Trending Dietary Preferences You Could Be Hosting At Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving season, and what better way to celebrate than to spend it with family and friends? Let's say you invite a few close buddies and their plus-ones over for a nice Friendsgiving. (It already makes you feel all warm and fuzzy to think about, right?) Everyone has been properly "hydrated" with mulled cider, wine, or La Croix, as they sit down at the dinner table for the main event, giddy with excitement about the tryptophan-rush they're about to experience. You present the table with your locally sourced, certified organic, free-range, 15-pound heritage turkey, complete with papers (à la Portlandia-style), proud of your epic foodie accomplishment. There are oohs and ahhs, and as you look around at the exuberant faces, you notice a plus-one sitting smack dab in front of the bird, arms folded across their chest with a particularly smug look spread on their face.

"I'm a seagan. I don't eat turkey." The table goes silent. A say what? Don't get put in this awkward position — though we're not quite sure who it's more awkward for: the pouter, the host, or the party-goers. Parade totes that there are at least 100 different trending diets you can follow for weight loss, but let's get real. It is 2022, after all, and not everyone starts a diet with weight loss as the objective. Just make sure that you're up on your dietary lingo, so if you encounter one of the following foodie fads, you'll be prepared. 


"I don't eat vegetables, I'm a meat eater." Okay, and chances are that if you're not eating any of the other foods groups, you're probably lacking in vitamins and minerals, have some serious cholesterol issues, and are also missing out on, ahem, fiber, as noted by Healthline. But hey! If it works for you, it works for you. Individuals who follow a 100% meat-based diet refrain from carbs of any kind and also refuse to eat anything that grew out of the earth. Followers of this diet consume zero carbs and prefer fattier cuts of animal protein: beef, lamb, fish, eggs, poultry, and offal. They're also good with lard, butter, bone marrow, salt and pepper, ghee, bone broth, and sauces or gravies that are, you guessed it, made with meat drippings. No binders, like flour, shall pass their lips.

Carnivores will probably poo-poo anything other than a meaty dish at your turkey day celebration, so if you don't have anything specially made for them, then they'll just eat turkey. But, if you want to be in their good graces, you can also offer another protein like balsamic pork loin or prime rib.


Flexitarians, notes U.S. News, are considered to be semi-vegetarians. The name is (obviously) a melding of the words "flexible" and "vegetarian." It's toted as the second-best diet overall by U.S. News because it leans more toward the vegetarian side of the world and is a pretty darn easy diet to follow. Individuals who observe a flexitarian meal plan mostly eat plant-based, but they don't shun the occasional burger or pastrami sandwich. So it's safe to say that they're not too picky, as long as there's a good assortment of veggies. Because flexitarians are relatively chill when it comes to nom-nom diversity, there's no reason to panic if one shows up at your holiday meal extravaganza.

Even though flexitarians don't fear the meats, it's a kind gesture to throw something vegetarian on the menu anyway. You know, to keep the peace. That's why making green bean casserole, also a staple Thanksgiving dish, would be in good taste. An autumnal pumpkin stuffed ravioli would also be a tasty and well-received option for everyone at your shindig. Because who doesn't love a good ravioli?


Here is where the dietary fun begins. Pescatarians aren't going to indulge in your turkey shenanigans, and you can expect that they'll most likely pass on the gravy (unless it's mushroom-based). That's because these peeps are pretty much plant-based, like vegetarians, but they're also okay with eating fish and ocean-dwelling critters, via Healthline. So your grandma's award-winning mashed potatoes with butter will be warmly received by these fishy folk. If you're serving up an old-school traditional Thanksgiving meal (as in the first Thanksgiving), then you're going to be safe with pescatarians. That's because seafood of all forms played a substantial role in the OG Turkey Day, writes History.

If you really want to impress your fish-eating vegetarian friends, you can always opt for the tasty, tomato-based seafood stew called cioppino. Make sure to serve it with some seriously crusty bread so that they can sop up that flavor. Not feeling the soup? Then break out the nostalgic childhood favorite mac and cheese, but with a twist. Make it lobster mac and cheese. Once everyone's tried this, they'll refuse to believe that seafood and cheese are not a cohesive foodie union.


Unfortunately, this is not a person whose diet consists of everything on the El Pollo Loco menu. If you haven't already guessed it, a pollotarian enjoys poultry. That's it. Similar to the carnivore diet, pollotarians only stick to one protein source, and that's all fowl all day, per Healthline. They refuse to eat red meat, fish, or any ocean dweller, but they'll eat everything else like vegetables and grains. So it's safe to say that you won't have an issue with them on Thanksgiving. In fact, they'll probably be the first to arrive.

