Vegetarian vs. Vegan – What’s the Difference
Vegetarianism and veganism lifestyles are ancient concepts but have gained popularity again in the last century or so. Science backs their effectiveness in fighting the global obesity pandemic. Moreover, they have been proven to provide a cushion against heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer.
Both of them essentially refer to a plant-based diet and both of these terms are often used interchangeably. However, technically, they differ from each other in what they mean.
Let’s find out what it means to be a vegetarian and a vegan and what you should expect when somebody refers to them.
As far as basic definition goes, a vegetarian is someone who lives on a plant-based diet and does not consume meat, poultry, and seafood, but may or may not consume animal by-products such as eggs, dairy, and honey.
Types of Vegetarians
Based on what type of animal by-products vegetarians consume or not consume, they can be divided into different types. Common variations of vegetarians include:
1. Lacto-Vegetarian – A Lacto-vegetarian avoids the consumption of different meats as well as eggs but can take dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cream, ghee, butter, cheese, etc.
2. Ovo-Vegetarians – These vegetarians avoid meats including poultry and seafood and dairy products, but consume eggs.
3. Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian – These people exclude meat, seafood, and poultry, but consume both eggs and dairy products. This is the most popular form of vegetarianism.
4. Pescatarian – Pescatarians allow consumption of seafood but exclude meats, poultry, egg, and dairy products.
In its basic definition, a vegan is someone who avoids all kinds of animal flesh as well as all meat by-products and all animal-derived products. These include all kinds of animal products whether they come from animal slaughter or not such as dairy or eggs. They also don’t consume honey.
Thus, it can be said that vegans avoid everything or anything that connects to animals. Their diet consists
wholly of vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds, and nuts.
Can you detect the pattern?
Going by definitions, it can be said that every vegan is a vegetarian but not every vegetarian is a vegan.
We can further say that veganism is the most restrictive and strictest form of vegetarianism. Vegans take a step further from just dietary choices and take an ethical stance for animal rights. They recognize animal rights and exclude practices that constitute exploitation and cruelty to animals. They also tend to abstain from animal products such as leather goods, wool, silk, and any cosmetic products that involve testing.
Benefits of Plant-Based Diets
Plant-based diets probably have an endless list of benefits, but some of the worthy advantages of these diets include:
1. Because they are rich in essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals, plant-based diets are great for your immune system. This is what makes them great at fighting intruders and traitors including germs and cancers.
2. Help maintain a healthy weight – plant-based diets are often low in calories and this helps in weight loss. The reduced weight, in turn, leads to a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart diseases.
3. Because they are rich in fibers, plant-based diets are great for your gut. Fiber has also been shown to be great for lowering blood cholesterol and stabilizing blood sugar.
4. How many plant-based consumables can you count? Probably too many, this is what you get with these diets – a wide variety of compliant foods.
If you are thinking about moving to a healthier lifestyle, shifting to more plant-based diets can be your first right step. They have proven health benefits, are light on pocket and are easy to follow. Looking for a ? Lean & Tasty is the name to go with a variety of choices and guaranteed healthy ingredients.