Food is an essential part of life.  Eating and nourishing your body is how you stay alive and provide energy for yourself throughout your day.  Everyone does not abide by the same diet though.  Due to preferences, convictions, and dietary restrictions, there are quite a few varieties of specific diets out there.  Often times, people see labels like “vegan” or “vegetarian” and do not know the difference.  Here is your guide to those specific types of diets and more.

The Vegetarian Diet

Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining of eating meat, seafood, and poultry.  The Vegetarian diet consist mainly of eating vegetables, nuts, fruits, and more.  There are different categories of the vegetarian diet that have specific restrictions and allowances like:

Ovo-Vegetarian Diet - This specific vegetarian diet allows a person to eat eggs, but no dairy products.

Lacto-Vegetarian Diet - This specific vegetarian diet allows dairy products, but no eggs.

Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian Diet - Lastly, this specific vegetarian diet allows the consumption of dairy and egg products.

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The Vegan Diet

Like previously stated, the vegan diet is often times mistaken for the vegetarian diet and vise versa.  They are extremely similar and overlap in many areas, but have differences.  The vegan diet is a plant based diet.  It restricts meat, fish, dairy, eggs, and any animal product(including honey!).  There are some vegans who are dietary vegans.  Dietary vegans extend their vegan lifestyle only to the way they eat.  You also have ethical vegans who extend their vegan lifestyle and philosophy to other areas of their life like clothing and products they use besides food.

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The Pescatarian Diet

A Pescatarian diet is similar to a vegetarian diet with the addition of eating fish.  Most vegetarian diets restrict any consumption of any flesh from an animal, but the pescatarian diet allows it.

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The Gluten Free Diet

The gluten free diet was created for people with celiac disease, but many people without the disease have adopted this diet.  Celiac disease is a disorder that causes an autoimmune reaction to the gluten protein that is usually found in wheat, rye, and barley.  This reaction causes “inflammation and the destruction of the inner lining of the small intestine”, according to Medical News Today.  Because of this problem, the gluten free diet has been created and has helped many that have Celiac disease.  Many companies and ingredients have made gluten free options of their products.  Basically, going gluten free consists of avoiding a large majority of grains and products that consist of grains like most breads.

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The Lactose Free/Dairy Free Diet

Lactose is a sugar that is found in most milk products.  Sometimes, people’s bodies have a hard time breaking down lactose due to a lack of the enzyme that breaks it down.  As a result, many people experience gas, cramping, diarrhea, and bloating when eating and drinking milk products.  Nobody wants to live everyday like that!  This is where the lactose and dairy free diet comes into play!  The dairy and lactose free diet is pretty simple: avoid dairy and lactose.  Because this diet has been around for a while, almost everything you can think of has a dairy and lactose free option.  Many people use almond or soy milk instead of regular milk in a large majority of lactose and dairy free products.

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