Lacto-vegetarian Diet Benefits and Eating Plan
A person who, for health, religious or other personal reasons, chooses not to eat meats including chicken, pork, beef or seafood is known as a vegetarian. While others do not, some vegetarians choose to consume other animal products including dairy, gelatin, honey, and eggs. Ovo-vegetarians may consume eggs, while lacto-ovo vegetarians consume both dairy and eggs.
In the lacto-vegetarian diet, however, dairy is the only permissible animal product for consumption. It is a flexible vegetarian diet that provides numerous health benefits while also contributing to the preservation of the environment. Nonetheless, there are many factors to be considered in order to ensure a healthy and balanced lacto-vegan meal plan.
Read on for an in-depth look at the benefits and precautions related to the lacto-vegetarian diet as well as a suggestion of foods to help you create a healthy lacto-vegan meal plan.
Understanding the Lacto-vegetarian Diet
Dairy products including milk, cheese, and yogurt are welcome in the lacto-vegetarian diet as sources of protein, fats, and minerals. It is common for people with environmental, ethical or health interests to take up this diet.
Adhering to a healthy and properly balanced lacto-vegan meal plan can help you live a healthier life. Generally speaking, cutting down on the intake of meat and other animal products has been proven by experts to be a healthier way to eat.
Benefits of the Lacto-vegetarian Diet
Here are a few of the amazing health benefits that this dietary lifestyle has to offer.
Better heart health
Through studies conducted, lacto-vegetarians have been found to generally have healthier hearts and reduced risk of heart disease than people who consume meat. Vegetarian diets lower the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol which is a major risk factor in heart issues. The lacto-vegetarian diet can also play a role in the reduction of blood pressure which is another key contributor to the risk of stroke and heart disease.
Improved blood sugar control
There has also been some research to support the fact that the adoption of a lacto-vegan meal plan can contribute to the control of blood sugar, which makes it a wonderful diet for those with type 2 diabetes. Those at risk of developing type 2 diabetes may also adopt this diet to prevent it.
For those looking to reduce their waistlines, a lacto-vegan meal plan is the way to go. Vegetarians generally have lower body mass indexes (BMIs) than meat-eaters. They also take in more fiber and fewer calories than non-vegetarians, which are both contributory to the weight loss and the maintenance of a healthy weight.
Reduced risk of cancer
Many variations of cancer can be prevented by adherence to a lacto-vegetarian diet. Cancer (notably colorectal and breast cancer) is less likely to occur in people who stick to a plant and dairy-based diet. However, it is important to note that the relationship between diet and cancer is one of association and not of cause and effect.
As with every beneficial life choice, care must be taken to ensure that it is done right. While a balanced lacto-vegetarian diet promises a wealth of benefits and can supply all of your body’s nutritional requirements, a poorly planned one may put you at risk of deficiency of some basic and vital nutrients.
You must be aware that meats including chicken, beef, pork, and seafood serve as major sources of protein, minerals like iron and zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin B12 to those that consume them. Eggs also supply several micronutrients and vitamins including D and A.
This said, a lacto-vegetarian must adequately replace these important nutrient sources or stand at risk of the issues that come with being deficient in them. Stunted growth, weakened immune response, mood swings and anemia are all conditions that can result from insufficient intake of these nutrients.
To ensure that all you’re meeting your body’s nutritional demands, you must load your diet with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, milk products, healthy fats, and protein-rich plant-based foods. Omega-3 and multivitamin supplements may also come in handy to make sure that all loopholes are taken care of.
A Sample Lacto-vegan Meal Plan
Below is a 5-day sample meal plan to kick you off on your lacto-vegetarian diet while ensuring that you’re taking the necessary daily nutrients.
- Breakfast: feta cheese and tomatoes with avocado toast
- Lunch: roasted asparagus and lentil-baked ziti
- Dinner: tahini, parsley, lettuce, onions, and tomatoes in a falafel wrap
- Breakfast: fresh fruits, chia seeds and milk with overnight oats
- Lunch: burritos with rice, black beans, guacamole, salsa, vegetables and cheese
- Dinner: a side of salad along with vegetarian chili and sour cream
- Breakfast: mixed berries and walnuts on top of yogurt
- Lunch: brown rice and curried lentils with tomatoes, garlic, and ginger
- Dinner: green beans, peppers and sesame-ginger tofu stir-fried
- Breakfast: veggies, nut butter, fruits, and whey protein smoothie
- Lunch: roasted carrots side accompanying a chickpea pot pie
- Dinner: couscous and broccoli with teriyaki tempeh
- Breakfast: cinnamon and sliced bananas and cinnamon with oatmeal
- Lunch: sweet potato wedges along with a veggie burger and a side of salad
- Dinner: mixed veggies along with quinoa-stuffed bell peppers
For snacks in between your meals, you can go with the following healthy ideas:
- Hummus and carrots
- Kale chips
- Crackers and cheese
- Berries and yogurt
- Nuts, dark chocolate, and dried fruit trail mix
- Nut butter on apple slices
- Cottage cheese with mixed fruits
Although meats and eggs are excluded in the lacto-vegetarian diet, it allows for the combination of dairy products and plant-based starches, proteins and fibers in creative ways to make meals that are as delicious as they are healthy.
Aside from being a flexible vegetarian diet, lacto-vegetarianism also comes with a lot in stock in terms of health benefits, including a lowered risk of cancer, better control of blood sugar, improved heart health and rapid weight loss. Notwithstanding, one must be cautious to ensure that all of the body’s nutritional requirements are met on a daily basis.