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7 Types of Plant-Based Diets

7 Types of Plant-Based Diets

If you're following a plant-based diet, then you're not alone. Millions of people worldwide are following a plant-based diet. In North America, 39% of the population is actively trying to incorporate more plant-based foods. Interestingly, only 5% classified themselves as vegetarian and 3% as vegan. Today, we're seeing a bit less restriction and more flexibility when it comes to dietary approaches. Let's talk about the different types, then you can see which diet you most align to.

7 Types of Plant-Based Diets

Let's start with what a vegetarian diet is all about. A majority of vegetarian diets focus on plant-based sources from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, peas, lentils and whole grains. In general, vegetarian diets exclude meat, dairy, eggs, poultry, seafood, and fish. Slight variations exist among the different subcategories of vegetarianism. Take a look below to see the key differences.

Meat Poultry Dairy Eggs Seafood Fish
1. Vegan x x x x x x
2. Vegetarian x x x x x x
3. Lacto-Vegetarian x x x x x
4. Ovo-Vegetarian x x x x x
5. Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian x x x x
6. Pescatarian x x x x
7. Flexitarian (Semi-Vegetarian)


As you can see, a vegan dietary approach is a bit rigid as this diet excludes all animal-based products and all animal-derived additives. Vegan diets also exclude other food sources like gelatin and honey. Then you have the opposite side of the spectrum, flexitarians (semi or partial-vegetarians). This dietary approach is one of the most flexible forms of a plant-based diet. Flexitarians allow both animal and plant-based foods, but the focus is primarily on consuming more plant.

Where Can I Get Protein When on a Plant-Based Diet?

It's well understood that protein is found in foods like meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, seafood and fish. However, good news is that you can absolutely secure enough protein on a plant-based diet. It just takes a little bit more thought and practice. It's important to keep three elements in mind: moderation, variety and balance. The more variety the better - incorporate a variety of plant proteins to help ensure you're getting all of the amino acids your body needs. Below are some plant-based protein sources to potentially add to your diet: chickpeas, edamame, lentils, beans, peas, spirulina, kelp, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, rye, rice, pasta, almonds, walnuts, cashews, nut butters, hemp, chia, sesame, sunflower, tofu, tempeh, soy milk, soy yogurt, and much more! As you can see there's a bountiful amount of plant-based sources to incorporate into your diet.

In all, food preferences differ for everyone. It's important to find what works best for you and your body. Ensure to include moderation, balance and variety when implementing a plant-based diet. There's many ways you can go with plan, which dietary approach did you align with most?