With the advancements and increased awareness about animal safety and keeping in mind the environmental balance. A lot of people worldwide have decided to switch over to the Vegetarian diet. Many have started a lot of campaigns for this. Lots of celebrities also are coming forward to support this cause. Now, If you are also someone who doesn’t consume meat and other non-vegetarian stuff. But, are curious to know about and start being a vegan or vegetarian. Then, this article is for you.

What is A ‘Vegan’ or A ‘Vegetarian’ diet?

The sole difference between vegans and vegetarians is simple. It is that vegetarians only avoid meat stuff while vegans avoid all animal-sourced products. Including eggs, honey, and dairy.

A vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat or consume any kind of animal products, they, therefore, exclude meat, poultry, and even seafood from their diets, but they may consume dairy products(supplied by animals) such as milk and eggs.  

Types of Vegetarians are-

  • Lacto-Ovo vegetarians:

They avoid all animal flesh but do consume dairy and egg products.

  • Lacto vegetarians:

 They avoid animal flesh and eggs but consume dairy products.

  • Ovo vegetarians:

 They avoid all animal products except eggs.

Vegan avoids meat, poultry, and seafood, as well. But they take it a step further. By not consuming products such as milk, eggs, honey, or any product made from animals.

Types of Vegans are-

  • Ethical Vegans:

They put their ethics before anything and inherit their love and care for animals and the environment. Their choice – no consumption of any dairy product be it milk, eggs, cheese, honey. They avoid the usage of any product made by animal skin or their parts.

  • Plant-Based Vegans:

They go on to survive on plant-based foods which tend to grow from the ground only.

  • Raw Vegan:

They do not eat any animal by-products and anything that is cooked above the temperature of about 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

Vegan or Vegetarian – Which is more beneficial for health?

All kinds of nutritional habits have their own pros and cons. Now as we know about both of these types. Let us know about switching over to which type is actually more beneficial.

Both these diets offer similar health benefits and, generally, encourage people to eat more nutrient-dense whole foods. It is difficult to say which diet is more healthy as both diets have advantages and disadvantages.

  • Unlike vegans, Lacto-vegetarians get nutrition in the form of calcium, phosphorus, and Vitamin D from dairy products. However, avoiding the dairy and eggs help vegans keep their cholesterol levels down and in control.
  • Vegans can be at risk for an omega-3 fatty acid deficiency. Especially in DHA and EPA even if they consume plant sources. DHA is important for brain function. On the other hand, vegetarians can obtain EPA and DHA more easily from eggs.

According to a 2019 study, adults from Argentina, who were identified as vegan adhered more closely to a healthy vegan lifestyle. Than vegetarians and non-vegetarians. However, following a plant-based diet like vegans does not guarantee good health.

What are the likely dangers of consuming various kinds of vegetarian and vegan diets?

Avoiding meat completely is not all that it takes to follow a vegetarian diet. You need to note something important. Whenever you cut out a food group, you could potentially be missing some essential nutrients. All kinds of vegetarian diets can be nutritionally balanced. But it will take some planning to do this and your food choices should be clever and healthy. Well-balanced vegetarian diets have been approved for all stages of life, including pregnant women, children, adults, and the elderly population.

But if a careful diet is not taken, then there might be a nutritional deficiency if certain components. Like- Vitamin B12, riboflavin, some minerals like Calcium, Zinc, Iron, etc.

Watch your nutrition if you are a vegan or a vegetarian

Vegetarian and vegan diets can be healthy but there are chances that they might lack certain nutrients. You may have to use a little planning and creativity in your diet to ensure you get enough nutrients. Like protein, calcium, iron, and vitamin B12.

  • You can find many of these nutrients in eggs and dairy if you are a  vegetarian. But when you are a vegan, you may need an additional boost because-
  • Vitamin B12 is only in animal sources. If you’re a vegan you might consider taking some supplements.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids cannot be intaken from the plant-based form. Not as readily as they can be from seafood. Therefore, their supplements should be taken.

Keep in mind that going vegetarian doesn’t give you full freedom to eat whatever you want. Especially, if you’re trying to control your weight and are obese. You need to go heavy on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. But should limit foods high in saturated fat, such as whole milk, and cheese. You can easily lose weight on a vegetarian diet but with proper proportions. 

So now, you know everything about being a Vegan or a Vegetarian, and any lifestyle can be taken. But you have to see you don’t feel short on nutrients. Well, whatever diet you take, you should keep one thing in mind. The particular diet you take should fulfil your nutritional needs for the proper functioning of your body. So, plan wisely and stay fit.