Vegetarian buffet

Lacto-ovo vegetarianism or ovo-lacto vegetarianism is a type of vegetarianism which forbids animal flesh but allows the consumption of animal products such as dairy and eggs.[1][2] Unlike pescetarianism, it does not include fish or other seafood. A typical ovo-lacto vegetarian diet may include fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, meat substitutes, nuts, seeds, soy, cheese, milk, yogurt and eggs.[3]

In most Western English-speaking countries, the word "vegetarian" usually refers to this type of vegetarianism; however this is not universally the case. In India, lacto-ovo vegetarians are known as "eggetarian" (a portmanteau of "egg" and "vegetarian"), as "vegetarianism" usually refers to lacto vegetarianism.[4][5][6][7][8]


The terminology stems from the Latin lac meaning "milk" (as in 'lactation'), ovum meaning "egg", and the English term vegetarian, so as giving the definition of a vegetarian diet containing milk and eggs.[citation needed]


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Comparison of selected vegetarian and semi-vegetarian diets (view template)
Plants Dairy Eggs Seafood Poultry All other animals
Vegetarianism Ovo-lacto vegetarianism Yes Yes Yes No No No
Ovo vegetarianism Yes No Yes No No No
Lacto vegetarianism Yes Yes No No No No
Veganism Yes No No No No No
Semi-vegetarianism Flexitarianism Yes Yes Yes Sometimes Sometimes Sometimes
Pollotarianism Yes Maybe Maybe Maybe Yes No
Pescetarianism Yes Maybe Maybe Yes No No

In the Western world, ovo-lacto vegetarians are the most common and most traditional type of vegetarian.[9] Generally speaking, when one uses the term vegetarian, an ovo-lacto vegetarian is assumed.[10]


Aegean Airlines lacto-ovo vegetarian airline meal in 2018

In Indian religions like Hinduism and Buddhism, most individuals are either raised as ovo-lacto vegetarians or lacto vegetarians.[11]

However, consumption of egg is not considered a part of vegetarian diet in India, as egg is an animal-product that gives birth to the next generation of that species. Those who consume egg, while not consuming other non-vegetarian products (such as fish and meat), refer to themselves as 'eggitarians'.

The Bible Christian Church was a Christian vegetarian sect founded by William Cowherd in 1809.[12] Cowherd was one of the philosophical forerunners of the Vegetarian Society founded in 1847. The Bible Christian Church promoted the use of eggs, dairy and honey as God's given food per "the promised land flowing with milk and honey" (Exodus 3:8).[13]

Many Seventh-day Adventist followers are ovo-lacto vegetarians and have recommended a vegetarian diet, which may include milk products and eggs, since late 19th century.[14]

Health effects

Lacto-ovo vegetarian diets have a high overall diet quality compared to non-vegetarian diets.[15] Lacto-ovo vegetarian diets have positive effects on blood lipids such as lowering low-density lipoprotein and total cholesterol and are associated with a reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.[16][17][18]

There is high-quality evidence that lacto-ovo vegetarian diets reduce blood pressure.[19]

See also


  1. ^ Puskar-Pasewicz, Margaret. (2010). Cultural Encyclopedia of Vegetarianism. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 242. ISBN 978-0-313-37556-9
  2. ^ Dwyer, Johanna T. Vegetarian Diets. In Benjamin Caballero. (2013). Encyclopedia of Human Nutrition, Volume 4. Elsevier. pp. 316-322. ISBN 978-0-12-375083-9
  3. ^ "Healthy Guidelines for Lacto-Ovo Vegetarians". Archived from the original on 2015-04-27. Retrieved 2015-04-23.
  4. ^ "8 types of vegetarians found in India". 2018-03-15. Retrieved 2022-11-18.
  5. ^ "eggetarian-Pinkvilla". 8 April 2020.
  6. ^ "What are you: Vegetarian, meatatarian, flexitarian, sustainitarian, reducetarian?". Retrieved 2022-11-21.
  7. ^ Sula, Mike (2019-01-12). "Egg-O-Holic puts together Gujarat's vast eggetarian street food". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2022-11-21.
  8. ^ Banerjee, Krishnendu (2022-10-15). "Virat Kohli Fittest Indian Cricketer, yet to set foot at NCA in nearly two years, Check OUT". Retrieved 2022-11-21.
  9. ^ Whorton, James. (2000). Vegetarianism. In K. Kiple & K. Ornelas. The Cambridge World History of Food. Cambridge University Press. pp. 1553-1564. ISBN 978-1139058643
  10. ^ "Vegetarian (Lacto-ovo vegetarian)". Archived from the original on 2016-12-11. Retrieved 2021-09-27.
  11. ^ Surveys studying food habits of Indians include: "Dairy and poultry sector growth in India" Archived 2018-08-17 at the Wayback Machine, Quote: "An analysis of consumption data originating from National Sample Survey (NSS) shows that 42 percent of households are vegetarian, in that they never eat fish, meat or eggs. The remaining 58 percent of households are less strict vegetarians or non-vegetarians." "Indian consumer patterns" and "Agri reform in India" Archived 2006-12-28 at the Wayback Machine. Results indicate that Indians who eat meat do so infrequently with less than 30% consuming non-vegetarian foods regularly, although the reasons may be economical. "2.3 Growth and Concentration in India[6]". Archived from the original on June 26, 2015. Retrieved November 17, 2016.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  12. ^ Julia Twigg (1981). "The Bible Christian Church". International Vegetarian Union.
  13. ^ John Davis. "A History of Veganism from 1806" (PDF). International Vegetarian Union.
  14. ^ "A Position Statement on The Vegetarian Diet Adapted from the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Nutrition Council". SDADA. Archived from the original on 2012-05-29. Retrieved 2011-10-03.
  15. ^ Parker, Haley W; Vadiveloo, Maya K. (2019). "Diet quality of vegetarian diets compared with nonvegetarian diets: a systematic review". Nutrition Reviews. 77 (3): 144–160. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuy067. PMID 30624697.((cite journal)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  16. ^ Wang F, Zheng J, Yang B, Jiang J, Fu Y, Li D. (2015). "Effects of Vegetarian Diets on Blood Lipids: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials". Journal of the American Heart Association. 4 (10): e002408. doi:10.1161/JAHA.115.002408. PMC 4845138. PMID 26508743.((cite journal)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  17. ^ Dybvik, J.S., Svendsen, M. & Aune, D. (2022). "Vegetarian and vegan diets and the risk of cardiovascular disease, ischemic heart disease and stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies". European Journal of Nutrition. 62 (1): 51–69. doi:10.1007/s00394-022-02942-8. PMC 9899747. PMID 36030329. S2CID 251866952.((cite journal)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  18. ^ Oussalah A, Levy J, Berthezène C, Alpers DH, Guéant JL. (2020). "Health outcomes associated with vegetarian diets: An umbrella review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses" (PDF). Clinical Nutrition. 39 (11): 3283–3307. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2020.02.037. PMID 32204974. S2CID 213892045.((cite journal)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  19. ^ Gibbs J, Gaskin E, Ji C, Miller MA, Cappuccio FP. (2021). "The effect of plant-based dietary patterns on blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled intervention trials" (PDF). Journal of Hypertension. 39 (1): 23–37. doi:10.1097/HJH.0000000000002604. PMID 33275398. S2CID 225483653.((cite journal)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)