Food & Drinks

8 Different Types of Diets Explained

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8 Different Types of Diets Explained
Photo Michael Stern / Flickr

Have you, or someone you know, turned to some type of  “eganism" in the past few years? Chances are the answer is yes.

The Expo Milano website claims that worldwide vegetarians are now totalling 375 million, in Europe that’s about 10% of the population, in the USA 4% of men and 7% of women compared to whopping 31% in India.

Speciality diets, including veganism, are also on the rise, with celebrity endorsement, meat scares and more consious eating habits encouraging people to look for alternatives to the basic meat and two veg diet.

That's all well and good but when it comes to negotiating a specific category of diet or catering for friends who have taken on an some form of  ‘eganism’ it can become a complicated and frustrating affair, especially if you don’t know the basic rules.

To avoid thoughtfully cooking a special fish supper for a bemused vegetarian this food infographic from Stephen Wildish sets out the most common groups of diets:

First up, we take a look at omnivores. They are going to eat all food groups, these are going to be your easiest guests to cater for with no food group restrictions.

After omnivores things start to get more complicated:


Or pescatarians or piscetarians eat everything except meat (poultry included). Or looking at it through a vegetarian lens, pescetarians are vegetarians who also eat fish. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the word is a relative newcomer and was first used in 1993. 

Next up:


According to the Vegetarian Society,  vegetarians do not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish or shellfish. They generally live on a diet of grains, rices, pulses, seeds, vegetables and fruits, with or without the use of dairy products and eggs.

Ok, now this is where the specifics creep in: Vegetarians can be divided further into three ‘subgroups':


This is the most common type of vegetarian, they will eat both dairy products and eggs.


This vegetarian will eat eggs but no dairy products.


Conversly, this group will eat dairy products (like milk and cheese) but they do not eat eggs.

Back into less complicated territory with:


Do not eat anything that comes from an animal. So forget all meat, fish and dairy products and eggs. As the infographic below shows, that leaves vegans with a diet of grains, fruits, all vegetables, nuts and pulses. 

Not to be confused with:


Vegans who are happy to eat honey. 

Moving swiftly on to:


Can eat what a vegan eats except grains and ‘living’ vegetables like roots and leaves. As a general rule of thumb if eating part of a plant will kill the plant, fruitarians will not eat it. For example, eating a tomato (which is considered as the plant’s fruit) will not kill the tomato plant that produced the fruit. But eating a carrot which is the root of the plant, will kill the plant.

The 'We are what we eat' infographic from the Missing Graph by Antiforma Design clearly lays out the different food groups for each category.

Have a look at some vegetarian recipes to feel inspired.  We also have plenty of vegan recipes ideas as well as ideas to substitute dairy products in more traditional dishes.


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