An Ova-Lacto Vegetarian Diet – Benefits And Importance

A plate of food on a table

An ovo-Lacto vegetarian is also referred to as a lacto-ovo vegetarian. Generally, when one mentions the term vegetarian, an ovo-Lacto vegetarian is assumed. The terms ‘Lacto’ and ‘ovo’ refers to ‘diary products’ and ‘eggs’ respectively. An ovo-Lacto vegetarian is a vegetarian who consumes some animal products such as eggs and dairy and does not consume fish or other seafood, unlike pescatarians.

In some parts of Europe and metropolitan cities of North America, they are often well-catered to in restaurants and shops. The reason for adopting a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet for most people is to reduce the intake of animal products for ethical, environmental and health reasons.

Importance Of Diet Quality

A bowl of food on a table

There are many vegetarian-friendly foods from which you can choose with the growing popularity of plant-based diets.

Though, many foods marketed for Lacto-Ovo vegetarians are highly processed and prepackaged which means they can be high in salt, unhealthy fats and oils, added sugar, and calories.

To decide whether these foods are right for you, be sure to look at the ingredient list and nutrition label.

Foods to Eat

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  • Fruits: apples, bananas, oranges, strawberries, peaches, melons 
  • Vegetables: broccoli, kale, bell pepper, spinach, mushrooms, eggplant
  • Dairy products: milk, yoghurt, cheese, butter
  • Beans and legumes: beans, peas, peanuts, lentils.
  • Nuts, seeds, and nut butter: cashews, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, peanut butter.
  • Whole grains: quinoa, barley, amaranth, oats, buckwheat.
  • Eggs: Whole eggs, including whites and yolks.
  • Healthy fats: avocados, olive oil, olives, nuts, seeds.
  • Vegetarian protein: tofu, seitan, tempeh, and vegetarian protein powder.


Research shows that a well-planned and balanced lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet can benefit your health in several ways;

1. May Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

By improving your intake of healthy foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts, Vegetarian diets lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.

They have been shown to increase blood sugar control and improve insulin sensitivity, a hormone that regulates your blood sugar levels.

2. Can Support Healthy Weight Loss

Lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets can help you maintain a healthy weight or support weight loss.

3. Improves Heart Health

Plant-based diets have been shown to improve blood flow to your heart, improve blood vessel health, and reduce blood pressure — all of which may reduce heart disease risk.

4. May Lower Cancer Risk

Vegetarians had an 8% lower risk of death from cancer compared with omnivores. By eating a diet rich in plant foods like fruits and vegetables as diets that are high in red- and processed meat can reduce Cancer significantly.


If a person is interested in reducing the intake of animal products without eliminating them from one’s diet, then switching to a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet is sufficient for him/her. This will help in eating more whole, unprocessed plant foods which have many health benefits, including a reduced risk of obesity, heart disease, certain cancers and type 2 diabetes. To meet nutrient needs, especially protein, iron, zinc and omega – 3 fats, the Lacto-Ovo vegetarian diet needs to be properly planned.

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