Are you thinking about switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet? Or are you just curious about the new trending vegan society? Some people may be perplexed by the differences between these two diets, particularly those unfamiliar with them. We are here to help!
Well, there can be many reasons, but the two most compelling reason is Ethics and Environment. Furthermore, a vegetarian diet may help you shed some kilos, improve diabetes, strengthen your eyesight and lower your risk of cardiac illnesses.
Did you know that vegetarianism is classified into three types? Now you do! Our aim in this article is to highlight the differences between veganism and vegetarianism!
Following the veganism of celebrities such as Beyonce and Jay Z, an increasing number of people are becoming vegan. Is it, however, superior to a vegetarian diet? Let me explain why one is preferable to the other.
Want more? We will also address some commonly asked questions!
5 Benefits of A Vegetarian Diet
A vegetarian diet is one in which animal consumption is restricted; however, they can eat animal products like egg, honey, milk, etc. Thus, vegetarians can be further classified into three types:
Type 1: Consume both eggs and dairy products.
Type 2: Consume dairy products but do not consume eggs.
Type 3: Consume eggs but do not consume dairy products.
1. Keeps The Heart-Healthy
Meat consists of saturated fat, contributing to cardiovascular blockage, arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis, etc. Thus by eating less meat and more plant-based foods, you’re helping your ticker.
A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association in August 2019 discovered that eating a plant-based diet may reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 16% and dying from this health condition by 32%.
2. Low Cholesterol
A plant-based diet is low in cholesterol, unlike a non-vegetarian diet. So, by eating less meat and more plant-based foods, the amount of cholesterol you are consuming is also less. In a 2015 study, it was reported that a vegetarian diet can effectively lower total cholesterol in the blood.
3. Help in Controlling Diabetes
Diets high in vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts can help prevent type 2 diabetes and its complications. Since these food items are considered low-glycemic foods, they can stabilize the body’s blood sugar level.
Study findings suggest that vegetarians are half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as people who eat non-vegetarian diets.
They aid in protecting your cells against damage caused by potentially harmful molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals or superoxides are very reactive in nature, hence they can create oxidative stress in the body. It has the potential to harm the DNA and other vital structures and cells in the body.
Vegetables like kale and spinach contain a high amount of antioxidants that can help in protecting the skin, heart, muscles, etc., from tissue damage.
5. Stronger Bones
We all grew up watching Popeye gulp down spinach to get energy. Well, it is true! Vegetables are loaded with calcium. Kale has approximately 179 mg per cup whereas, spinach has 257 mg per cup.
5 Benefits of A Vegan Diet
Health, animal welfare, or environmental concerns are increasingly motivating people to adopt vegan diets. Unlike a vegetarian diet, a vegan diet is purely based on consuming vegetables and vegetable-based products.
1. It Aids Weight Loss
You may have noticed the increasing trend of following a plant-based diet to lose weight. Why? Because it works!
According to many observational studies, vegans have lower body mass indexes (BMIs) than individuals who follow a non-vegan diet. The amount of fat present in plant-based products is significantly less when compared to a vegetarian (Consume egg or dairy) and non-vegetarian diet.
2. Kidney Problems
A diet high in proteins can put additional strain on the kidneys. People with kidney problems must be mindful when consuming meat, eggs, and fish because this can overload the kidney.
An increase in plants in your diet will reduce the amount of protein in the urine. The substitution of plant protein for meat may help reduce the risk of kidney failure in people with diabetes.
3. Can Control Arthritis
A study was conducted in which 40 people with arthritis were randomly assigned to continue eating their omnivorous diet or replace it with a plant-based vegan diet for six weeks. Vegans reported having more energy and better performance than non-vegans.
Several studies show that a vegan diet can help reduce the symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis, such as joint pain, morning stiffness, inflammation, etc.
4. Reduce The Risk of Breast Cancer
Avoiding certain animal products, including dairy products, may also lower the risk of prostate, breast, and colon cancers.
Soy milk is used as a substitute for animal milk, which protects against breast cancer. Several studies suggest that higher soy consumption might lower breast cancer risk by 30% in Asian women.
5. Mood Booster
An analysis of over 11,00 people across the United States reveals that vegans are not the angry, self-righteous group they have long been stereotyped to be. Survey results showed that vegan diet consumers were happier than meat-eaters.
