Vegans and vegetarians abstain from eating meat. Veganism, on the other hand, is more stringent, prohibiting dairy, eggs, honey, and any other products derived from animal products, such as leather and silk.
Veganism and vegetarianism are becoming increasingly fashionable. However, some people may be perplexed by the contrasts between these two diets, especially since vegetarianism comes in many forms.
We’ll look at the similarities and distinctions between veganism and vegetarianism in this article. We also go over the advantages of each diet, which is healthier, which is better for weight reduction, as well as the hazards and considerations.
What is vegetarianism?
Vegetarians, according to the Vegetarian Society, are those who do not consume animal slaughter products or byproducts.
Vegetarians avoid the following foods:
- Beef, pork, and game are examples of meat.
- chicken, turkey, and duck are examples of poultry.
- shellfish and fish
- animal proteins such as rennet, gelatin, and others
- stock or fats derived from the killing of animals
Many vegans, on the other hand, consume byproducts that do not require animal killing. These are some of them:
- Dairy items, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt
- as well as honey
Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, cereals, and pulses, as well as “meat alternatives” derived from these foods, are commonly consumed by vegetarians.
Because vegetarianism is less rigorous than veganism, there are various well-known vegetarian diet variations. These are some of them:
This diet excludes all forms of meat and fish, although it does allow for the consumption of dairy products and eggs.
This diet does not include meat, fish, or eggs, however, it does include dairy products.
This diet does not allow for the consumption of meat, fish, or dairy products, however, it does allow for the consumption of eggs.
All meats, except fish and other types of seafood, are avoided by those who follow this diet. Pescatarian diets are often referred to as semi-vegetarian or flexitarian because they do not fit the traditional definition of vegetarianism.
What is veganism?
Veganism is a more rigorous version of vegetarianism. Vegans refuse to eat or use any animal products or byproducts. Veganism is defined by the Vegan Society as “a way of life that tries to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty for food, clothing, or any other reason.”
Vegans abstain from ingesting any foods or beverages that contain the following ingredients:
- fish and shellfish
- dairy products
- rennet, gelatin, and other types of animal protein
- stock or fats that derive from animals
Strict vegans take their principles beyond their food and will aim to avoid any product that includes the direct or indirect use of animals by humans. These items may include:
- leather goods
- soaps, candles, and other products that contain animal fats, such as tallow
- latex products that contain casein, which comes from milk proteins
- cosmetics or other products that manufacturers test on animals
Many vegetarians incorporate some of these ideas into their daily lives, such as avoiding leather goods and things that are tested on animals.
According to scientific evidence, vegetarian and vegan diets may provide a number of health benefits.
According to a 2017 study
The effectiveness of a plant-based diet was investigated in 49 persons who were overweight or obese and had at least one of the following conditions:
- type 2 diabetes
- ischemic heart disease
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol levels
The individuals were randomly randomized to either a usual diet and care or a low-fat, plant-based diet consisting of low-fat whole foods that did not require calorie tracking or frequent exercise. The intervention also included two weekly 2-hour sessions in which the participants received cooking instruction and education from clinicians. None of these sessions were attended by the nonintervention group.
Participants in the diet group had significantly lower BMI and cholesterol levels at the 6-month and 12-month follow-ups compared to those in the usual care group.
A systematic review and meta-analysis published in 2017
Plant-based diets can help lower total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, according to Trusted Source. The researchers didn’t look into how cholesterol levels affected heart disease outcomes.
Another observational research from 2016 According to Trusted Source, vegans in South Asia and America are less prone to become obese than nonvegetarians.
A look ahead to 2019
Evidence suggests that plant-based diets may provide a range of cardiovascular health benefits for endurance athletes, according to Trusted Source. These advantages include:
- lower cholesterol levels
- improved blood pressure and blood flow
- better blood sugar control
- lower risk and even reversal of atherosclerosis
- reduced oxidative stress and inflammation
A study published in 2019 discovered a link between a healthy plant-based diet and a lower risk of chronic kidney disease. Those who ate an unhealthy plant-based diet high in sugar-sweetened foods and refined grains had an increased risk of chronic renal disease.
Which is more healthful?
Both diets promote the consumption of more antioxidant-rich and nutrient-dense whole foods and urge people to eat more of them.
It’s tough to tell which diet is healthier because each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.
Lacto-vegetarians, unlike vegans, acquire calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D from dairy products. Vegans may be able to lower their cholesterol levels by avoiding dairy and eggs.
Even if they consume plant-based sources of these nutrients, vegans are at risk for an essential omega-3 fatty acid deficiency, particularly in EPA and DHA. DHA is required for brain function and cognition, as well as the prevention of brain fog, memory problems, and other issues. EPA and DHA are more easily obtained by vegetarians and pescatarians from eggs and seafood.
According to a report published in 2019,
Adults in Argentina who classified as vegan followed a healthier vegan lifestyle than vegetarians and nonvegetarians, according to Trusted Source.
A healthy vegan lifestyle, according to the authors, is:
- consuming a whole-food, plant-based diet
- exercising daily
- drinking more than eight glasses of water a day
- getting regular sunlight exposure
A plant-based diet, on the other hand, does not ensure excellent health. Vegetarians and vegans can nonetheless live unhealthy lives or eat processed “junk” food.