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.
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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.