When Being A Vegetarian Is Just Too Extreme: Food Tribes You May Not Have Known About

Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

The days of just trying to have a well-balanced diet are long gone. Nowadays, people are introducing and removing certain things from their diet for health as well as environmental, religious and cultural reasons. And while many of us would like to eat healthier, the idea of going vegan is often a little too much for people. No meat? Like, none? Not even lamb, though? But to be clear, there is a difference between being vegetarian and being vegan (the latter messes with no animal-derived foods whatsoever, vegetarians often just stay away from meat).

But there are so many subsets of vegetarianism, as well as other entirely different so-called “diet tribes” that have been created for people who only eat certain things or eat just about anything (for the omnivores out there). I was intrigued by the ones I came across and thought I’d share a few, including some popular ones. n case you were looking to change up your diet or just wanted to know your options.


A pescetarian diet is what keeps Misty Copeland looking fantastic, and it’s a diet many health-conscious folks embrace. According to Today’s Dietician, a pescetarian diet consists of fish, including freshwater, saltwater, and shellfish. Sometimes called pescovegetarians, those who follow it also enjoy a bevy of veggies, grains, legumes, eggs and dairy components that vegetarians also eat.  But they consider it important to have fish, in their diet, which is rich in omega-3, for the health benefits of still having an animal protein–and probably because it tastes good too.


Out of principle, pollotarians won’t mess with red meat or any meat from land mammals for a variety of reasons that can include environmental, food justice and health. But as you could probably guess from the name, they do have an affinity for foods from our feathered friends. That includes chicken and turkey, dairy products and eggs. They also eat fish.


Pssssh, and you thought vegetarianism was restrictive. Dieticians do not often recommend the fruitarian diet because of the risk of malnourishment, and you could probably understand why. Those who follow it focus mostly on fruits, nuts and sometimes seeds. But it depends on the fruitarian. Some consume beans, oil, and honey as well. Some avoid seeds. Others will only eat “what falls” naturally from a plant. So no foods that you would have to harm or kill a plant to obtain.

The reasons people try it include ethical, environmental, cultural, religious and more.

Raw Foodist

A raw foodist only eats uncooked, unprocessed foods in the hopes of obtaining the full nutritional value of them. According to CNN, the foods could include meat (like carpaccio and sashimi), but whatever folks eat are not cooked above a temperature of 104F-115F, are often soaked and dehydrated to be eaten, and regarding dairy, are raw and non-pasteurized.

Paleo Diet

Often called the “caveman” diet, the paleo diet is, according to WebMD, “a high-protein, high-fiber eating plan that promises you can lose weight without cutting calories.” How? By forgoing processed foods like sugar, salt, potatoes, refined oils and dairy. Instead, you opt for lean meat, fresh fish, fruits, veggies, healthy fats, and oils, as well as eggs, nuts and seeds. The point is to eat whole, natural foods. Doesn’t sound too bad, right?


Some gluten-free folks pass on it because they’ve been diagnosed as having an auto-immune disorder or because they have gluten sensitivity. Others do it because it’s trendy. Hey, it’s a free country. Do your thing. But in case you were wondering what this diet was about, it’s focused on excluding a protein composite found in wheat, barley, rye and more. Meats, fish, eggs, veggies, fruits, potatoes, rice, and legumes are usually okay, as are “pseudocereals,” alternatives (like quinoa and buckwheat) for gluten-heavy products.


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