There are many reasons why people chose to become vegetarian and there are different types of vegetarianism. When done right, following a vegetarian diet can be part of a healthy lifestyle.
The different types:
Semi-Vegetarian: Will eat everything except red meat
LactoOvoPesco-Vegetarian: Will eat dairy, fish, and eggs, but no other animal sources.
LactoOvo-Vegetarian: Will eat dairy and eggs, but no fish or meat.
Lacto-Vegetarian: Will eat dairy but no eggs, fish or meat.
Vegan: Will eat only foods from plant sources.
How to be a healthy vegetarian:
- Don't forget the basics. Vegetarians need variety and moderation like everyone else.
Eat moderate portions throughout your day
Make sure to stay adequately hydrated, especially when eating high fiber foods.
- Make an effort to incorporate a protein source at most meals and snacks.
Examples: nuts/ nut butters, yogurt, tofu, beans, cheese, seeds, milk, eggs, soy products
- Prevent iron deficiency by eating fortified grains, spinach, egg yolks, almonds, and soybeans.
- Most vegans will need B-12 shots to prevent developing a Vitamin B-12 deficiency.
- Include calcium-rich foods for bone health. Dairy, calcium-fortified juice, leafy greens, and fortified soy products provide calcium. (Strict vegans may need to take a calcium supplement.)
Healthy Vegetarian Handout (PDF)