Understanding the Different Types of Vegetarian Diets

November 25, 2021

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A vegetarian diet can be both beneficial to a person’s health and the health of the planet, as a vegetarian diet requires a smaller carbon footprint than a traditional meat-based diet, which makes it an attractive alternative during our current climate crisis. There are several types of vegetarian diets: lacto-ovo vegetarian, lacto vegetarian, ovo vegetarians, vegans, raw foodists, fruitarians, and semi-vegetarians.

Many reasons exist why someone would choose to be a vegetarian — some people avoid eating meat because they don’t want animals to suffer, while others want to eat healthier food, or for spiritual reasons. No matter what your reason for becoming vegetarian might be, you should always make sure that you’re getting all the necessary nutrients from your plant-based diet while also supplementing it with vitamins. Make sure to consult with your healthcare practitioner before starting any diet.

Different Types of Vegetarian Diets

What are the Seven Types of Vegetarians?

The vegetarian diet is the umbrella of the plant-based movement and within the umbrella there are seven different types of vegetarian diets:


Lacto-ovo vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish, and poultry, but allow dairy products and eggs.


Lacto vegetarians avoid eating all animal foods except dairy products.


Ovo vegetarians avoid eating meat, fish, poultry, and dairy, except for eggs. 


Pescatarian diets exclude meat, poultry, and dairy, but allow fish products.


Vegan the strictest form of vegetarianism, avoid using any animal product from food to clothes.


Raw foodists only include plant-based foods that should not be cooked above the temperature of 40 degrees Celsius.


Fruitarian is a plant-based diet based on fruits, nuts, and seeds, with a limited number of legumes.

Also, some people follow a semi-vegetarian diet also known as a flexitarian diet, which is plant-based but includes meat, dairy, eggs, poultry, and fish in small quantities.

To source the appropriate foods for one of the seven vegetarian diets, a person should shop at the type of store that has these types of diets in mind. Accordingly, The Vegetarian Butcher is a plant-based grocer located in Kelowna and Vancouver. It offers a wide range of high-quality plant-based products aimed at those practicing vegetarian diets, including their own pre-made plant-based meals for the whole family. A few of their product offerings include:

Vegan burgers

Vegan burgers

Vegan Chicken

Vegan Chicken

Vegan Sausages

Vegan Sausages

Vegan Ground Meatballs

Vegan Ground Meatballs

Vegan Jerky

Vegan Jerky

Dairy-free cheeses

Dairy-free Cheeses

What are the different types of vegans?

Vegans are the strictest of those who practice a vegetarian diet. Vegans generally choose to avoid animal products for either ethical, health, and/or environmental concerns. Many vegans are mindful of the larger carbon footprint made when producing animal-based foods, while also being concerned about the ethics behind the consumption of animal products.

There are a number of types of vegan diets including:

  • Dietary vegans are those who consume a plant-based diet and avoid all animal products in their diet but use animal products in clothing and toiletry items.
  • Whole-food vegans are those who aspire to a diet rich in whole foods, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
  • Junk-food vegans are those who rely on heavily processed vegan foods such as vegan meats, frozen foods, and desserts.
  • Raw foodists are those who only consume foods that are raw or cooked at temperate below 40 degrees Celsius.
  • Fruitarians, this subset limits high-fat foods, such as nuts, avocados, and coconuts, while relying mainly on fruit. Other plants are occasionally eaten in small amounts.

Vegans avoid all meat, chicken, fish, shellfish, eggs, dairy, and honey, as well as other animal by products.

different types of vegans


Can a vegetarian eat fish?

Yes, the type of vegetarian diet that consumes fish and shellfish is known as pescatarians. Some people practice a semi-vegetarian diet where they can consume animal products from time to time.

Alternatively, vegetarians who are wanting a fish and shellfish substitute can look towards plant-based alternatives like Sophie’s Kitchen, which is a leader in plant-based fish and seafood products. All their products are Tasty AF (as fish)! Sophie’s Kitchen products are non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, and kosher, they cater to people with food allergies and sensitivities as well as those who practice a plant-based diet and want something tasty for the whole family. 

Is a vegetarian diet healthier?

A vegetarian diet can be healthy and offer a wide range of health benefits that can reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. A non-meat diet can also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes which is correlated with obesity. Ensuring your plant-based diet is meeting all your body’s nutrients and supplementing with vitamins will ensure you are maintaining the healthiest form of a vegetarian diet. 

The Vegetarian Butcher was inspired by the wife of one of the co-founders, who was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. Changing to a vegetarian diet helped her turn her cancer around. During this time, they struggled to find any plant-based grocers to support her diet and recovery. Learn more about The Vegetarian Butcher and the wide range of product offerings that can help sustain your vegetarian and vegan diets.  

What do vegetarians eat instead of meat?

There are many plant-based alternatives to meat and seafood that The Vegetarian Butcher and Sophie’s Kitchen carry. These plant-based alternatives such as plant-based meats, seafood, and chicken are a great nutritional supplement to its animal counter parts. Vegetarians also supplement their meat intake with a variety of foods that are high in protein and rich in fiber including vegetables, nuts, grains, fruits, and legumes.

Do vegetarians eat cheese?

Yes, some vegetarians do eat dairy products, this type of vegetarian diet is known as a lacto vegetarian who does not consume meat, chicken, or seafood but consumes dairy products like cheese. Semi-vegetarians, also consume dairy products from time to time.

What protein can I eat instead of chicken?

There are some vegetarian diets that allow for animal products like semi-vegetarian or pescatarian diets. Pescatarian diets include those who consume no land animals, however, consume fish and shellfish.

Do vegetarians drink milk?

Yes, some vegetarians drink milk this type of vegetarian diet is known as lacto vegetarian and allows for the consumption of dairy products. Those who practice a lacto vegetarian diet tend to incorporate dairy to ensure all nutrients like calcium are being supplemented.

Do vegetarians eat eggs?

Vegetarians can consume eggs to ensure they receive enough B12 and B2 vitamins which are vital at maintaining brain function and regulating your metabolism. Those vegetarians that consume eggs are known as ovo vegetarians, they don’t consume any other animal product except for eggs.

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