From animal rights to health concerns, there are many reasons why people choose to become vegetarians. In fact, vegetarianism is practiced by a number of cultures throughout the world, including nearly a third of the Indian population (primarily via the Hindu, Jain and Brahmin communities). There are different types of vegetarians, denoted by the prefixes attached to the title: Ovo- = eggs, Lacto- = dairy. For example, the only animal products an ovo-lacto-vegetarian eats are eggs and dairy products.
While becoming a vegetarian can lend itself to positive dietary changes, such as increased vegetable, fruit and whole-grain consumption, it does not necessarily make someone a “healthy” eater – sugar, fried foods, alcohol and refined starches can all be vegetarian! Additionally, vegetarians may be at increased risk of deficiency of certain nutrients, like protein, vitamin B12, iron, zinc, calcium and vitamin D. Check with your physician before taking supplements of any of the nutrients suggested below. Read more