Healthy lifestyles have been the trending topic over the past few years in almost all parts of the world. Such things happen not only due to people’s heightened awareness of their health conditions. Instead, people switch to healthy lifestyles because they know brown rice, salad oil, and other “healthy” ingredients are not only healthy but also delicious.
Veganism and vegetarianism are two diet styles people usually associate with healthy lifestyles. Indeed, people who adopt either one of these two diet styles tend to weigh less than people who eat “just everything”. They also run lesser risks of getting heart problems and other health problems commonly faced by overweight or obese people.
Today, we find lots of food stalls and restaurants selling sinfully-delicious vegan and vegetarian foods. Yet, what are things that make the two diet styles different from each other? Read below:
The differences between a vegan and a vegetarian
We refer to the followers according to their diet and lifestyles. Hence, a vegan is someone who follows a vegan diet, while a vegetarian is a person who follows a vegetarian diet. Nonetheless, the differences don’t lie in their namings. Both of them can also be prone to eating vegetables and fruits, even though in different ways.
Essentially, there are four types of vegetarian diets:
- Ovo-vegetarian (Consuming plant-based foods and drinks and eggs are okay but never okay with dairy products)
- Lacto-vegetarian (Consuming plant-based foods and drinks and dairy products but never okay with eggs)
- Ovo-lacto-vegetarian (Can consume eggs and dairy products apart from plant-based foods and drinks, but animal products of any forms are a big no-no)
- Pescetarian (Only consuming seafood)
Vegans, on the other hand, strictly base their meals only on plant-based products. Such things mean eggs and dairy products, such as margarine, milk, creams, kefir, and more, should also be plant-based.
So, there are things such as “mock egg”, “almond chocolate milk”, “vegan margarine”, and so on in a vegan’s diet dictionary. The seafood should also be from mock meats that you can expect mock shrimps, mock shellfish, mock fish, and so on.
Considering the differences, we can’t be both vegan and vegetarian. However, both can be equally healthy if we know to maximize the benefits.
What are the benefits of being a vegetarian?
When we re-read the differences part, we’ll see vegetarians have more lenient options for food and beverage products. So, becoming a vegetarian means less time to look at the products’ ingredients and fuss around dietary needs.
In particular, vegetarians with “Ovo” and “Lacto” components in their diet lifestyles find it more convenient to not argue about the oils or other “invisible” food ingredients when they order something in a restaurant. Pescetarians also need not worry much about the oil, dressing, and more, as long as they are only consuming seafood.
As a result, it’s not hard to find replacements for their nutrition needs. For instance, a nutritionist finds his ovo-vegetarian client lacking calcium intake.
Since ovo-vegetarians can’t consume any dairy products, but they can consume eggs, the nutritionist can recommend omega-3 eggs while consuming Vitamin K supplements that only consist of ingredients that are ovo-vegetarian friendly.
Another example would be an ovo-lacto-vegetarian in a sushi station. She feels like having boba tea with cream cheese after eating four plates of veggies-only sushi. Since she can eat eggs and milk, she can go straight to the boba tea station without having to spend more on plant-based-only boba tea products.
The results are that vegetarians tend to have more energy to sustain their activities than their vegan counterparts. For instance, many vegetarians can run for miles around the shopping malls without taking additional vitamins and supplements or fainting in the middle of walking.
What are the benefits of being a vegan?
Vegan restaurants tend to have stricter rules than usual restaurants, including vegetarian restaurants. At some points, the waiters and waitresses will check if we bring any animal products from outside the restaurants.
Such things make vegans more disciplined than vegetarians. In addition, vegans should look carefully at the food products’ ingredients before they buy the products. Such things also make them more meticulous, detail-oriented, and focused than their vegetarian counterparts.
Being vegan also means strictly no meat. Most people who frequently feel stressed and angered are because they consume too much red meat. This thing poses a benefit for being a vegan, which is improved patience that is often followed by lower blood pressures and better air circulation around the blood streams and the body.
A vegan will also be free of seeing live animals from experiencing inhuman treatments, including but not limited to butchering.
If there are any cutting processes in cooking vegetables and fruits, these two things are easier to cut and leave a more natural fragrance on the hand when we touch the ingredients. Plus, veggies and fruits are more fun to process than red meats. As for the proteins, vegans can replace red meats with tofu and peanuts which are equally fun to process.
When we compare vegans to their vegetarian counterparts, we will also understand that they have lesser negative environmental impacts. It is not only because they don’t consume animal products, but they also wear fashion items and cosmetics that are against animal testing and have programs to contribute to the environment (such as The Body Shop).
The health risks of being a vegan vs. a vegetarian (+The verdicts!)
Being a vegan or a vegetarian depends on the medical records, food processing methods, and dietary requirements. Vegetarians can be physically strong, yet crumble to several diseases because of uncooked eggs, contaminated shrimps, or ignoring the fact they are allergic to any cheese products despite being Lacto-vegetarian.
On the other hand, vegans can be more patient, yet they can also crumble to diseases. Fainting in the middle of shopping is one of the health risks, particularly for vegans who are just starting.
Verdict: Being a vegan or a vegetarian can be equally beneficial for our health, as long as we understand and practice our dietary requirements.