Do Vegetarians Eat Eggs?

A common question, do vegetarians eat eggs, may appear confusing to many. Because most people take the term “vegetarian” as “veggies only”, which is not true. Some vegetarian diets don’t include any animal product at all but some moderate vegetarians prefer consuming animal products once or twice a week. The criterion of eating animal products depends on the reason or cause of adopting the vegetarian diet. It is, however, imperative to mention that vegetarians do eat something other than vegetables. The word “vegetarian” means a diet based on plants,but there are somevegan diets that contain other food choicesbesidesplants.

Do Vegetarians Eat Eggs?

As stated above, the word “vegetarian” is more like a misnomer and is definitely not enough to determine one’s eating limitations. For example, there are vegan followers who consume animal products such as milk (and foods that are obtained from milk such as butter, cheese etc.) in addition to vegetables and fruits. But the question here is, do vegetarians eat eggs? If yes, then which category of vegetarians consume eggs and what’s the rationale behind making this choice? Here we have explained the four categories of vegetarians and what they eat and don’t eat.

1. Lacto-, Ovo- and Lacto-ovo- Vegetarians

The common factor among all types of vegetarians is that they prohibit the flesh of every animal including beef, pork, lamb, venison and buffalo meat, seafood and poultry. But not all the vegetarians are restricted from eating dairy products. Lacto-ovo-vegetarians are those who include dairy items in their meals. Lacto-vegetarians consume dairy products excluding eggs, whereas ovo-vegetarians have no problem eating eggs but excludeany kind of dairy products from their diet. None of them restrict bread in their diet unless it contains an ingredient made from animals.

2. Pescetarians

Vegetarians in this category have fishes in their diet. The classic choices include, shell fish, mollusks and fin fish. These individuals also eat dairy products including milk and milk products as well as all types of plants. According to these individuals, if they include other animal meat in their diet it might be unhealthy for them due to high concentration of fats and cholesterol present in red meat sources (especially pork and lamb). Some individuals of this group firmly believethat sea animals suffer less in comparison with other animals during the process of being slaughtered and prepared into the meal. Sometimes they even exclude seafood from their diet and follow the vegetarian norms strictly. As indicated before, the mix of vegan foods choices is determined by the reason or incentive for choosing this lifestyle.

3. Flexitarians

This is the oldest category of vegetarians; they don’t prohibit meat but limit the intake of animal products significantly. For example, most of these individuals consumemeatonly twice (or up to 5 times) a week and prefer eating plant food some other days. They don’t mind eating animal products, because their intention is to have a healthy diet based mainly on plants along with some meat. They sometimes don’t eat meat for days and sometimes go flexible, which is why they are classified under the category of loose vegetarians.

4. Vegans

This is the most extreme category of vegetarians: they don’t eat meat or any animal product at all. While going shopping they specifically make sure that the product contains no traces of any animal product. They avoid milk, eggs and even honey (because it is made by living creatures) and include only foods that are plant-based in their diet.

Nutrition Facts of Eggs

The common question, “do vegetarians eat eggs”, needs to be altered a bit. It should be why some vegetarians don’t eat eggs?

Eggs have been scientifically proven to be one of the most nutrient dense foods. Egg protein has remarkable biological value. An egg contains 7g high qualityprotein and around 5g fats. It contains lots of vitamins and minerals like magnesium, iron, carotenoids etc.

Eggs are rich with other nutrients like lutein, zeaxanthinthat, which fight against several diseases. Eggs can also reduce the risk of macular degeneration that causes blindness. In addition, the choline content present in eggs enhances the brain power and memory.

Eggs and Cholesterol

Many people, apart from vegetarians, have concerns about eating eggs, worrying that the cholesterol in eggs might do harm to their bodies.

There is no doubt that eggs contain cholesterol. But a study in 2008 investigating over 20,000 participants concluded that if men eat eggs occasionally, there is no risk of developing cardiovascular disease. In fact it helps lowering death rates especially if you have diabetes.

However, a contradictory study published in Canada in 2010 identified that eggs might increase the risk of developing diabetes in some genetically susceptible individuals. So, better ask your doctor first before including eggs as a part of your staple. 

Healthy Substitute for Eggs

If you don’t want to eat eggs due to any moral or health issues, you could consider something that is of equal nutritious values. Some of the foods that can be healthy replacementsfor eggs include: beans, lentils, tofu, milk and other dairy products. You can also prepare your greens in oils that contain proteins like avocado, peanut and olive oils. These oils contain healthy fats that maintain cholesterol at a moderate level. Eating salads, rice, fruits and soups can also cover the nutritional need of your body.

 
 
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