Vegetarianism & Nutrition

Vegetarian is a general term used to describe people who exclude meat, poultry, fish, or other animal-derived foods from their diets. The diet is plant-based and contains mostly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.

There are many reasons one may choose to adopt a vegetarian diet. Most people tend to choose it for either health, political (animal-rights), and/or for spiritual reasons. A plant-based diet that is filled with a wide variety of nutritious foods has been shown to support human health. Research consistently confirms that a diet filled with vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans and legumes is important for health.



Those who include milk or milk products, but exclude meat, poultry, fish, seafood, and eggs from their diets. (lacto = milk)


Those who include milk or milk products (e.g. yogurt and cheese) and eggs, but exclude meat, poultry, fish, and seafood from their diets. (ovo = egg)


Those who include some, but not all groups of animal-derived foods in their diets; they usually exclude red meat, but may occasionally include poultry (pollo-vegetarian), fish, and seafood (pesco-vegetarian).

Vegans (VEE-guns) or pure-vegetarians

Those who choose not to eat animal products of any kind, including animal flesh, dairy products, eggs, and sometimes even honey.

Raw food vegetarians

Consume vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, sprouted grains, and sprouted beans or legumes in their raw or dehydrated state. The diet may include cooked foods in small amounts and may vary according to the season. Some may include raw (un-pasteurized) dairy products.


Those who consume a diet of fruits (including those vegetables botanically classified as such), nuts, and seeds.


A philosophy of life that centers on a diet of cooked foods. It is not strictly vegetarian in theory but largely vegetarian in practice. Many who practice macrobiotics incorporate fish into the diet and may include dairy.

Junk Food Vegetarians

Those who choose to not eat meat and may or may not eat eggs and dairy, but do consume excess “junk-food,” such as sweets, processed foods and convenience foods. These foods provide the body with more stress than nutrition. It’s easy to fall victim to this high-carb trap on a vegetarian diet. A healthy vegetarian diet should consist of a variety of whole, fresh foods that nourish and heal the body, not break it down.

More At Natural Grocers