Vegan Diet vs. Vegetarian Diet

vegan diet vs. vegetarian diet

People are gradually opting for diets that abstain from consuming meat. Some people prefer not to eat meat on specific days or avoid it entirely. This is mostly done for animal ethics, the environment, and/or health purposes. 

That is why Vegan diets and Vegetarian diets are both increasing in popularity when it comes to healthy lifestyles. However, some people may be perplexed by the differences between these two diets, particularly because vegetarian diets come in many forms.

We’ll look at the similarities and differences between a vegan and a vegetarian diet on this topic. We will also go into the advantages of each diet, which one is safe, and which is better for weight loss, as well as the risks and considerations.

vegan diet

So what is a Vegetarian Diet, exactly?

Vegetarian diets can take many types, but the most common is one that excludes the consumption of animal flesh or meat.

Lacto-vegetarian – A vegetarian that consumes dairy, but not eggs.

Ovo-vegetarian – A vegetarian that consumes eggs, but not dairy

Lacto-ovo-vegetarian – A vegetarian that consumes dairy and eggs

Vegan – A form of vegetarianism that consumes no animal products at all

Plant-based – A diet based primarily around plants, but may have very small amounts of animal products.
Some people consider a pescatarian diet (one that consists solely of fish, eggs, and dairy) to be a form of vegetarianism, but this is still widely disputed since fish are still animals.

Most vegetarians eat eggs and/or dairy in some way, making it much easier to become and remain vegetarian. Cheese, for example, is a common vegetarian food, but it should also be eaten in moderation.

What are the benefits?

Vegetarian diets, including vegan diets, can include a wide range of foods, both safe and unhealthy.

Chocolate bars, sugary cereal, and potato chips are all suitable vegetarian foods, as are legumes, broccoli, and rice. So, in terms of health, the diet can be either healthy or barely better than the standard American diet.

However, empirical studies have shown that diets rich in vegetables and fruit yield much better overall results. Cardiovascular health, a lower risk of obesity, stroke, and some forms of cancer are only a few of the advantages. So a vegetarian diet rich in whole foods such as legumes, vegetables, nuts, beans, and other plant-based foods is much healthier for your health than a diet high in animal products.

This diet is not a hard one to follow, and depending on how strict of a vegetarian you are, it can be very easy to adhere to while not dramatically altering your overall diet. So, why not give it a shot and see what you think? 30-day challenges are popular, and many people who complete them go on to become vegetarians, so give it a shot!

So how is this different from a vegan diet?

A vegan diet eliminates all animal products and byproducts, whereas a vegetarian diet does not. In addition, vegans prefer to avoid animal products such as gelatin, honey, whey, and casein in their diets. Most vegans often live a vegan lifestyle, which includes not wearing leather or fur and not purchasing anything made of wool or cashmere.

Veganism is a form of vegetarianism, although only a small percentage of vegetarians are vegan.

vegetarian diet

Now, what is a Vegan diet, you ask?

Veganism has grown in popularity over the years, and many people are aware of it. However, few people are knowledgeable about it. So, what exactly is it, and will I have to live off of grass and cardboard for the rest of my days?

In its simplest term, veganism is essentially the refusal to consume animal products. Meat, fish, dairy, eggs, honey, and all animal byproducts such as whey, casein, gelatin, and animal stock are all banned.

Vegans refuse to ingest animal products for a number of reasons, the most common of which are animal ethics, environmental issues, and/or health concerns. However, it’s important to note that a vegan diet isn’t really safe unless you make it so. Yes, a vegan diet can provide you with all of the vitamins and nutrients you need, but it can also leave you wanting.

This is because a vegan diet can include everything from junk food veganism to whole food diets and even fruitarians. Eating a diet rich in vegan pizza, potato chips, and soda, is still a valid vegan diet, so you need to make sure that you are consuming enough whole plant foods to get a lot of nutrients, fats, and protein.

Is it hard to follow?

A vegan diet is not difficult to practice on its own, but since it includes a wide range of eating habits, it can be as liberating or restrictive as you want it to be. You can eat a wide variety of whole foods as well as more vegan cakes and fries, or you can eat only fruit; the degree to which this diet is restrictive is up to you.

Now, this does not mean you have to consume beans and rice for the rest of your life, but find the veggies, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, and the like that work for you, and enjoy yourself. A good vegan whole wheat or lentil pasta with a creamy cashew tomato sauce and broccoli mixed in, for example, is a healthy and satisfying vegan meal that can rock your socks off.

Are there benefits to eating a vegan diet?

A vegan diet, or at least a plant-based diet with a lot of whole grains and limited meat, has been shown to have a number of health benefits in studies. For example, it decreases the risk of various cancers, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes, as well as helping to relieve some medical conditions.

Veganism is not a panacea, and you should still consult a doctor before determining whether or not you want to avoid taking those drugs. However, if done correctly, it has the potential to do a lot of good. Besides, we humans eat way too much meat and can ultimately benefit from reducing our consumption. So, why not try a balanced vegan diet and see how it goes? You might be shocked!

References:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41398-019-0552-0
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662288/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26853923/
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