Vegetarianism: Know the different types of vegetarian diets – Times Now

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Vegetarianism: Know the different types of vegetarian diets

Vegetarianism: Know the different types of vegetarian diets&  | &nbspPhoto Credit:&nbspGetty Images

New Delhi: Vegetarianism is becoming a rage and a statement of health and fitness in India. Perhaps, a lot of celebrities in the West are turning to East and opting for vegetarianism. Basically, a vegetarian diet majorly includes pulses, cereals, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits. In this article, let’s talk about the various aspects of vegetarian diets.

Which are the various forms of vegetarianism in India?

Lacto-vegetarians: A vegetarian diet that includes vegetables as well as daily products like milk.

Ovo-vegetarian: A vegetarian diet that includes eggs but no milk products

Lacto-ovo vegetarian: Here, milk and eggs can be consumed along with a vegetarian diet.

Jain vegetarian: Practiced by the followers of Jain culture and philosophy, this is a lacto vegetarian diet with no roots and tubers like onion, garlic, potato, colocasia, etc.

Raw vegetarian: No cooked foods

Pesco-vegetarian: A vegetarian diet plan that includes fish.

Why adopt a vegetarian diet?

Some possible reasons for adapting vegetarianism include:

  • Slow ageing
  • Cancer prevention
  • Environmental reasons
  • Religious beliefs
  • Animal rights

It has been seen that vegetarians have a lower BMI, blood pressure and serum cholesterol. This has been attributed to the fibrer-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes they eat. These foods are also a rich source of antioxidants as compared to non-vegetarian foods.

Nutrients which should be given importance in a vegan diet

  • B12: Daily requirement is 1-2micro gm/day. It is generally absent/ low in vegetarian diet. B12 is important for red blood cell (RBC) formation and nerve health. Purple laver (nori), fortified cereals, enriched soya milk or rice milk and nutritional yeast are the only vegetarian sources.
  • Calcium: Daily requirement is 600- 1000mg per day. Major source of calcium will be soya and its products in a vegan diet. Green leafy vegetables are a good source of calcium but high in oxalates which interfere in calcium absorption.
  • Proteins: It is lower as compared to a non-vegetarian diet. Eating the right plant-based foods can help you get good amounts of proteins. Lentils, chickpeas, beans, green peas, peanuts, etc are high in protein.
  • Omega: No daily recommendation. But it is good for heart health. Foods rich in omega (ALA) are flax seeds, walnuts and chia seeds. Small quantities are recommended for daily intake.
  • Vitamin D: Supplementation is required. Vitamin D is important for bone health and mood disorders. It can be taken in form of shots or powder or capsule.

It is important to know the pros and cons of any diet that one wishes to follow. Consult an expert before starting any diet as a well-planned diet can help keep deficiencies away!


(Disclaimer: The author, Parul Patni, Nutritionist, is a guest contributer and a part of our medical expert panel. Views expressed are personal) 

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