The 6 types of vegetarian diets

The 6 types of vegetarian diets

How to get the nutrients you need on a plant-based diet


Plant-based, or vegetarian, diets can be quite different, depending on the people who are following them. Some of the most common ones are:

  • Pescatarian: A person who doesn't meat, but does eat fish and all other foods
  • Flexitarian (semi-vegetarian): a person who eats some animal products
  • Lacto-ovo-vegetarian: vegetarian who eats dairy products and eggs
  • Ovo-vegetarian: vegetarian whose diet includes eggs
  • Lacto-vegetarian: vegetarian whose diet includes dairy products
  • Vegan: vegetarian who eats no animal products whatsoever (no eggs, milk products, or honey)

Vitamins and minerals vegetarians need

It's important for vegetarians to get the vitamins and minerals they need, no matter which type diet they are on. Here are easy places to find the ones that can be missing:

  • Vitamin B12
    • Veggie burgers, fortified soy milk, fortified breakfast cereals 
  • Vitamin D 
    • Fortified soy or pea milk milk, tofu, fortified breakfast cereals 
  • Calcium
    • Broccoli, sunflower seeds, tortillas made with lime, processed corn, fortified soy or pea milk, some cereals, waffles, juices
  • Iron 
    • Beans, tofu, legumes, whole wheat breads, spinach, dried fruit
  • Zinc 
    • Whole grains, tofu, nuts and seeds, dried beans, yogurt, wheat germ

Other milk-like beverages may not have as much of the protein or calories that kids need to grow and gain as they should. And when there's any question of whether they're getting enough vitamins or minerals, it's a good idea to give them a complete vitamin (which also has minerals) daily.  

Adapted from Nurturing with Nutrition by Dr. Melanie Bezarte and Lucille Beseler, RDN