I have been receiving a few questions about what the differences are between different diets such as vegan, vegetarian, plant-based and raw food. In this article I want to go through the different diets or lifestyles and hopefully clarify what they all consist of and what the different benefits are from each.
What Is A Vegan Diet – Living the vegan lifestyle
Exactly What Is Vegan – A vegan diet allows all food except for food containing animals or animal deprived ingredients. Basically you stay away from meat, dairy, eggs or any other ingredient in food that contains animals or animals products. Being vegan however is not just about food, being vegan is a lifestyle where you choose to take a stand against animal testing and other products made from animals such as leather and fur. By being vegan you are respecting life in all forms and you choose to not exploit animals in any way or form. You are acknowledging that all life is precious and that animals have a right to live just as much as you or I.
If you choose to go vegan you do not just choose to respect other forms of life but you are also trying to live in the kindest way possible for our planet. Vegans are very aware of how actions have consequences for our planet.
A lot of people view vegan as being extreme, but I wonder how something that does not harm other beings and how a lifestyle that is trying to keep both animals and other humans safe is extreme?
I wonder how there is a humane way to kill someone that does not want to die?
Health benefits from a Vegan lifestyle
A vegan diet contains a lot of nutrients for your body, it usually increases your fiber intake as well as increase your antioxidant intake. However, if you choose to eat a vegan diet that only contains processed foods, this will not be the case. Your body still needs fruits and vegetables which should be the base of any meal independent of diet or lifestyle.
A vegan diet can be very beneficial for people with diabetes.
A vegan diet help you keep a stable blood sugar level and by eating plant based protein instead of animal based protein this can assist in your kidney function.
By going vegan and eliminating animal products from your diet you can lower your risk of certain cancers. Meats and other processed animal products will increase your risk of cancer so by staying away from these and consuming plant based proteins instead you can lower your risk from cancer.
If you eat a varied vegan diet you can actually lower your cholesterol levels and from this you can lower your risk for getting heart disease.
A lot of people with auto-immune disease might also benefit from being on a vegan diet as a lot of animal products will increase inflammation and by staying away from them and also eating a good vegan diet can help you with your symptoms. People have also said that a vegan diet will help increase their energy levels.
One of my favorite vegan meals is baked sweet potato with roasted chickpeas with tahini.
What Is Vegetarian – What is vegetarianism
So Vegetarianism is when you stay away from meats such as fish,
chicken, pork and beef. Veganism is a part of vegetarianism but it does stay away from all animals products whilst a vegetarian might still choose to eat eggs and consume dairy, this is then called a lact – ovo – vegetarian.
The same goes for being a vegetarian as being a vegan. You need to eat a balanced variety of foods to stay healthy.
While vegans stay away from all animal products this does not necessarily apply to vegetarians. A vegetarian might still use animal deprived products.
The benefits of eating a vegetarian diet are but are not limited to;
reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, weight loss and cancer.
When you are on a vegetarian diet you more often then not will choose healthier foods such as fruits and vegetables.
It is still important to get all the nutrients that your body requires. By doing some research you will be able to get the nutrients as well as the proteins that you need from a vegetarian diet.
What Is A Plant Based Food Diet – What Is The Raw Food Diet
If you choose to go on a plant-based diet you will mostly eat plant-based food. Such as fruits and vegetables with little to no animal-products. When you eat a raw food diet you stay away from cooked and processed food. Your diet will contain vegetables and fruits, nuts, berries etc but none of them will be cooked or processed. When being on a plant-based diet you can still cook your food. I would say that this is probably the biggest difference between these two diets.
There is still a lot you can do with food even though when it is not cooked or processed.
Benefits of a plant-based food diet:
Lowers the risk of diabetes
Can help with depression
Supports weight loss
Benefits of a raw food diet:
Benefits weight loss
Lowered risk of heart disease
There are major benefits from staying away from animal products not just for you but also for the environments and not to mention the animals. More and more research is showing that being on a diet that do not include animal products have great health benefits. However, it is still important to get enough nutrients. You can still get vitamins such as iron and protein from plants. This article is only meant to show you the differences between some of the most popular diets at the moment and also some of their benefits. Before you go on a diet or a lifestyle change make sure you do not do this overnight but do so in steps. There are plenty of recipes to choose from.
I hope you have enjoyed the read. If you have any questions or comments then please drop them down below and I will get back to you.