What Does a Vegetarian Diet Consist of?


A vegetarian diet is one that excludes certain animal products. There are several different types of vegetarians, ranging from those who eat eggs to others that exclude all types of animal-derived foods and products.

Lacto-Ovo Vegetarians

A lacto-ovo vegetarian diet is one that includes dairy products and eggs. Lacto-ovo vegetarians do not eat any red meat, fowl or seafood or products derived from any of these.


Lacto-vegetarians exclude all meat, fowl, seafood, eggs and derivatives of these products while including dairy in their diets.


Vegans are the strictest vegetarians. They follow a diet that excludes all animal-derived products including meat, seafood, fowl, dairy, eggs and honey. Many vegans also refrain from wearing leather, silk or other animal products.

Whole Foods

Vegetarians and vegans who consume sufficient quantities and variety of whole foods can easily meet the recommended daily allowance for protein and other essential nutrients. Whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables form the mainstay of a vegetarian diet.


Soy products such as tofu and many faux "meat" products, fortified soy and rice milks, and legumes are excellent sources of supplementary protein.


  • How to Get the Best Nutrition from a Vegetarian Diet
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Food Pyramid Guide to Vegetarian Diets

Who Can Help

  • Food Pyramid Guide to Vegetarian Diets

About this Author

Dayna is a freelance writer, artist and former high school teacher. She has been writing professionally for three years, and hold degrees in physical anthropology, art and special education. Her particular areas of interest include anthropology, health and nutrition, fitness and beauty and skin care.

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