Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarianism vs. Veganism

Most of us think of vegetarians as people who eat plant foods, which of course is true. However, there are many variations on this theme. For example, a lacto-ovo vegetarian (lacto means “milk”, ovo means “eggs”) will not eat meat, but allows animal products such as milk, cheese, eggs, and more in the diet.

There are several reasons why people exclude meat from their diet. Some make this choice due to religious beliefs or some inner conscious urge. Some simply feel that eating flesh, with an abundance of alternatives, is not the right way to eat. Still others refuse meat in order to protect the environment. Increasingly, however, people are opting for a non-meat diet from a health standpoint. It’s no secret that a plant-based diet reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and many forms of cancer.

While meat foods are higher in calories and saturated fats, . These small molecules have many health benefits, such as heart health and brain health.

However, the debate over which “subspecies” of vegetarianism has more benefits is still ongoing. As is often the case, each case has its pros and cons.

 Vegans tend to have slightly better body mass index (BMI), cholesterol and blood pressure, indicating a low risk of cardiovascular disease. At least one study suggests that . On the other hand, a vegan diet may be deficient in protein, omega-3s, vitamin B12, zinc, and calcium. A low level of these elements represents an increased likelihood of brittle bones, fractures, and neurological problems with a lack of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. While lacto-ovo vegetarians get vitamin B12 from animal products, vegans are recommended supplements or injections of the substance several years after giving up meat. It is worth noting that it is necessary to periodically take tests and, after consulting with a doctor, make a decision regarding the use of supplements.

. So, the diet still contains animal ingredients – eggs and dairy products. What problems can be here? In fact, they are more related to milk than to eggs.

Most nutritionists and members of the media tell us about the exceptional health benefits of milk, which provides us with calcium, reducing the risk of bone diseases such as osteoporosis. On the other hand, the incidence of osteoporosis is . Some evidence also suggests that high protein and dairy intakes contribute to the risk of prostate, ovarian, and autoimmune diseases. Overall, vegans perform more reassuringly on many measures, however, compared to lacto-ovo vegetarians, they are more prone to B12, calcium, and zinc deficiencies. The best recommendation for those who completely exclude animal products from the diet: find an alternative to vitamin B12 and calcium. As an option, instead of the usual milk for breakfast, soy milk, which contains both elements.

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