include lowering your risk against gallstone problems and cancer, improving your heart health, supporting a healthy way to lose weight, and helping to prevent type 2 diabetes.
For some lacto-ovo-vegetarians, aside from the health benefits, they also enjoy the sense of fulfilment they feel because this kind of diet also supports environmental and ethical concerns.
Need for Supplements
If you wish to have a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet, you have to consider your need for supplements. This kind of diet can usually provide you with adequate nutrition, but if you’re not careful with food choices, then you may be potentially lacking with some nutrients.
For your protein needs, eat dairy and eggs in moderation and supplement it with lentils, beans, tofu, peas, nuts, grains, and seeds. For your iron needs, you can eat more almonds and greens. For vitamin c, eat as much citrus as possible. For your zinc requirement, you can eat cashews, lentils, beans, peas, and grains.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also essential nutrients to support brain and heart health. You can take alga oil and eat flax and walnuts to supplement your needs for omega-3 fatty acids.
Aside from being mindful with the right amount of nutrients you consume, it’s also essential to take notice of your diet quality. What we mean by that is, to ensure that the food you eat is fresh. Stay away from highly processed and prepackaged lacto-ovo-vegetarian food because they contain a lot of calories, salt, added sugar, and unhealthy oils and fats.
Overall, a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet is best for those people who wish to reduce their consumption of animal products without eliminating all of them because of eggs and dairy are allowed. That said, hopefully, you’re now able to decide whether a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet is a perfect diet for you.