NIAGARA FALLS — There are many different kinds of vegetarians. Religious, spiritual and ethical beliefs are typically the deciding factors in this lifestyle. Those with blood type A are naturally predisposed to at least semi-vegetarianism just by nature.
Vegetarian is a blanket term that describes someone who does not eat meat, poultry or seafood. Foods are typically plant-based and by products of animal slaughter (rennet and gelatin) are usually avoided as well.
Here is a breakdown to help define things better for you:
This vegetarian will consume dairy products, eggs, chicken and fish, but does not consume any other type of animal flesh.
Ovo-lacto-vegetarians are vegetarians who do not consume meat, poultry, fish or seafood. They do consume eggs and milk. This is the largest sub-group of the vegetarians.
Ovo-vegetarian is a term used to describe someone who would be vegan if they did not consume eggs.
Lacto-vegetarian is a term used to describe someone who would be vegan if they did not consume milk.
Is the practice of eating seafood but not the flesh of other animals. Pescetarians eat vegetables, fruits, nut grains, beans, eggs and dairy as well.
The main principle is about eating foods in their most natural state — uncooked and unprocessed. These foods are also the most nutrient dense for the body. Practitioners of this diet boast a leaner body, clearer skin, and higher energy.
Vegan is the strictest sub-category of vegetarians. Vegans do not consume any animal products or byproducts.
Many people who claim to be vegetarians actually eat very few vegetables. Unfortunately, this is the majority of “vegetarians” I have been exposed to. They are typically overweight and live mostly on breads, pasta, rice, cheese, milk, cookies and pizza. This form of vegetarianism is by far, the most unhealthy type. My work with this type vegetarian is very difficult. Many habits and addictions need to be broken. If these individuals are not already suffering heart disease or adult onset diabetes they will be soon. Cholesterol levels will be very high. Bad cholesterol (LDL) will be high, good cholesterol (HDL) will be low and triglycerides will be elevated as well. High triglycerides are a sure sign that too much sugar and bread are being consumed.
I am all for vegetarianism — if it includes many vegetables, protein is addressed, and at least 40 percent of daily consumption is raw. These individuals will typically have better mental clarity, tons of energy and will rarely suffer digestive disorders of any type.
I hope if you are a vegetarian or considering this lifestyle, you choose anything but the carbotarian type. This is a very poor choice for those who care about their health and would like to experience only healthy check-ups with their health care provider.
Catherine Stack is a doctor of naturopathy and a certified nurse midwife. Her practice is located at Journey II Health in Niagara Falls. She can be reached at 298-8603 or at her website at journeyiihealth.com.