Diet and health are intricately related. What type of diet is associated with better health is a question of great personal and public health interest. A vegetarian diet is believed to promote health, delay the development of chronic diseases, and increase longevity.

Definition and Trends

What is a vegetarian diet? There is no consensus regarding the definition. The term vegetarian encompasses a wide range of dietary practices with potentially differing health implications. Generally, a vegetarian is defined as one who consumes little or no animal products. Specifically, vegans consume exclusively plant-based foods. Lactovegetarians consume dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, while lacto-ovo-vegetarians also add egg to their diet. There are other types of diets, such as macrobiotic and fruitarian diets, that are more restrictive than ...

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