What Is An Ovo-vegetarian Diet?

In addition to health reasons, many people choose an ovo- vegetarian diet because of its ethical implications. We explain what this feeding model consists of.

For many people, being a vegetarian is simply abstaining from meat. But there are many variants of vegetarianism, and among them is the ovo- vegetarian diet. This diet has some peculiarities that make it more complete than a strict vegan diet, which carries a lower risk of a nutrient deficit.

The term “ovo-vegetarian” is probably unfamiliar to you. Do not worry, in this article we will tell you what this diet consists of, what its advantages are and why it is a healthy option that you could turn into a lifestyle.

Vegetarianism

Vegetarianism is a diet that eliminates the consumption of all or most products derived from animals. However, there are different ways to follow a vegetarian diet. These are some of them:

Vegetarian diet

  1. Strict vegetarians or vegans : these are those who exclusively consume products of plant origin. They completely reject the intake of foods of animal origin such as dairy, eggs or honey from bees.
  2. Lacto-vegetarians : As the name suggests, these people consume both plant and dairy products (i.e. milk and milk products: yogurt, cheese, butter, etc.).
  3. Ovo-vegetarians : their diet is based on the intake of vegetables and eggs. It is a very nutrient-rich diet that we will discuss in detail below.
  4. Ovolactovegetarians : are those who consume vegetables, eggs and milk derivatives. Like the previous ones, they abstain from eating meat or fish. This is the most common variation of vegetarianism in the West.

Basket of eggs

What is ovo-vegetarianism about?

The ovo-vegetarian diet is a type of vegetarianism that excludes the consumption of meat, fish and dairy products. However, it allows you to eat eggs. This considerably improves the protein intake of the diet, since nutrients of high biological value are included.

If you follow an ovo-vegetarian diet you will continue consuming all those foods present in vegetarianism, such as cereals, mushrooms, legumes, fruits and vegetables. And you can also add eggs and derivatives to your dishes.

What are the advantages of the ovo-vegetarian diet?

Vegetarianism is known to provide multiple health benefits, including modulating cholesterol levels. Most of its dishes are made from legumes, vegetables, greens and fruits. According to the scientific literature, restricting the consumption of trans fatty acids is beneficial in order to improve the lipid profile.

The vegetarian diet is considerably less caloric and harmful to the body than the current Western diet loaded with ultra-processed products. But if it is not well established, it can lead to a protein deficit. The advantage of including eggs in your diet is that you can easily make up for this possible protein deficiency.

Strict vegetarians should also supplement with B12, a vitamin that is only present in animal products. Ovo vegetarians can get B12 from eggs in their diet.

Egg benefits

Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods around. They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, high-quality protein, essential fatty acids, and other nutrients, almost all concentrated in the yolk.

Its content in iron and zinc, and in vitamins A, D and B12  allows ovo-vegetarians to obtain these nutrients easily and effectively without the need to supplement or plan the diet in detail.

It is necessary to remember the importance of guaranteeing the supply of vitamin D, since it is an essential nutrient deficiency in bone metabolism. Its protective effects on bone fractures and on the appearance of complex diseases are reflected in an investigation published in  Reviews in Endocrine & Metabolic Disorders.

Basket of eggs with a green cloth

Ethics also add

Most ovo-vegetarians not only follow this style of eating for health reasons, but also for the ethical and moral side of the matter. By stopping meat, fish and dairy, they are trying to defend animal rights.

Environmental concern about the impact of factory farming on biodiversity also plays a role.

Different dishes of the ovo-vegetarian diet

We propose some dishes that will help you include eggs in your diet. They will be the ideal companion for preparations based on legumes, mushrooms, vegetables and fruits.

  • Boiled eggs
  • Poached eggs.
  • Carrot pudding.
  • Scrambled eggs with potatoes.
  • Eggs with spinach.
  • Croquettes.
  • Potato croquettes.
  • Dough for noodles.
  • Potatoes with cream.

The ovo-vegetarian diet, a more complete option than the vegan diet

The ovo-vegetarian diet is an optimal eating plan to improve health that does not have the limitations of a vegan diet, thanks to the inclusion of eggs. These foods meet the demands of vitamin B12 and protein, also providing vitamin D essential for proper bone metabolism.

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