Thursday, December 8, 2011

A What-Atarian?

(c) 8/2011, Kathy Fannon

Are you confused by all the new "-atarian" terms you hear these days? I'll help you sort it out.

When I was a kid it seemed like you either ate a typical American diet or you were a vegetarian. Everybody knew what that was, a person who didn't eat meat.

Somewhere along the way "we" have coined all kinds of new terms to describe the dietary lifestyle we live.

While I was a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition we studied over 100 dietary theories. Who knew there were so many?! 

I'll just cover a few of them here.
  • Vegetarian: a person who doesn't eat meat but will eat other products derived from animals
  • Lacto-Vegetarian: a vegetarian who avoids meat and eggs but still consumes diary products such as milk and cheese
  • Ovo-Vegetarian: a vegetarian who avoids meat and diary but will consume eggs
  • Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian: a person who doesn't eat meat but will consume eggs and dairy
  • Partial-Vegetarian: a vegetarian who avoids red meat but will eat fish and chicken
  • Pesco-Vegetarian: a vegetarian who includes fish
  • Pollo-Vegetarian: a vegetarian who includes chicken
  • Vegan (vee-gan): a person who eats strictly plant-based foods and avoids all animal products including meat, milk, eggs, cheese and even honey
And the newest term: Flexitarian
  • A flexitarian is a person who is a vegetarian and eats a mostly plant-based diet but will eat meat (usually chicken or fish) on occasion, typically once per day to only 1 or 2 times per week or even less.

Sandra Neil of "Taste for Life" says, "I know that the emotional freedom of not having to choose one diet over the other has me enjoying food a whole lot more."

I agree. I'm not a big meat eater, but when I do have some I don't live with guilt feelings that I shouldn't be having it because of some title I've given to my dietary lifestyle. I think it kind of goes along with "all things in moderation".

Do one of these "-atarian" terms fit your dietary lifestyle? Which one? Do these definitions help to free your thinking a little about your food choices? Please share!

If you find this post helpful, please share it with your friends!

Read my previous post: Protein

Does the idea of being flexitarian interest you? Please check out my friend Irina's blog, The Fit Flexitarian.