Did you have any idea there were so many different ways to be a vegetarian? Generally, being a vegetarian means to exclude animal products from the diet. The options range from the more strict form of vegetarian – vegan to the more relaxed – pescetarian and everything in between. Hopefully this post will sort out any confusion you might have or help you decide where you fall in the ranks. I personally follow a primarily vegan diet but there are occasions were I eat dairy making me an “almost vegan” as I like to claim on my vegan food blog.

Vegan – Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products completely. This includes all food and products. This includes meat, fish, dairy, eggs and even honey. There is further distinction between types of vegans. Dietary vegans eliminate animal products from their diet for dietary reasons. Ethical vegans not only follow a vegan diet, but extend this practice to products as well because they have ethical issues with how animals are treated.

Some food choices for a vegan diet include: vegetables, fruit, beans, grains, nuts, seeds, soy alternatives, non-dairy alternatives.

Ovo Vegetarian – Ovo Vegetarian is a type of veganism that allows for eggs in the diet. Dairy is still not consumed.

Choices in this diet include: vegetables, fruit, beans, grains, nuts, seeds, eggs, soy alternatives, non-dairy alternatives.

Lacto Vegetarian – Lacto vegetarian is a type of veganism that allows for dairy such as milk, cheese, yogurt, butter and cream but excludes eggs. This type of diet is most prevalent in India because of its religious applications.

Choices in this diet include: vegetables, fruit, beans, grains, nuts, seeds, dairy, soy alternatives.

Lacto-ovo Vegetarian – Lacto-ovo vegetarians abstain from eating animal flesh of any kind but allows for dairy and egg products to be consumed. This is the most popular type of vegetarian in Western culture.

Some food choices include:  vegetables, fruit, grains, beans, nuts, seeds, soy alternatives, dairy, eggs, honey.

Pescetarian – Pescetarian is the most relaxed form of vegetarian further allowing food choice by adding the option of seafood into the diet but still excluding all other animal products.

Components of this diet include: vegetables, fruit, nuts, grains, beans, nuts, seeds, soy alternatives, eggs, honey, dairy, fish, shellfish.


There are many other types of vegetarian as well. Some further classifications include Sattvic, Buddhist, Macrobiotic, Raw, Fruitarianism, Pollotarianism, etc. At the end of the day, do what works for you and if you can’t find a classification for it – just make one up! Flexitarian is another popular movement to look into!

Popular misconceptions about strict vegetarians are that the diets are low in protein, iron and calcium. This is actually rarely an issue. The largest nutritional concerns for those who follow a plant-based diet are vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. This can be remedied with the addition of supplements for each.

Be sure to check out the Skinny Vegetarian section of the Skinny Mom page for 30+ vegetarian recipes for you to enjoy!