: This is the strictest of all the vegetarian options, as vegans, which is the name for individuals who follow a vegan diet, avoid ALL foods from animal sources. In other words, at a barbecue, the only part of the cheeseburger that a vegan could eat would be the bun, pickle, and ketchup, as these foods are from plant sources. The ground beef burger and the cheese (both derived from a cow) would be off limits. A savvy hostess would need to grill up soy burgers and top them with a slice of soy cheese to satisfy the palates of her vegan guests.Lacto-Vegetarian Diets
: A less strict vegetarian is one who follows a lacto-vegetarian diet. Similarly to vegans, lacto-vegetarians avoid all foods from animal sources except for dairy foods, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese (lacto means dairy). At a barbecue, you would find the lacto-vegetarian also hunting for a soy burger to sandwich between her bun, but the burger could be topped with the same cheddar cheese that the carnivorous, or meat-eating, guests are enjoying. The lacto-vegetarian would also be able to enjoy the make-your-own sundae ice cream (dairy) dessert. Unfortunately, the strict vegans at this barbecue, who are looking for a sweet ending to their meal, would have to hope that a fruit sorbet (a blend of puree fruit and a sweetener) is also a dessert option.Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian Diets
: A vegetarian-style diet that allows even more flexibility in is the lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, which includes not only dairy foods but also eggs (ovo means eggs). Omelets, scrambled eggs, and products made with eggs can appear in the lacto-ovo vegetarian’s repertoire of menu options. At a barbecue, the lacto-ovo vegetarian would not only be able to enjoy a soy burger topped with cheddar cheese as well as the ice cream dessert, but she could also devour the tasty deviled egg appetizers.
Flexitarian Diet: The latest vegetarian diet to make its way on the eating scene is the flexitarian diet or a "part time" vegetarian diet. Flexitarians are vegetarians who sometimes eat meat, fish, and poultry. For the flexitarians at a barbecue, the sky is the limit as there wouldn't be any foods on the buffet table that they would need to avoid, especially if this happens to be their meat-eating night.- By Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, LDN. Blake is a nutrition professor at Boston University and a nationally known writer, lecturer and nutrition expert.I get the vegan thing and even the lacto/ovo diets, for that is what my daughter is. But what the heck is a flexiterian. I mean aren;t the average folks out there flexies. That; to me is like saying I am a part time alcoholic, or a part time drug addict. Granted, those are far fethced examples, but you get my meaning. And all this from a nutrition professor...what is this world coming to