Because a pollotarian is all beak, no bite, it's way too easy to offer them the pièce de résistance, but don't settle. Why not offer at least a different version of this festive bird? There wouldn't be any protests at the table if you also served an autumnal turkey breast rubbed with compound butter. Why not bake some breadcrumb-crusted lemon turkey cutlets too?


People who follow a lacto-vegetarian diet are a peculiar breed of plant-based individuals. They love cheese and dairy just as much as they love animals, so it goes without saying that no animal-based protein will ever cross their lips and land in their stomachs, per Healthline. While no meat, fowl, fish, sea bugs, mighty mollusks, or eggs will ever find their way onto a lacto-vegetarian's dinner plate, you can be sure that they won't be upset if you present them with a seriously monstrous cheese plate. However, as magical and delicious as queso is, handing a lacto-vegetarian a brick of Wisconsin's finest cheddar and hoping they'll be satisfied isn't really going to cut it. Cheese on its own isn't a meal. (Or is it?)

If you want to stick to a traditional Thanksgiving menu and make a hearty, homestyle dish that everyone at the table will enjoy (and that might make the lacto-vegetarian your new BFF), try baking up cheesy scalloped potatoes. It's a relatively easy dish to make from scratch, so don't head down to your local supermarket and pick it up in boxed form. If you don't feel like taters will do the trick, present your dinner guests with some butternut squash stuffed shells. It's like a reimagined version of macaroni and cheese, but for adults.


An ovo-vegetarian is all about the eggs and also animal wellness, so no hooved beasts, feathered friends, or water dwellers shall be harmed in the making of their meal, as noted by MedicineNet. The ovo-vegetarian doesn't do dairy, either, so if you're planning on making pasta or baking up a dish that might require milk or butter, then your ovo-vegetarian is going to go hungry. The picky ovo-vegetarian eater can be a bit difficult to cook for because, more often than not, there's some sort of dairy or animal additive in staple kitchen items, as noted by Treehugger. They don't even use non-dairy creamer because it usually has casein, which is a milk derivative. (Can you say false advertising?)

Try not to overthink your menu options when catering to your Thanksgiving crowd and your ovo-vegetarian visitor. No turkey-centric meal is complete without cranberry sauce, and it would be blasphemous if you didn't have at least one option on the table (in addition to the dubious yet delicious jellied, can-shaped cran sauce). A harvest fall salad filled with butternut squash, apples, kale, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, and farro is also a suitable side that will make all of your guests happy and keep your ovo-vegetarian from getting hangry.


Should a lacto-ovo-vegetarian cruise into your dining room on Thanksgiving, there's no reason to fear. As their dietary title suggests, these vegetarians will pretty much eat anything as long as it didn't have a face, per Medical News Today. A lacto-ovo-vegetarian is the most common type of plant-based food follower, indulges in dairy, and isn't afraid of anything with eggs. In terms of food offerings, they're probably just as easy to cook for as flexitarians. They shouldn't fuss about the fowl front and center, and are just happy to be there.

Lacto-ovo veggie-vibing peeps love variety, so don't just make something boring and basic. These individuals would be thoroughly impressed if you showed them your thoughtful and creative side by building little sparkling cranberry brie bites as a pre-dinner snack. If you really want to leave a lasting impression (and show off your mad crafting skills), then perhaps it's time to bring forth a three-cheese pumpkin cheese ball. It might take some time to make (the magical cheese gourd needs to live in the fridge for a minimum of four hours, so it can keep its shape), but the payoff is well worth the wait. Because who can say no to an edible art piece that looks like a baby pumpkin?


Most of us are familiar with vegans, but did you know there are actually five levels of veganism? The Goodness Project explains that Level 1 vegans adopt this diet for health reasons, while Level 2 vegans do it for health and also because they're not too enthusiastic about animal cruelty. Level 3 vegans are basically more passionate versions of Level 2 vegans and are frequently the ones who try to convert non-plant-based folk to make the dietary switch. Level 4 vegans only eat at vegan restaurants and are pretty entrenched in the vegan lifestyle. They're passionate about animal rights and are often found at animal rights protests. Level 5 vegans are just hardcore. They don't eat anything that might even remotely have any animal ties and refuse to wear or use anything that might even be rumored to having animal ties. Since you probably won't know what level vegan will show up at your dinner, you won't know what kind of experience you'll have. Will they be someone who tolerates the turkey being carved up or the individual who takes the soapbox as soon as everyone sits down?

To help assuage a vegan of any level, you might want to make a nice vegan apple cobbler. If you don't want to give them a sugar spike, maybe opt for green beans amandine (or green beans almondine, depending on who you're talking to).

