Engaging in meals that do not involve eating meat all revolves around consuming foods like beans, lentils, vegetable, and whole grains. Having these plant-based protein foods are less expensive, and also confer better health benefits than consuming meat. Plant-based diet comprises of fruits, grains, vegetables, beans, nuts, and legumes, all these are rich in fiber, vitamins and other essential nutrients needed for healthy living. It is said that people that do not consume meat eat lesser calories and fat, and they also weigh less with a lower risk of having heart diseases, unlike people that consume meat.
VEGAN & VEGETARIANS – DIFFERENCE
Vegans and vegetarians do not consume meat. But while vegetarians do consume other dairy products like milk and also egg from the chicken, a vegan makes sure to avoid all forms of animal products, including both eggs and dairy (milk), and likewise, inedible products from animals like leather, wool, and silk are avoided. Most vegetarians do choose their diet based on attached health benefits or religious reason, while vegans have a stronger belief that animals should be protected like we humans are. Being a vegetarian is seen as being on a diet while being a vegan is seen as a lifestyle.
In summary, a vegetarian diet consists of different levels of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and nuts. Including dairy (milk) products and egg depends on whichever diet one chooses to follow. Diets under vegetarianism include:
1. Lacto-ovo vegetarians: Vegetarians that avoid all type of animal flesh, but do consume dairy (milk) and egg products.
2. Lacto vegetarians: Vegetarians that avoids all types of animal flesh and eggs, but do consume dairy (milk) products.
3. Ovo vegetarians: Vegetarians that avoids all types of animal products except eggs.
A vegan diet can be seen as a strict form of vegetarianism. Their diet excludes all forms of animal flesh, not only that, but it also excludes dairy (milk), eggs and other forms of animal-derived ingredients. They include honey, whey, casein and so many more. These two often exclude animal products from their diet for the same reason, but the major difference in them is the level at which they consider animal products acceptable.
In the aspect of ethics, vegetarians oppose the killing of animals especially for food, but they accept and consume other animal products like milk and egg, so far, the animals are kept in good conditions. On the contrary, vegans have this believe that animals have the right to their freedom and not be used by human in any form, be it for food, shows, textile and experiment by science.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF VEGETARIAN AND VEGAN DIETS
Majority of the studies has shown that vegans and vegetarians are as healthy, if not even more than those that consume meat. Based on the fact that vegans do not consume any form of animal products, veganism is beneficial when it comes to eliminating common food allergens from the likes of dairy and animal related products. Also, many studies have found that both diets confer cardiovascular benefits, and there is a lower risk of cancer among vegans and vegetarians. Including a plant-based diet is high in complex carbohydrates from whole grains, and also including high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Vegan diets are more suitable for controlling weight and reducing the risk of some diseases than vegetarian diets. But if not properly planned, the vegan diet will more likely be lacking in needed nutrients leading to nutrient deficiencies.
Engaging in either of the two diets does not really matter so much since they are related in many ways, but it depends solely on the reason why one wants to engage in either of the two. One can decide to be a vegan, advocating for animal welfare, or become a vegetarian because of the attached health benefits. But the question that lies there is, why do you want it?