Vegetarian Diets

The food think tank Oldways offers a traditional vegetarian diet pyramid.

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The food think tank Oldways offers a traditional vegetarian diet pyramid. Theirs is an ovo-lacto diet, which means following it still leaves you free to eat animal products like eggs and dairy. There are umpteen variations on this; some people eschew the eggs but not the dairy (lacto vegetarians), the dairy but not the eggs (ovo vegetarians), or all animal products, including honey (vegans). And there are plenty of folks who, while not vegetarians, cut out one or more kinds of meat—eating only fish, for example.

These diets need to be balanced to be sure you're getting essential nutrients. And watch the calories, if you're trying to lose weight. Research has shown that vegetarians tend to eat fewer calories than omnivores, but if you cut out the meat and eat more processed foods, french fries, and other calorie-dense products, you may find yourself gaining. For a good source of recipes, try vegetariantimes.com.