Some people mistakenly interchange the terms “plant-based diet” and “vegetarian diet” out of the false belief that they are the same. However, the diets aren’t of the same kind and are not to be treated as synonymous terms.
In this article, we are making a comparison between a plant-based diet and a vegetarian diet.
What Is A Plant-Based Diet?
The major part of a plant-based diet is plant foods like vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds and healthy oils. The diet allows you to eat meat, fish and similar animal products but you have to take them less frequently and in smaller amounts. Organic and non-GMO foods are preferred more in the plant-based diet.
People adopt a plant-based diet primarily out of health concerns. Whole grains that are recommended additions to a plant-based diet are rich sources of fiber. They have lesser calorie density than that of refined grains, thereby alleviate the worries of weight gain. To make up for the proteins that they will miss on avoiding cutting down on meat in their diet, people on plant-based diets eat more legumes that are rich sources of protein.
What Is Vegetarianism?
Vegetarianism does not allow one to eat any animal products. Meat and fish are not allowed in a vegetarian diet. There are different types of vegetarianism including:
- Lacto-ovo vegetarianism: Lacto-ovo vegetarians avoid meat, fish and poultry but do not avoid eggs and milk from their diet. This is the most common type of vegetarianism.
- Lacto-vegetarianism: People who follow lacto-vegetarian diet do not avoid milk but avoid eating meat, fish, poultry and eggs.
- Ovo-vegetarianism: Ovo-vegetarians eat eggs but avoid dairy products along with other animal foods.
What a vegetarian eats and does not eat depends on the type of vegetarianism they follow.
What Are The Advantages Of Plant-Based And Vegetarian Diets?
Both plant-based and vegetarian diets are about including more plant foods in the diet. Here are some of the benefits of the diets.
Lower Risk Of Heart Disease
Plant-based diets that contain legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables lower the risk of developing heart disease, as these foods have lower levels of cholesterol. However, the diet is not devoid of unhealthy choices. Refined grains and sugary drinks are lightly linked to the risk of heart disease.
Helps In Weight Loss
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate less animal protein gained lesser weight than people who ate meat frequently.
However, vegetarians could put on weight if they eat a lot of processed foods that are high in calories.
By switching to a diet that is primarily based on plants, you are in fact contributing your share towards animal welfare.