Raw foodist

Don't be afraid of a raw foodist. They shouldn't give you too much grief about the fact that they won't touch anything that's reached a temperature of 118 degrees Fahrenheit or more, notes Medical News Today. These particular individuals live off of raw, unprocessed foods and utilize different methods of food preparation, like juicing, dehydrating (as long as it hasn't exceeded that 118-degree "cooking" temperature), blending, soaking, and germinating. Raw foodists are also down for eating raw seeds and nuts. So contrary to popular belief, raw foodists don't just live off of ethically sourced salads, and they might feel let down if you present them with a simple crudités platter or a basic green salad as an option.

Instead, to make friends with your new raw foodist friend (or friends), try to elevate the basic boring green salad into something more decadent and filling — something that everyone would want to eat. A shaved brussels sprouts salad made with dates and a simple vinaigrette is a nice and healthy dinner addition. Cheese can be omitted for the raw foodist. Don't want to be like every other person who's met a raw foodist and makes a salad? More power to you. Try this marinated zoodle dish. No mouth will be unhappy.


Nope, we haven't accidentally misspelled the word vegan. A veggan is just your typical, average vegan, but they think that eggs are totally a legit source of protein. Individuals who follow this particular diet do so mainly because they're lacking nutrients or have some other health concerns, writes The Veggan. That being said, although they eat eggs, they make sure to only consume huevos that are from hens that have been pasture-raised and treated humanely, and the farms have to be certified as such. It's all about respect, you know?

That's why making deviled eggs would be a nice nod of acknowledgment in their veggan direction. If you want to branch out a bit, or if you don't want to make it too obvious that you were hurting for meal plan inspiration, it's never a bad idea to whip up some velvety homestyle mashed potatoes. Just remember to sub in dairy alternatives as needed.


This is not a vegan that enjoys ostrich, though the name would seem to suggest it. On the contrary, feathered food of any kind is off limits to these individuals. An ostrovegan, also known as a bivalvegan (which sounds more like a plant-based butter substitute than a food trend), is a vegan, so they abstain from any animal-based foods. That means no dairy, eggs, meat, poultry, pork, or seafood. Kind of. Ostrovegans follow a 100% vegan diet, but think that shellfish are completely okay to eat. This is because bivalves like mussels, clams, oysters, and scallops lack the central nervous system that most every living animal on the planet has, notes I Am Going Vegan. No central nervous system means no pain receptors. Allegedly. If you're wondering where the name "ostrovegan" comes from, "ostro" is latin for "oyster." The more you know.

Because this diet isn't always so great for people with food allergies (according to FARE, 2% of the U.S. population is allergic to shellfish), you might run into a few hiccups in terms of finding a bivalvegan-friendly dish that everyone at the table will enjoy. However, assuming any people with shellfish allergies know to stay away from certain dishes, deep-fried clam strips should be a winner. If you want something that looks a bit more dazzling on the plate and adds a bit of pow to your palate, this Cajun scallop pasta recipe is sure to do just that.


If you haven't guessed it already, a seagan falls under the vegan umbrella. Seagan people are 100% vegan, but they eat seafood, writes Good To. That being said, they're not to be confused with pescatarians, who also indulge in dairy and eggs. Seagans are pretty specific in their oceanic critter consumption, though. The seafood these individuals eat has to be sustainably and ethically sourced. (But then again, shouldn't all seafood be sustainably and ethically sourced?) When it comes to followers of the seagan diet, it might seem pretty easy to pick out a protein for them, but finding seafood that's caught using ethical and sustainable fishing practices isn't as easy as you'd think. That's why the Monterey Bay Aquarium has an online tool for just this purpose.

So what can you feed a seagan without accidentally upsetting them (and the balance of nature)? A nice, low-maintenance side dish of sweet and earthy roasted beets is always a nice choice. If you want to just dive in and offer something more in line with their oceanic preferences, you can also opt for a beautifully presented herbed salmon en papillote with grape tomatoes. If anyone complains about it, you can be grateful that they unintentionally uninvited themselves to next year's Thanksgiving festivities. You don't need that negativity in your life.


This is the newest class of vegan to break onto the scene, and wow. As the name suggests, these are just your normal, everyday plant-based foodies — but their main protein source might shock you a wee bit. Out of most of the "vegan" diets, the entovegan is probably the most sustainable in terms of protein consumption. That's because they eat insects. Lucky for them, there's no shortage of their chosen protein source. That's because for every human, there's estimated to be 200 million creepy crawlers, notes the Smithsonian. That equates to roughly 300 pounds of bug-based protein per person. Mmm. Because nothing says "yum" like a fried-up cricket cake.

Thanksgiving wouldn't go over too well if you placed a bug-based dish out next to your cousin's family-favorite ambrosia salad, which is why an entovegan would appreciate a nice, sweet baked apple dessert. After all, insects and produce kind of go hand in hand. If your savory dishes are almost outnumbered by a countless number of pies, perhaps a rich, comforting butternut squash soup is the way to go. And if there's a pesky fly hanging around and it happens to somehow land in your entovegan guest's bowl of soup, you know they won't be too bothered by it.


