Definition of Ovo-Vegetarian (Vegetarian Type)

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What is an Ovo-Vegetarian Diet?

Ovo-vegetarian refers to people who do not eat meat or dairy products but do eat eggs. That is, an ovo-vegetarian is a type or a kind of vegetarian who doesn't eat dairy, including milk, cheese, ice cream or butter.

The word "ovo-vegetarian" is not particularly common in everyday conversation, and, in fact, very few people follow an ovo-vegetarian diet (compared to a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet, a vegan diet, or even a lacto-vegetarian diet). 

An ovo-vegetarian diet can include:  all fruits, vegetables, squashes, legumes, beans, and grains such as rice, quinoa, and barley; all seeds, spices and fresh herbs, eggs and products containing eggs such as egg whites, mayonnaise, egg noodles and some baked goods, and would exclude all meat and animal flesh foods including beef, chicken, steak, shrimp, fish, pork and would also exclude all animal milks and milk products including cow milk, goat milk, buffalo cheese, ice cream, butter, and all products made from these dairy products, including cheese pizza, whey protein, cream cheese, sour cream, many baked goods, etc. 

Ovo-vegetarians are less common than lacto-ovo-vegetarians, and are different than vegans.

The only people I've known who are ovo-vegetarians chose this way of eating because they wanted to go vegetarian but were also lactose-intolerant and couldn't eat dairy, whether or not they were vegetarian. Thus, most people follow an ovo-vegetarian diet for health reasons, as opposed to lacto-vegetarians who often have religious or cultural reasons for choosing their diet, or vegans, who generally have ethical and environmental reasons, in addition to health concerns, which shape their food choices. 

Other facts: The prefix "ovo" comes from the Latin word for egg.

See also:

Try a few popular ovo-vegetarian recipes: