Lacto Vegetarian Diet – Overview
A Lacto vegetarian diet includes dairy and shuns all other animal products and by-products.
Some research associates link vegetarian diets with well-being benefits such as reducing inflammation and regulating blood pressure.
However, if you’re on a vegetarian diet, avoid processed foods because they can negate these well-being benefits. Instead, try and consume whole foods.
This article will look at what a lactovegetarian diet is, what to and what not to eat on this diet, as well as the potential benefits and drawbacks of this vegetarian diet.
What Is the Lacto Vegetarian Diet?
A Lacto vegetarian diet shuns eggs, meat, fish, and poultry but includes dairy products. People commonly refer to this diet plan as a vegetarian diet.
The word prefix ‘Lacto’ refers to milk. People may follow the Lacto-vegetarian diet for ethical reasons such as animal rights abuse and environmental pollution.
Others may choose the lactovegetarian diet for religious or well-being reasons or just as a personal preference.
Since farmers don’t need to slaughter animals to obtain products such as milk and honey, most vegetarians opt to consume these products.
However, those on a vegan diet may argue that dairy industries involve animal cruelty in the way milk is obtained and that producing honey is the exploitation of bees.
Foods to Eat On a Lacto Vegetarian Diet
A healthy Lacto-vegetarian regimen should comprise various dairy products and plant-based foods. Here are several foods you can take when on a Lacto-vegetarian diet:
- Dairy: Butter, cheese, ghee, milk, yogurt, etc.
- Fruits: Apples, bananas, berries, peaches, pears, watermelons, etc.
- Healthy Oils: Avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil, etc.
- Herbs and spices: Basil, black pepper, cumin, oregano, rosemary, thyme, etc.
- Legumes: Black beans, chickpeas, green peas, kidney beans, lentils, etc.
- Nuts: Almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, walnuts, etc.
- Protein Foods: Nutritional yeast, tempeh, tofu, whey, etc.
- Seeds: chia, flax, hemp, pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds.
- Veggies: Arugula, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower spinach, etc.
- Whole Grains: Amaranth, barley, oats, quinoa, rice, etc.
Foods to Avoid On a Lacto Vegetarian Diet
A Lacto-vegetarian diet doesn’t comprise eggs, fish, meat, and poultry. Here are some of the foods you should shun when on a lacto-vegetarian diet:
- Eggs: Egg whites, egg, yolks, and whole eggs.
- Meat: Beef, lamb, mutton, veal, pork, etc.
- Meat-based constituents: Carmine, gelato, lard, suet, etc.
- Poultry: Chicken, duck, goose, turkey, etc.
- Processed meat products: Bacon, beef jerky, ham, sausages, smokies, etc.
- Seafood: Anchovies, mackerel, salmon, sardines, shrimp, tuna, etc.
What are the Potential Benefits of a Lacto Vegetarian Diet?
Boosts Heart Health
Several studies have found that a Lacto-vegetarian diet can boost heart health and reduce a couple of factors causing heart disease.
For instance, an examination of 11 studies revealed a Lacto-vegetarian diet could help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol which can cause heart disease.
A couple of other studies have revealed that vegetarian diets such as Lacto-vegetarian could be linked to decreased blood sugar.
This is handy because high blood pressure is a primary risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
Enhances Blood Sugar Regulation
Some studies indicate that commencing a Lacto-vegetarian diet can help enhance blood sugar regulation.
An examination of six studies including over 250 people associated vegetarian diets with notable reductions in HbA1c (hemoglobin A1c) as an indicator of long-term blood sugar regulation in persons suffering from diabetes (Type 2).
Another examination indicated that following a vegetarian diet such as the Lacto-vegetarian was linked with a lesser risk of contracting diabetes (Type 2)
In addition, research including over 150,000 adults revealed that people who followed a Lacto-vegetarian diet were 33% less likely to contract diabetes (Type 2) compared to individuals who followed non-vegan and non-vegetarian diets.
Reduce Cancer Risk
A couple of observational studies have revealed that following this diet may be linked to a reduced risk of contracting several types of cancer.
Vegetarian diets have been linked to at least a 10% lower risk of contracting cancer. Likewise, they’ve been linked to a lesser chance of contracting breast and colorectal cancer.
Bear in mind that these studies indicate a link, not a causal effect association. More studies are needed to confirm whether a Lacto-vegetarian diet can help cut cancer risk.
Following a Lacto-vegetarian diet may not only be great for your well-being but your waistline as well.
As a matter of fact, a couple of studies have revealed that vegetarians tend to have a lower BMI (body mass index) compared to persons who consume meat.
Vegetarians also tend to eat lesser calories and more fiber compared to meat-eaters. Both of these aspects are particularly useful for weight loss.
A massive examination of 12 studies indicated that people who followed vegetarian diets for at least four months lost about 4.5 pounds more than non-vegetarians.
What Are the Potential Drawbacks of a Lacto Vegetarian Diet?
A composed Lacto-vegetarian diet can offer all the nutrients needed by the body. However, it may enhance the risk of dietary shortages without proper organization.
Meat, fish, poultry, and seafood offer a variety of vital nutrients such as B vitamins, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and zinc.
On the other hand, Eggs are rich in a couple of micronutrients such as Vitamin A and D.
A shortage of these vital nutrients can bring about symptoms such as anemia, impaired immune system function, mood changes, stunted growth, etc.
So if you’re following a lacto-vegetarian diet, ensure you get these nutrients from other foods to supplement your daily needs.
Filling your diet with products such as dairy, fruits, healthy oils, protein-rich foods, and whole grains will help make sure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs.
In some instances, a multi-vitamin or supplement can come in handy to help fill gaps in your diet.
Following a Lacto-vegetarian diet requires you to be ardent on your nutrient intake.
Having a diet rich in whole foods and taking supplements can help you meet your daily nutrient needs and help prevent nutrient shortages.
As you can see, the Lacto-vegetarian diet excludes eggs, fish, meat, and poultry but includes dairy.
This diet has been linked to numerous well-being benefits, such as reduced cancer risk. So ensure you tale nutrient-dense whole foods to reach your daily nutritional needs.
Printable Lacto Vegetarian Diet (PDF)
|Foods to Eat On a Lacto Vegetarian Diet||Foods to Avoid On a Lacto Vegetarian Diet|
|Dairy: Butter, cheese, ghee, milk, yogurt, etc.||Eggs: Egg whites, egg, yolks, and whole eggs.|
|Fruits: Apples, bananas, berries, peaches, pears, watermelons, etc.||Meat: Beef, lamb, mutton, veal, pork, etc.|
|Healthy Oils: Avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil, etc.||Meat-based constituents: Carmine, gelato, lard, suet, etc.|
|Herbs and spices: Basil, black pepper, cumin, oregano, rosemary, thyme, etc.||Poultry: Chicken, duck, goose, turkey, etc.|
|Legumes: Black beans, chickpeas, green peas, kidney beans, lentils, etc.||Processed meat products: Bacon, beef jerky, ham, sausages, smokies, etc.|
|Nuts: Almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, walnuts, etc.||Seafood: Anchovies, mackerel, salmon, sardines, shrimp, tuna, etc.|
|Protein Foods: Nutritional yeast, tempeh, tofu, whey, etc.|
|Seeds: chia, flax, hemp, pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds.|
|Veggies: Arugula, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower spinach, etc.|
|Whole Grains: Amaranth, barley, oats, quinoa, rice, etc.|