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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are the different types of vegetarians?

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  • 3


    The Australian Vegetarian Society's aim is to increase the number of vegetarians in Australia in order to stop cruelty to animals, benefit human health, protect … View Profile

    There are many types of vegetarians, but these should not be viewed as labels. Instead the following terms are really just a guide to what different people eat under the general banner of being ‘vegetarians’.
    Lacto-Ovo Vegetarians do not eat meat of any kind, including the flesh of birds and fish. However, they do eat dairy and eggs and the products made from them.
    Ovo Vegetarians do not eat meat of any kind, including the flesh of birds and fish. However, they do eat eggs and the products made from them, but not dairy or dairy products.
    Lacto Vegetarians do not eat meat of any kind, including the flesh of birds and fish. However, they do eat dairy and the products made from them, but not eggs or egg products.
    Vegans do not eat any animal products including meat, fish, fowl, eggs, dairy, honey, etc. Also, most vegans do not use any animal products such as silk, leather, wool, etc. as well and avoid products which have been tested on animals. Their principal motivation is to avoid cruelty to all animals.
    Other types of vegetarians include fruitarians who eat fruit but not vegetables (but may include nuts and seeds), and raw food vegans who are vegans who do eat any food that has been cooked.

  • 3


    Kate Marsh

    Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE), Diabetes Educator, Dietitian

    Kate works with clients with type 1 and gestational diabetes, PCOS, and those following a plant-based (vegetarian or vegan) diet. As a diabetes educator, she … View Profile

    A vegetarian is someone who consumes a diet consisting mostly of plant-based foods including fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and grains. Some vegetarians also consume eggs and dairy products. While not true vegetarians, others follow a ‘semi-vegetarian’ diet where they restrict only certain animal foods or ‘pesco-vegetarian’ diet where they eat fish but no other animal flesh.

    However, as the Australian Vegetarian Society has outlined above, the main types of vegetarian diets are:

    • Lacto-ovo-vegetarian – eats dairy foods and eggs but no meat, poultry or seafood. This is the most common type of vegetarian diet.
    • Lacto-vegetarian – eats dairy foods but not eggs, meat, poultry or seafood.
    • Ovo-vegetarian – eats eggs but no dairy foods, meat, poultry or seafood.
    • Vegan – doesn’t eat any animal products including meat, poultry, seafood, eggs and dairy foods.  Most vegans also won’t eat honey or use other animal products, including products tested on animals.

  • Chris Fonda

    Dietitian, Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian

    As an Accredited Sports Dietitian, APD and athlete (springboard diver), Chris has both professional and personal experience in sport at the sub-elite and elite level.Chris … View Profile

    Great responses above. To add, in my practice experience I have known vegetarians (or ‘vegequarians’) to eat seafood, eggs, dairy but no meat or poultry. This highlights that many people become vegetarian for a number of reasons and also shows the diverse nature of being a “vegetarian”.

  • 2


    Arlene is a registered practising dietitian, with a private practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and has built a strong business over the last … View Profile

    There are different kinds of vegetarians, depending on what they eat. The definition of a vegetarian that’s most widely accepted by fellow vegetarians is a person who eats no meat, fish, or poultry. A vegetarian consistently avoids all flesh foods, as well as byproducts of meat, fish, and poultry.
    Of course, vegetarian diets vary in the extent to which they exclude animal products:
    • Semi-vegetarian: Someone who’s cutting back on his or her intake of meat, in general. A pollo vegetarian avoids red meat and fish but eats chicken. A pesco pollo vegetarian avoids red meat but eats chicken and fish.
    These terms stretch the true definition of a vegetarian, and only the term semi-vegetarian is actually used with much frequency.
    • Lacto ovo vegetarian: A lacto ovo vegetarian diet excludes meat, fish, and poultry but includes dairy products and eggs. Most vegetarians in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Western Europe fall into this category. Lacto ovo vegetarians eat such foods as cheese, ice cream, yogurt, milk, and eggs, as well as foods made with these ingredients.
    • Lacto vegetarian: A lacto vegetarian diet excludes meat, fish, and poultry, as well as eggs and any foods containing eggs. A lacto vegetarian would, however, eat dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese.
    • Vegan: Technically, the term vegan refers to more than just the diet alone. A vegan is a vegetarian who avoids eating or using all animal products, including meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, any foods containing by-products of these ingredients, wool, silk, leather, and any nonfood items made with animal byproducts. Some vegans avoid honey.
    One adaptation of a vegetarian diet is a raw foods diet, in which adherents eat a diet that consists primarily of uncooked foods. The fruitarian diet consists only of fruits; vegetables botanically classified as fruits, such as tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, and avocados; and seeds and nuts.

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