The past few years have seen a significant rise in the number of vegans and vegetarians around the world and also in the United States. The majority of people choose a plant-based diet because of the various health benefits offered by plant-based food. Both vegans and vegetarians do not eat any meat products. They eat a lot of plant-based foods. In this article, we will discuss the major differences between the vegan diet and vegetarian diet and their health benefits.
Difference Between Vegan Diet And Vegetarian Diet
The main difference between vegans and vegetarians is that vegetarians only avoid eating meat and or any byproducts of animal slaughter. On the other hand, vegans not only avoid the consumption of meat, dairy products, and byproducts of animal slaughter, they try to live by avoiding the use of products that are the results of animal exploitation. This includes clothing, footwear, leather goods, silk, beeswax, soaps, and cosmetics that are tested on animals, etc.
While a vegan diet only includes a plant-based meal, the vegetarian diet may consist of a mix of plant-based food, dairy products, and eggs. There are several variations of a vegan diet based on the inclusion of these foods. People who eat eggs and dairy products but avoid all forms of meat and fish are following a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet.
The Lacto-vegetarian diet includes dairy products but does not contain eggs, fish, and all forms of meat. Those who eat eggs and avoid the consumption of all other forms of animal products are Ovo-vegetarians. There is another type of vegetarians who consume eggs, dairy products, and all forms of seafood but avoid the consumption of meat. Even though they are not vegetarian by definition, they are commonly known as semi-vegetarians.
Health Benefits Of Plant-Based Diet
Several studies have shown that vegan and vegetarian diets offer a wide range of essential nutrients that will improve your health and prevent many health disorders. Many scientific studies have proven that the rich nutrient profile of the plant-based foods will help to prevent health problems like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and high blood pressure, etc.
Eating more plant-based food will help in lowering the blood sugar levels and LDL cholesterol levels. Managing blood sugar levels will help in preventing type 2 diabetes and lowering cholesterol levels will reduce the risk of strokes and heart attack. It is important to note that you won’t get some of the essential nutrients like vitamin B12 from plant-based foods. You might have to take B12 supplements to avoid deficiency.