Vegetarianism is not a new topic in the world. Vegetarianism has been around the world since about 700 BC and comes in many forms. People turn to this lifestyle for a variety of reasons. Some seek health, some pursue it for moral and even religious reasons. Animal and environmental lovers are also major fans of vegetarianism. Although vegetarianism is a familiar subject, its derivatives, such as veganism, are still obscure to the general public. To clarify the matter, in this article you will read about the difference between a vegetarian diet and a vegan diet.
What is a vegetarian diet?
According to the vegetarian community, a vegetarian is someone who refuses to eat these substances: red meat, poultry, fish, oysters, and any other animal-derived product. Vegetarian diets include fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds, and nuts. Vegetarianism is divided into different categories, for example:
- Lacto-Ovo vegetarians: In this type of vegetarian diet, no meat is consumed, but eating eggs and dairy products is not an obstacle;
- Lacto vegetarians: These vegetarians do not eat meat and eggs, but willingly include milk and other dairy products in their diet;
- Ovo vegetarians: In this method, vegetarianism does not consume meat and any animal products except eggs;
- Veganism: In this method of vegetarianism, no animal products are consumed: no products.
Those who are not permanently vegetarians are also called semi-vegetarians.
Some vegetarians also do not eat poultry and red meat, But they include fish in their diet. These people are also called pescatarians or fish eaters. These two groups of people are practically not considered vegetarians.
What is a vegan diet?
To examine the difference between a vegetarian diet and a vegan diet, we must first say that veganism is the strictest form of vegetarianism. The vegetarian community sees this diet as a way to condemn any cruel exploitation of animals; So vegans are not just opposed to the animal use of food; They do not consider any other use of them to be correct.
ٰVegans do not eat meat or dairy products, eggs, or other animal products; For example, they also avoid eating honey, gluten, carmine, pepsin, a variety of vitamin D3, shellac, albumin, and casein. Vegetarians and vegans often avoid eating animal products for similar reasons. The largest difference is the degree to which they consider animal products acceptable.
For example, both groups refrain from eating meat and animal products because of the environment and the health of their bodies; But vegans are more strict in their choice of foods and believe that a variety of animal products can endanger their health and have irreparable consequences for the environment.
Vegetarians believe that it is not morally right to kill animals; But allow the consumption of animal products such as milk and eggs; Of course, as long as their production is not associated with harm to animals. On the other hand, vegans believe that animals have a right to be free from human use, be it for food, clothing, science, or entertainment.
Nutrition Considerations for Vegetarian and Vegan Diets
Research shows that vegetarian and vegan diets are low in saturated fat and cholesterol. In contrast, these diets are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy herbs.
Both vegetarian and vegan diets are high in nutrients; For example, fruits, vegetables, grains, whole grains, nuts, and soy products. But if one goes to these diets without having the right plan, one will face serious shortcomings; For example, his body may be deficient in zinc, iron, calcium, and vitamin D.
Followers of both vegetarian and vegan diets are deficient in vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. Also, know that the deficiency of these substances in the vegan diet is more than the vegetarian diet.
Which Is Healthier?
According to various studies and research reports, if any of these diets are properly regulated, their use is allowed in all stages of life; But if you do not plan your meals properly, you will be deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and vitamins D and B12. These deficiencies interfere with your physical and mental health. Both feeding methods must proceed with careful planning. Careful diet plans can help you absorb more and more nutrients. Vegetarians and vegans may need to eat fortified foods and supplements, especially iron, calcium, omega-3s, and vitamins D and B12.
These people need to carefully control the number of nutrients they consume during the day. To do this, you must first check the number of nutrients in the blood; Then, if the body needs it, take complementary medicines.
The few studies directly comparing vegetarian to vegan diets report that vegans may have a somewhat lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and various types of cancer than vegetarians. Besides, vegans have a lower body mass index (BMI) than vegetarians; Therefore, it seems that with age, they gain less weight.
Of course, vegetarian and vegan diets still need further study, and we can not speak with certainty about their advantages and disadvantages. To begin with, you should consider the harms of eating vegetarianism or veganism.
A vegan diet may be better than a vegetarian diet for controlling weight and reducing the risk of certain diseases. However, if not well planned, a vegan diet is also more likely to cause nutrient deficiencies.
Veganism Is About More Than What You Eat
The difference between a vegetarian diet and a vegan diet can be seen in the principles and ideology of the supporters of both diets. In fact, veganism is often considered a lifestyle strongly anchored in animal rights. Vegans are strongly opposed to harming animals and disregarding their rights; That is why most of them do not even use clothes made of wool, silk, fur, leather, suede, and so on. What’s more, many vegans boycott companies that test on animals and only purchase cosmetics that are free of animal by-products. These people are completely opposed to horse races, circuses, bullfighting, and any other activity in which animals are abused.
Finally, many environmentalists adopt a vegan diet for its reduced impact on the earth’s resources and the benefits it has against climate change.
At the end
So we found that the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan diet is in the intensity of adherence to the rules that prohibit the consumption of animal products. Veganism is the most severe of the various vegetarian methods. Limited studies show that veganism may have more benefits than vegetarianism.