A vegan diet is a lifestyle derived out of compassion towards animals. It is a diet that refrains from consuming animals, dairy, eggs, honey, and any animal-derived product. A vegan diet also avoids all animal by-products because they believe this has a huge impact on their health and the environment. So basically, the one who only uses plants irrespective of food or cloth is a vegan.
The idea behind avoiding all sorts of animal products is that they feel animals have a right to live freely and not be used by humans in any form be it food, clothes, etc. Also, vegan society strongly believes that plant-based diets reduce the risk of lifestyle disorders such as high blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, improve blood sugar level, prevents cancer, and premature death.
Another most interesting fact about the vegan diet is that, it also aids in effective weight loss hence many people opt to adopt a vegan lifestyle in order to have sustainable weight loss results.
Vegan and vegetarian both do not indulge in consuming meat however out of the two, vegans are stricter and lately vegan society is gaining popularity over vegetarians. Lately, a lot of celebrities have also opted for a vegan lifestyle as vegetarianism is becoming old fashion. Vegetarian is more like a ritual and one follows because they have a set of customs/religion choices wherein Vegan is a new concept and more like a social cause which is why the society loves to opt it or at least have started to develop inclination. Hence one can see the rapid growth in stores that are selling vegan products.
Let’s learn about different kind of veganism and their lifestyle:
Dietary vegans – Those who choose to only avoid animal products and start consuming “plant-based meat and plant-based products for food,”
Whole-food vegans – The ones who consume a diet rich in whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
Junk food vegans – Some people primarily depend on processed vegan food, such as vegan meats, fries, frozen dinners, and desserts, including some cookies and non-dairy ice cream.
When we talk about vegetarians, they are those who do not consume animals for food rather only live on plant products as they are against killing animals, but some consider consuming dairy products, honey, and even eggs at times and they do use animal products like silk, wool, leather, etc. A person who opts to be a vegetarian is usually because of religion being the main reason. Hence, vegetarians are less strict than vegans.
There are various types of vegetarians as well, let’s learn about their different kinds and the lifestyle:
Ovo vegetarian – those who consume eggs, but no dairy or meat products.
Lacto vegetarian– those who consume dairy products but not eggs and no meat products.
Lacto-ovo vegetarian – those who consume dairy products and eggs but avoid all kinds of meat.
Semi-vegetarian – those who eat meat occasionally.
Pescatarian – Those who consume fish and other types of seafood but do not eat any other meat product. These people are also termed as semi-vegetarian.
So, a vegan is a vegetarian, however, a vegetarian is not a vegan and it is extremely significant for both vegetarians and vegans to ensure that they consume fortified foods or take dietary supplements to get vitamin B-12 as plat based food do not provide vitamin B12 to our body.
By: Tanya S Kapoor, Nutritionist & Dietician, Wellness by Tanya