Lacto-ovo vegetarian diets avoid meat, fish, and poultry, but include eggs, dairy products and honey. A well-balanced lacto-ovo vegetarian diet is nutritionally complete and rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. While you may choose a vegetarian diet for ethical reasons, there are multiple health benefits associated with lacto-ovo vegetarianism. Vegetarian diets are suitable for children, teens, active adults, pregnant women and seniors.
Heart Disease and Cholesterol
Vegetarians diets help to prevent heart disease, according to the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine. A lacto-ovo vegetarian typically consumes less saturated fat and cholesterol than someone who eats meat. A high-fiber, low-fat vegetarian diet, combined with other lifestyle changes, may even reduce atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Incorporating soy based foods, whole grains, and a wide variety of vegetables may lower cholesterol without medication, reports Professor David Jenkins at the University of Toronto. A meatless diet is also associated with lower blood pressure.
Adult-onset diabetes may, in some cases, be controlled through a vegetarian diet. Common vegetarian foods, like legumes, fruits and vegetables may make your body more responsive to insulin, allowing you to reduce medication. A low-fat, high-fiber diet can help you to maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of heart disease, a common complication of diabetes, reports the Mayo Clinic. If you are diabetic and considering a vegetarian diet, speak to a dietitian to plan a healthy and balanced lacto-ovo vegetarian diet to meet your needs.
According to the Physician's Council for Responsible Medicine, a vegetarian diet may reduce the risk of cancer by as much as 40%. Vegetarian diets are typically rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals, which have cancer-fighting benefits. Meat consumption has been linked to an increased risk of prostate and colon cancer, while diets high in saturated fat may contribute to breast cancer. Choose a low-fat lacto-ovo vegetarian diet to reduce your risk of these common cancers.