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Like other variations of vegetarianism, a lacto-vegetarian diet can help reduce your environmental impact 1. However, you should take several factors into account to ensure your diet is healthy and balanced. This article looks at the benefits and downsides of a lacto-vegetarian diet, in addition to providing a list of foods to eat and sample meal plan.

The lacto-vegetarian diet is a variation of vegetarianism that excludes meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs. Unlike some other vegetarian diets , it includes certain dairy products, such as yogurt, cheese, and milk.

Some also choose to follow the diet for health reasons. In fact, reducing your intake of meat and other animal products may be associated with several health benefits 2. Other common forms of vegetarianism include the lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet, ovo-vegetarian diet, and vegan diet. Multiple studies have found that lacto-vegetarian diets may improve heart health and decrease several common risk factors for heart disease. A review of 11 studies found that vegetarian diets like the lacto-vegetarian diet may help lower total and LDL bad cholesterol , both of which can contribute to heart disease 3.

Several other studies have found that vegetarian diets may be linked to reduced blood pressure. This is beneficial, as high blood pressure is a key risk factor for heart disease and stroke 4. Some research suggests that adopting a lacto-vegetarian diet could help enhance blood sugar control.

A review of 6 studies including people linked vegetarian diets to significant reductions in hemoglobin A1c HbA1c , a marker of long-term blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes 5. Another review reported that following a vegetarian diet was associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes 6.

In fact, several studies have shown that vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index BMI than those who eat meat 8 , 9. Vegetarians also tend to consume fewer calories and more fiber than meat eaters. Both of these factors may be especially beneficial for weight loss 10 , A large review of 12 studies showed that people who followed a vegetarian diet for 18 weeks lost an average of 4.

Numerous observational studies have found that following a lacto-vegetarian diet may be associated with a reduced risk of several types of cancer. Further research is needed to evaluate whether following a lacto-vegetarian diet may help reduce your risk of cancer.

However, without proper planning, it may increase your risk of nutritional deficiencies. Meat, poultry, and seafood supply a range of important nutrients, including protein, iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids 16 , Eggs are also rich in many micronutrients, such as vitamins A and D A deficiency in these important nutrients can cause symptoms like stunted growth, anemia, impaired immune function, and mood changes 19 , 20 , 21 , In some cases, a multivitamin or omega-3 supplement may also be necessary to help fill any gaps in your diet.

A healthy lacto-vegetarian diet should include a variety of plant-based foods and dairy products. The lacto-vegetarian diet excludes meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs, but includes dairy products. It may be associated with numerous health benefits, including a reduced risk of cancer, increased weight loss, and improved blood sugar control and heart health. People may adopt a vegetarian diet for various reasons, and several variations of vegetarianism exist.

This article provides a beginner's guide to the…. Vegan and vegetarian diets are both popular, but they differ in important ways. This article explains the differences between them.

A lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet is a primarily plant-based diet that excludes meat, fish, and poultry but includes dairy and eggs. This article explains…. Is a vegetarian diet healthy?

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Many delicious plant foods are low in carbohydrates. Vegetarian diets are becoming increasingly popular. This article tells you everything you need to know about the ovo-vegetarian diet and provides a…. A few nutrients are either difficult or impossible to get in adequate amounts from plant foods. This article reviews 7 nutrients commonly lacking in…. Researchers say if everyone ate a vegetarian diet, one-third of early deaths could be prevented.

For a healthy vegetarian or vegan diet, make sure you avoid these 12 pitfalls. It is very important to eat nutritious foods on a vegan diet. Here are 11 foods and food groups that healthy vegans eat and love.

What it is Benefits Downsides Foods to eat Foods to avoid Sample meal plan Bottom line Many people follow the lacto-vegetarian diet for its flexibility and health benefits.

Share on Pinterest. What is a lacto-vegetarian diet? Potential downsides. Foods to eat. Foods to avoid. Sample meal plan. The bottom line. Vegan vs Vegetarian - What's The Difference?

Read this next. Medically reviewed by Joe Leech, MS. Medically reviewed by Atli Arnarson, PhD.


Lacto-Vegetarian Diet: Benefits, Foods to Eat, and Meal Plan

An ovo-lacto vegetarian or lacto-ovo vegetarian is a vegetarian who consumes some animal products , such as eggs and dairy. Unlike pescatarians , they do not consume fish or other seafood. A typical ovo-lacto vegetarian diet may include fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, roots, fungi, milk, cheese, yogurt, kefir , and eggs. The terminology stems from the Latin lac meaning "milk" as in ' lactation ' , ovum meaning "egg", and the English term vegetarian , so as giving the definition of a vegetarian diet containing milk and eggs.


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