Vegan vs Vegetarians Diet: So Which One Is Better?
Veganism is a form of vegetarianism, but a vegetarian diet is more flexible. A vegetarian diet is superior to a vegan diet in many ways.
The lack of vegan options at many restaurants can make it difficult for vegans to eat out. As a result, it can be challenging to maintain a strict vegan diet because most of the country caters to animal-based products. Attending parties can also be a challenge because they may not include vegan options.
Listed below are the five significant downsides of a vegan diet over a vegetarian diet:
1. Protein Deficiency
Most people get their protein from eggs and dairy products. Many vegetarians consume them, thereby eradicating the problem of protein deficiency. Vegans must supplement their protein intake with beans and nuts; however it is an expensive alternative.
2. Problematic Soy
Soy is one of the most commonly used substitutes to compensate for the lack of proteins in a vegan diet. It was reported that 90% of soy grown in the United States is genetically modified. The long term effect of GMOs is still uncertain, and it is even banned in many countries. Do you think Genetically Modified Soy is a good option?
Furthermore, they harm the natural microbiome, a group of beneficial bacteria in the digestive system.
3. Vitamin B-12 Deficiency
B12 is an essential vitamin, and a lack of it can result in various irreversible health problems. Vitamin B-12 is required for normal nerve function and the production of blood cells.
Vitamin B12 is primarily obtained from animal products; thus, it may be a concerning issue if you follow a vegan diet.
Anaemia is often caused by vitamin B12 deficiency when no red blood cells are produced due to a lack of vitamin B12. It plays a major role in the synthesis of DNA and replication.
4. Leaky Gut
Legumes are a good source of proteins. Phytates and lectins found in Slegumes can cause intestinal permeability in addition to their protein content.
In an animal study, soybean consumption increases intestinal permeability, allowing substances to pass more quickly through the digestive tract lining and into the bloodstream resulting in severe toxicity and other associated complications.
5. Calcium Deficiency
Calcium deficiency is common among vegans because it is challenging to replace dairy products in their diet, so they must take a calcium supplement to prevent osteoporosis. Since vegetarians consume dairy products, they should not suffer from calcium deficiency.
Q1: Is honey Vegan?
Honey is not vegan since bees produce it. However, many vegans will eat honey during their vegan lifestyle since its production does not result in the egregious cruelty found in farms and slaughterhouses.
Q2: Is almond milk a good alternative for dairy?
The answer is a resounding no. Many processed varieties of almond milk contain harmful additives such as artificial sweeteners, salt, carrageenan, etc. It is also low in protein, fat, and nutrients that aid in growth and development.
Q3: How do vegetarians deal with iron deficiency?
Non-heme iron can be found in plant foods, but heme iron is only found in animal sources. Since the body absorbs heme iron more readily, vegetarians must consume fortified foods or supplements to get the heme iron they need.
The vegetarian and vegan movements hold opposing views on the use of animal products. Vegans are more ethically driven hence they refrain from consuming egg, honey, gelatin, etc.
While both diets are safe for any stage of life, following and adhering to a vegetarian diet is more accessible.
Dietary demands are met by nutritional and protein supplements, which may or may not be FDA-approved.
Let us know in the comments below if you found this article helpful? Don’t forget to let us know which diet worked best for you?
Whether you want to gain muscle sustainably, lose weight, or do both—Mirganshi is the person you reach out to! She has a B.Sc in Nutrition and Dietetics from Lovely Professional University (LPU) and certification from Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute (GGFI). She grew up and completed her schooling in Jaipur, Rajasthan back in the early 2000s. Currently, she helps hundreds of individuals in correcting their diets, lifestyle habits, and physical health.
She currently lives with her husband in Navi Mumbai, and they have been happily married since 2017. She is also a fitness freak herself and has completed several marathons like TATA Mumbai Marathon, Pinkathon, and more! In her free time, she likes to listen to music while writing her journal. Discipline is her best friend, and she ensures to impart this virtue in her clientele as well.
Due to her impeccable grip on body nutrition and well-being, Mirganshi understands precisely what is right for your body and recommends/reviews products she only truly has faith in. Mirganshi is also a champion for mental health advocacy and understands how keeping your brain fit and mind sane is an essential part of well-being.