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Diets Decoded

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As the years pass you may notice that everyone around you is on some new diet you’ve never heard of or following some special eating plan. You invite a friend to dinner, they accept, but warn you they are gluten-free and Pescatarian. What does this mean? You want to bring a hottie to the latest foodie spot but they’re vegan–what do you do? Don’t cancel any plans yet Hotspots is here to help.

 

Vegan

Those who follow a vegan diet do not eat any food derived from animals. This includes meat, pork, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, gelatin and sometimes honey (depending on the person). A Vegan’s aim typically is to reduce the suffering of animals, not eating the healthiest food. Impossible burgers and greasy fries are a-ok. Bring on the sweets!

Plant-based

Same as vegan, but followed for health reasons. They do not eat vegan “junk food” like fries, pizza with vegan cheese, etc. and eat food from plant-sources. Think a less-fun version of Veganism. Lots of greens–skip desert.

Vegetarian

Those who follow a Vegetarian diet do not eat meat, pork, poultry and fish. They do eat dairy, eggs and honey. This can be defined even further, if you were not already confused:

Lacto-ovo-vegetarian- they do not eat meat and fish, but do eat dairy products and eggs.

Lacto-vegetarian-  they do not eat any meat, fish or eggs, but do eat dairy products.

Ovo-vegetarian- they do not eat any meat, fish or dairy products, but do eat eggs.

Luckily most people following these variations identify as vegetarian so you won’t have to commit all this to memory. Phew!

Pescatarian

Those who follow a Pescatarian diet eat similarly to a Vegetarian diet – no meat, poultry or pork –  but with the addition of fish and seafood. Fish and Chips anyone?

Gluten-free

A Gluten-free diet excludes products with gluten. Mind-blowing, I know. What is gluten you may ask? Well, it is a protein found in wheat and grains. Many eaters who have wheat allergies or suffer from celiac disease can only eat gluten-free foods. There are products and even restaurants that specialize in these diets. When entertaining a person with these restrictions it’s important to ask them what foods are safe. There are also some that choose this diet simply for weight loss.

Keto

Those on the Keto diet follow a low-carb, high fat diet and it is similar to the trendy Atkins Diet from back in the day. Keto followers avoid sugar, starch, most fruit, beans, root vegetables, unhealthy fats, sugar-free junk food, sweet condiments and alcohol. But, they can eat a lot of meat.

Flexitarian

A Flexitarian is a vegetarian who occasionally strays from the diet and eats meat, poultry, pork or fish. Are you cheating vegetarian? We got a name for ya!

Macrobiotic

Inspired by Zen Buddism, a Macrobiotic diet is about finding balance in your life and is based on the yin and yang of the food you eat. Not following? Me either. In easier terms, those who follow a Macrobiotic diet aim to eat local foods in season and focus on eating thoughtfully. It is mostly vegan and followers avoid foods in the nightshade family – potatoes, eggplant and tomatoes – for example.

Fruitarian

Similar to veganism, as followers of this diet do not eat any food derived from animals, but Fruitarians eat mainly fruits, seeds and nuts.

Raw Diet

It sounds a little sexy – and seemed it as most of us were introduced to the concept through Smith’s first appearance on “Sex and the City,”  but it is mostly just a diet of food that is unprocesed. A Raw diet is just like it says– a diet mainly composed of raw food.

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