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Lacto-Ovo Vegetarianism: What Is It And What Are Its Pros And Cons


Lacto-Ovo vegetarians are the most common type of vegetarians all over the world. This is because it does not restrict much in terms of food options, unlike vegans or vegans. Lacto – Ovo vegetarians are considered as the middle ground between vegans and non-vegetarians because they do not consume meat or fish but may eat other types of animal products such as dairy and eggs. Those who conform to it will have fewer problems in social gatherings where food choices might be limited since most restaurants have some sort of Lacto-ovo dishes readily available for them.

This article will attempt to detail what being Lacto-Ovo vegetarian entails, the benefits, and downside of taking this type of diet, and what nutrients vegetarians need to focus on the most.

What does Being Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian Mean?

Lacto-Ovo vegetarians do not eat meat, seafood, or any other type of animal flesh. However, they can eat different kinds of products that come from animals. These include dairy products such as cheese and yogurt. The “Lacto” part of the term implies that these vegetarians are okay with eating this kind of food while “ovo” implies that eggs are also included in their diet. The majority of people who take up this lifestyle are those who wish to not eat meat or fish, but still want to derive some sort of benefit from the animal as well as to maintain a healthy diet. Since eggs and milk contain proteins, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients the human body requires for normal function, these take center stage in a Lacto-Ovo vegetarian’s diet.


Lacto-Ovo vegetarians are sometimes referred to as “flexitarians” or semi-vegetarians because they do not have a 100% strict diet. It is, therefore, easier for those who want to take this road to be part of social gatherings where non-vegetarian food choices are plentiful. These vegetarians also believe that since animals were not killed to obtain dairy and eggs, those who take this road should not experience as much guilt compared to those who eat other kinds of meat and poultry.

Health Benefits of Being Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian

Studies have shown that a Lacto-Ovo vegetarian diet has many health benefits. First, they are less likely to be obese compared with non-vegetarians. According to statistics, vegetarians have a lower body mass index (BMI) than those who eat animal products. Being overweight leads to many health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.

Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian diets are also known to lower the risk for heart disease. One of the most popular reasons why people adopt this lifestyle is to maintain a healthy diet. Since it only includes dairy and eggs, vegetarians who take this road can avoid or cut down on meat, which is known for raising the cholesterol levels in the blood. This will then lead to the body trying to compensate by creating more LDL, commonly known as bad cholesterol so that it can maintain homeostasis.

If you base your diet primarily on dairy products, you are also likely to be at a lower risk for Type 2 Diabetes. Low-fat dairy is known to help control blood sugar and insulin levels. This, in turn, can help stave off this disease and its negative complications such as blindness and renal failure. There has also been evidence that suggests lactose, the primary sugar derived from dairy products, can play a role in helping diabetics manage their disease. As you can see, the health benefits of being a Lacto-Ovo vegetarian are extremely convincing.

Cons of Being Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian

Like any other diet, taking the Lacto-Ovo vegetarian road also has some drawbacks that you need to be aware of. One major con is that it limits your food choices to some extent especially since dairy products are not safe for those with lactose intolerance. This means you might have to look at food labels with greater care. In addition, Lacto-Ovo vegetarians might not be able to derive as many benefits from eggs and milk if they do not consume them in a balanced manner. For example, both eggs and dairy have a decent amount of cholesterol so going overboard will lead to an increased risk for cardiovascular problems.

Another drawback is that people who follow this diet but take it too far might end up not eating enough nutritious food. Vitamins and minerals such as zinc and iron can only be derived from animal products. This is why it is highly encouraged that all types of vegetarians take a B12 vitamin supplement and eat other food products that are rich in micro and macronutrients.


Anyone who wants to take the Lacto-Ovo vegetarian road should understand what it entails and how it can affect one’s health. There are no strict rules as to what you have to eat so long as you do not consume meat or fish. From there, try to create a balanced diet that is rich in all essential nutrients, minerals, and vitamins, and don’t hesitate to include supplements to make up for the nutrients your body might be missing out on. Make sure to take this lifestyle slowly and responsibly so that your body can adjust well to the changes you are bringing about and make the most out of it.

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