Keto followers are all about high-fat and low-carb foods, notes Healthline. Red meats, water dwellers, and feathered fare are all considered to be suitable protein choices. So you're pretty safe if one of these individuals plops down at your Thanksgiving table. That being said, they're still a smidgen limited in their food choices. Those who are a part of the keto community eat eggs, low-carb dairy (like cottage cheese, non-fat Greek yogurt, and cheese in general), nuts and seeds, berries, and dark chocolate. They're also big on low-carbohydrate, high-fat vegetables like avocados. But don't be tempted with making guacamole and calling it a day!

While it might be tempting to whip up an avocado smoothie or make an autumn-inspired chip dip (no processed chips for keto compadres, though!), you might want to move towards a more ingredient-rich dish like stuffed mushrooms, but don't forget to omit the breadcrumbs. Because not everyone is big on the earthy, umami-esque taste that most mushrooms have, you can also try your hand at a lobster cobb salad. Because who doesn't like a cobb salad?


Also known as the hunter-gatherer diet, those who follow a paleo lifestyle base their food choices off of what our great, great, great, great, great, great, great etc. ancestors ate (after they discovered fire). That means organic, grass-fed meats, wild-caught seafood and fowl, eggs, nuts and seeds, fresh fruits and veggies, and healthy oils like avocado oil, flaxseed oil, walnut oil, extra virgin olive oil, macadamia nut oil, and coconut oil, as well as lard, per Paleo Comfort Foods. What they're not okay with is grains, legumes, and dairy, as noted by Cleveland Clinic. So that means they'll unfortunately have to miss out on that decadent peanut butter pie you made.

Since they have a pretty varied diet, it shouldn't be too difficult to find a dish that's suitable for everyone at the table. People may have a chip on their shoulder when it comes to kale salads, but if you present this hearty kale salad with roasted parsnips and cauliflower, your guests might become kale believers. Not into the kale? Since bacon makes everything better, offer some bacon-roasted root vegetables and watch them magically vanish before your eyes. Bacon equals happiness. (Or just add bacon to that kale salad and see how it goes.)


Yes, this is actually a thing. Per Forbes, a pegan is a conglomeration of two diets: paleo and vegan. (Hence the name, pegan.) You might be wondering how this works, since vegans don't eat anything that might have remotely been involved with animals. Pegan peeps do adhere mainly to a 100% vegan diet, but they consume ethically sourced meats in small amounts. Food Insight notes that pegans nosh down on a 75% (minimum) plant-based diet, where meat is kind of used like a condiment. Gluten is also a no-no, as are beans, which is a bummer because beans are pretty excellent sources of protein and fiber, per Healthline. Legumes aren't fully off limits, however, as Healthline notes, as some pegans are okay with indulging in a small amount every so often. It is a holiday, after all. You're allowed to treat yourself.

So what can you feed an individual who follows a strict, plant-based meal plan but is okay with the occasional sprinkling of bacon bits? We're going to assume that mashed potatoes will make an appearance in some way, shape, or form for your Thanksgiving feast. If that's the case, throw a pegan a bone and make some chestnut and mushroom gravy. While the recipes calls for heavy cream (which is a pegan no-no), there are more than a handful of vegan-paleo options to choose from, so that shouldn't be an issue. If you really want to impress your pegan guest — and the rest of the table — making a vegan lentil shepherd's pie will leave an everlasting mark and have your guests leaving with a very happy belly.


If you find yourself sharing space with a follower of the fruitarian way, good luck. This is a highly restrictive diet, notes Healthline. While some fruit-loving individuals will eat vegetables, nuts, and seeds in moderation, their main source of nutrition comes from fruit. Fruitarians are pretty much all fruit, all day, every day. Some of these persons actually refuse to eat foods that have to be picked, and will only nosh down on produce that's naturally fallen from trees. Others won't even consider eating seeds because they have the potential to grow into a living organism. In a nutshell, fruitarians are hardcore. 

Unfortunately, there's not too much you can do with a diet consisting of just fruit (besides a fruit salad). So should a fruitarian take a place at your table, your creative chops are going to be put to the test. Lucky for you, a lot of what most people consider to be vegetables are actually fruits from a botanical standpoint, per Business Insider. And as luck would have it, avocados, cucumbers, and tomatoes are all actually fruits, so making a nutrient-rich avocado salad with the three is a perfect option. Another tasty side to consider would be a tomato and corn salad, but hold the shallots and feta for the fruitarian. If you really want to impress your fruit-loving friend, offer up a refreshing aguas frescas along with your food item. They'll feel the love, and that in itself is something to be grateful for.