Busy Vegetarian Mom

Quick and Easy Vegetarian Meals for Busy Moms

A VegeWhat? What’s the Difference?

on February 1, 2012

Switching to a healthier plant based diet is no longer for just bare-footed hippies or trendy high maintanence snobs.  It is becoming more commonplace for various reasons.  But with all the different labels of “diets” out there, what do I call myself?  Vegetarian, Lacto, Ovo, Vegan, etc…  It can be pretty confusing to find where you fit in.  So I thought I would outline some of the common terms and what they mean.  What I have found is that none really fit me, I just am who I am!

A “Vegetarian” (lacto-ovo)  is a word used for someone who does not eat neither meat, nor fish, but do eat both dairy and egg products.

A “Lacto-Vegetarian” is used to described someone who eats no meats, fish or eggs, but does eat dairy.

A “Ovo-Vegetarian” is someone who does not eat meat, fish or dairy, but does eat eggs.

A “Pescatarian” is a term for one who does not eat meats but fish is considered ok.

A “Vegan” eats no meats, fish, dairy or eggs.  Nor do they eat any product that has been processed with any animal parts.  You may also hear “Environmental Vegan” which refers to a vegan that also will not use or wear any products that harm an animal.

A “Flexitarian” is someone who is on the road to being healthy, consuming mostly a plant based diet but does eat meats, fish, dairy and eggs on occasion.

Raw” refers to unprocessed food and/or only cooked at a very low temperature.

Why be any one of these rather than just watch portion sizes of a standard diet? 

Simply, animal products contain cholesterol.  Cholesterol is what eventually clogs our arteries leading to heart attacks and strokes.  This is the number one killer of Americans and it’s no surprise.  Not to mention animal products are generally a high fat/high saturated fat content.  This is the main reason for me to make the switch. With a history of stroke in the family, why wouldn’t I do something to prevent it.  There are  more reasons people make the switch including health (cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, weight gain, arthritis, etc…), animal rights/cruelty, personal choices.  Whatever you choose, I support anyone who wants to try to fit anywhere within any of these descriptions.

Bottom line is make informed decisions and choose a “lifestyle” that works for you rather than a short term “diet” or “label”.  But if I had to label…I guess I might be a PescaFlexiVegan? That just sound weird so I will just continue to say I’m a gal who eats mostly vegan who chooses to eat some fish and maybe some fat free cheese from time to time, and if I want it badly enough I will splurge and go totally rogue, but I always come back to my fruits, veggies and grains. =)

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