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Among possible explanations for a protective effect of vegetarian diet are the Lower BMI of vegetarians and higher fiber intake, both of which improve insulin sensitivity." The relationship between vegetarian diet and bone health remains unclear.
According to some studies, a vegetarian lifestyle can be associated with vitamin B 12 deficiency and low bone mineral density.
Within the "ovo-" groups, there are many who refuse to consume fertilized eggs (with balut being an extreme example); however, such distinction is typically not specifically addressed.
Some vegetarians also avoid products that may use animal ingredients not included in their labels or which use animal products in their manufacturing.
Some vegans also avoid other animal products such as beeswax, leather or silk clothing, and goose-fat shoe polish.
For example, while some vegetarians may be unaware of animal-derived rennet's role in the production of cheese, and may therefore unknowingly consume the product, Semi-vegetarian diets consist largely of vegetarian foods but may include fish or poultry, or sometimes other meats, on an infrequent basis.
Those with diets containing fish or poultry may define meat only as mammalian flesh and may identify with vegetarianism.
For anatomically and physiologically plant-only diets in non-human animals, see herbivore. Other motivations for vegetarianism are health-related, political, environmental, cultural, aesthetic, economic, or personal preference.
There are variations of the diet as well: an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet includes both eggs and dairy products, an ovo-vegetarian diet includes eggs but not dairy products, and a lacto-vegetarian diet includes dairy products but not eggs.
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These characteristics and other lifestyle factors associated with a vegetarian diet may contribute to the positive health outcomes that have been identified among vegetarians.