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Difference Between Vegan and Vegetarian Diets

vegetablesVegan vs Vegetarian Diets
A lot of people do not completely understand the difference that exists between a vegan and vegetarian diet. To them, it seems like both of them are the same exact diet just stated differently. Little do these people realize that vegans and vegetarians are actually a whole world apart from each other.

By the dictionary definition, vegetarians are those people who do not eat meat of any kind but they will eat dairy products and eggs. The vegans on the other hand do not consume any animal products no matter what the form. The vegan diet actually walks a very thin and hard line. But you have to admire both of these groups because they have actually made changes in their life that actually leaves them feeling healthier, happier, and allows them to live a longer life. To a lot of people, the vegan diet does not seem very exciting. They eat a lot of grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans. All of the vegan’s meals are low in fat and contain little to no cholesterol and they are all rich in fiber. Vegans can actually have the ability to create a meal that will provide them with all the nutrients that they need without using absolutely no animal products. The number one lesson of a vegan diet that you can learn is that it does not have to taste good to be good for you.

On the other side of the food chain however, vegetarians practice their diet on products of the plant family along with or without the use of dairy products and eggs. They do not eat any other part of the animal, however.

So putting it quite simply vegans can eat just about anything that is not of animal origins and these foods are most generally found in the produce section. This includes such  as fruits, vegetables, (this include both leafy and root), whole grains which are less harmful, and other allowable products like maple syrup for example.

There are actually seven different types of vegetarians. The pescatarians are those who avoid eating any meat at all with the exception of fish. Although the word piscatorial is not commonly known, more and more people are adopting this type of diet. One of the main reasons for this is because of the health benefits.

Flexitarian are those people that eat mainly a vegetarian diet but sometimes do eat meat. Semi-vegetarians-eat some meat but this meat is only fish and chicken.

These are just three of the more commonly practiced vegetarian diet, but the other four include lacto-ovo vegetarian, lacto vegetarian, ovo vegetarian, and macrobiotic.

So as you can see, there is actually a big difference between these two diets. Knowing the difference can help you choose which diet you would prefer.


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6 Comments

  1. so….is a lacto vegetarian one that eats only vegan foods + milk?
    …or would that be a lacto vegan?

    im whatever that is.

  2. All fish contain mercury. Look it up.

  3. This article is wrong in several ways.

    1. vegan food can and does taste good. It’s only a lack of imagination when cooking that would cause a vegan cooking to be bland.

    2. Vegan diet can be as high in fat as any other diet if it’s unhealthy one. Eating fries for every meal would be vegan, but not low in fat, for example.

    3. People who eat meat or fish – pescetarians, flexitarians, etc, are not types of vegetarians. Vegetarians don’t eat meat or fish ever.

  4. This is no such thing as a lacto vegan. Vegan means NO ANIMAL PRODUCTS! And Vegan is not just a diet, it is a lifestyle. We do not use products that were tested on animals (tortured is more the proper term) or go to circus’s where animals are beaten, abused, etc. We believe in no harm!

    And the “dictionary definition” of a vegetarian was originally someone who eschewed all animal products until people started misusing the word to include people who ate dairy and egg. Pescatarians, flexitarians, etc are NOT vegetarian! This is just further perverting the word.

    Vegan diets are not tastless! They are also not necessarily always low fat. My vegan friends and myself make wonderful tasting meals. I have many non vegan friends who come to my home to eat specifically because they love my food.

  5. I am a dietary vegan, not an ethical vegan. I adopted a healthy vegan diet in response to some health problems I was experiencing due to eating incorrectly for too long. I have been a dietary vegan for nearly two years now and all the health issues I was having that prompted the change have not only cleared up, but they cleared up immediately…within a month of going dietary vegan, all of my health issues had corrected themselves.

    No more swollen feet, no more shortness of breath, my waistline returned as the excess weight I had carried around for most of my adult life began to fall off, my muscles and joints stopped aching and hurting.

    Now I can stand for prolonged periods of time, I am regular, I can walk and breathe at the same time…and all of this just because I adopted a healthy vegan diet I was not, and am not doing this for the sole purpose of losing weight, the weight loss is a happy by-product of treating my body right…feeding it whats good for it.

    As for food tasting good…I would not have been eating vegan for this long if the food did not taste good, who would do that and be able to keep it up for any length of time if they hated what they were eating.

    But rather I have found that vegan food actually tastes better…you have to be creative and learn to cook all over again without using the old standbys that everyone everywhere uses…butter, eggs, milk, and cheese…not to mention meat, fish or poultry.

    But rather with vegan cooking you experiment with herbs and spices, different grains, every fruit and veggie…the possibilities are endless and limited only by the imagination of “le nouveau chef”.

    If you make collard greens and you have always flavored them with ham hocks, smoked shanks, fat back, bacon or some other pork meat…you learn as a vegan that you can flavor those greens instead with some veggie stock, fresh minced garlic, sliced onions, black pepper, a little prepared mustard of your choice, a little extra virgin olive oil, crushed red pepper flakes (if you are from the northeast like me) and a dash of salt, then you cover and simmer those greens letting that liquid reduce and when they are done those greens are tender and flavored to perfection…healthy and vegan.

    If you like them with a little cornbread on the side you can make that vegan as well, corn meal, whole grain flour, baking powder, pure coconut oil, pinch of salt, a little raw sugar, cornstarch for the binder, and almond milk or water…and voila!!

    And to those two I would also add some additional sides such as rosemary oven roasted potatoes, sweet carrots, and maybe some roasted summer squash….umm umm good!!!

    It takes a little planning and research but really, what I do is look at my favorite recipes and figure out how can I make them vegan…and I am eating what I like and trying new things as well…everything is vegan and it’s healthy.

  6. I’m more than vegan. I also do not eat ANY wheat, soy, peanut (all other nuts are okay), or anything made of corn or high fructose corn syrup (liquid death, as I call it). and yes, it is a lifestyle. I also eat raw about 80% of the time to ensure I get the best amount of nutrients from my foods. I have never felt more alive, energetic, and younger in my life and I’m almost 52 now. The other poster was correct…vegan food is NOT tasteless…I have some websites I regularly peruse for recipes “thisrawsomeveganlife.com” is one of my favorites. The goal is not to live to be old, the goal is to live to be old and VERY HEALTHY. It’s worth the investment. I tried vegetarian, but once I dropped the dairy products, my skin got amazingly soft and better, and i look so much younger now. My arthritis is completely gone in my feet. No more pain! Either way, trying to avoid spending money on the government-run “meat making machines” is always good. Watch ‘Vegucated’. I bet you’ll never look at your bacon the same way again.

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