Vegan vs vegetarian? both of them are different? Well, I don’t think so.
People often ask what is the difference between the vegans & vegetarians, but actually, Vegans are just a type of vegetarian diet.
But if you are here searching that which one is healthier or better, then let’s compare both of them in detail and find out, Vegan vs Vegetarian, which one is healthier.
Vegans & vegetarians, both of these groups do not eat meat. However, vegans are stricter as they do not even eat eggs, dairy products, honey and other items that come directly from the animals including silk & leather.
Let me tell you straight forward which is better according to me.
A vegan diet is a better option as compared to a vegetarian diet when our main target is losing fat, reducing the risks of several diseases and controlling our weight.
Well, the above statement of mine was not just a random, rather I researched a lot to get vegans as the final winner. Both vegans & vegetarians are considered appropriate and healthy at any stage of life, but the only catch is to “make that diet well planned“. Before we go to the detailed conclusion, first let us know about exactly what is the difference between both of them.
Who are vegetarians?
The definition of a vegetarian is not only restricted to one who does not consume meat, game, fish & poultry, instead it is more complex than that. They feel it is acceptable to consume the by-products of animals like eggs milk and several other organic products.
What are the different types of vegetarians?
Vegetarians include mainly five different types.
- Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian: These types of vegetarians include eggs and milk i.e. the dairy products in their diet plan, but they avoid all animal flesh.
- Lacto-vegetarian: People following this particular diet plan, do not eat any meat, eggs, or fish but they do consume dairy products like milk, curd, etc.
- Ovo-vegetarian: Individuals who follow this diet, do not consume fish, meat, or dairy products, but they do eat eggs.
- Pescatarian: This type of diet plan is often criticized for not being a type of vegetarian diet. The people who follow such kind of diet plan do not hesitate in eating fish & other seafood, but they do not prefer meat. Such kind of diet is often known as semi-vegetarian or flexitarian.
- Vegans: They include vegetarians who do not consume any meat and even boycott all the animal by-products.
Who are vegans?
Vegans are not considered as a diet. It is often considered to be a way of living. In which the individuals following veganism try to exclude all forms of cruelty done to animals and other species for human satisfaction and needs.
They believe eating and using by-products often leads to the exploitation of self-health and the environment.
So a vegan lifestyle often extends up to not promoting and using the by-products like leather, cosmetics, and fur which is made up of dead animals. This is the main reason why people have a hot debate, vegan vs vegetarian.
Types of Vegans.
- Ethical vegans: They are the most common type of vegans. They prefer putting forward their ethics & values first rather than thinking about their stomach. They do not consume any kind of dairy product or any product which is related to animals, including honey. Not just this, they even boycott any product which is made up of animal parts or skin.
- Plant-based vegans: They prefer eating food items related to plants only which grow on the ground.
- Raw vegan: They do not eat anything which is cooked above the temperature of 115-degree Fahrenheit because they believe that food cooked above that temperature will lose its enzymes & nutrients completely.
Vegetarian describes a diet, whereas Vegan can be a lifestyle
The word vegetarian describes the food that one consumes, however, vegetarians lead similar types of lifestyle.
Whereas being vegan is much stricter, and it can be a lifestyle.
Being vegan is much harder as not only they have to avoid meat, fish or egg but they also consider not using or promoting any product which may be made from the dead animals. They don’t think about whether the animal is being killed for the product or not, if the product is made up of by-product of animals, then they boycott it.
Therefore the strict animal product-free vegetarian diet is only a part of being vegan and they rather call it a lifestyle.
Nutrition Level – Vegan vs Vegetarian
Nutrition level can be judged according to the intake of carbohydrates, fats & protein. Any diet can be only considered healthy when it contains a sufficient amount of these basic nutrients.
When talking about vegans & vegetarians, research proves that both of these diets tend to be low in cholesterol & saturated fat.
They have a high amount of vitamins, fibres, healthy plant compounds & minerals. Both these diets contain a high amount of nutrient-dense foods including nuts, seeds, soy products & grains.
But when someone is on a vegan or a vegetarian diet, we must consider it that both of these diets could result in a low intake of iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin-B12, long-chain omega 3 fatty acids & vitamin-D.
This low intake occurs when a person chooses this particular diet plan for himself but does not do any research, or start without any kind of planning.
Health benefits of veganism & vegetarianism.
- Helps in lowering the levels of cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), & high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
- People on these diets are less likely to develop obesity.
- offers several cardiovascular health benefits for endurance athletes.
- Improve blood pressure, & blood flow.
- reduce oxidative stress & inflammation.
- It helps controlling diabetes.
Which is better for weight loss?
Since vegans do not consume eggs or dairy products, they have a lower BMI (Body mass index: A key index for relating weight to height) than vegetarians.
Research also shows that vegans gain lesser weight with time, as compared to vegetarians.
So Veganism is a better option when considering weight loss.
Is there anything to worry when following this diet?
Research & studies show that a well and carefully planned vegan or vegetarian diet helps in fighting several diseases and even lowering the risks of many hazardous diseases. They are very healthful and nutritionally adequate.
However, it is important that when someone opted for these diet plans or lifestyle, they must plan their diet and nutrients. They must ensure that they are getting a balanced diet because these diet plans do not include every essential element which is needed by our body.
Let us take an example, plant-based diet plans do not contain vitamin-B12, which is an essential element that helps in a healthy nervous system & cardiovascular health. But vegans & vegetarians can get this essential mineral by having cereals in their daily breakfast.
Vegans can have a higher chance of suffering from the deficiency of zinc and omega-3, these deficiencies can be cured by having multivitamin supplements that are available from pharmacies, or online market.
Are vegetarian-labeled products okay for vegans to eat?
This is the most important & the most commonly asked question, especially for someone who invited a vegan to his home for dinner.
The answer to this question is No.
If a product is labeled vegetarian, it does not mean that it is vegan safe too.
The product is marked vegan or vegetarian by the company itself. This means that it depends upon the company what it thinks about vegan or vegetarian.
You should check for the labels on the products for such dilemmas or confusion. If there is no label, then check the ingredients.
Vegan vs vegetarian, which is healthier?
Both of the diets offer similar health benefits. Both of these diets include consuming more nutrient-dense and antioxidant-rich whole foods.
Both of them have some advantages and disadvantages so it is difficult to say which one is more healthy.
Both vegans and vegetarians need to pay attention to increasing the strategies to absorb more nutrients from the plant food items.
But considering a few kinds of research, where it is proved that a person following veganism may have lower risks of diabetes, heart disease and various other types of cancer as compared to vegetarians.
Besides, a vegan has much lower BMI than vegetarian and often helps in weight loss strategic diet plan.
That is why I feel vegans are much healthier than vegetarians.