Many people think that vegetarian and vegan are the same. The truth is that there is a big difference between vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. A lot of people do not know the difference at all. Both of these lifestyles are good for your health. Both diets are rich in high fiber, but both lack certain nutrients. These can be provided by super foods or supplements. Most people change their diet to a vegetarian or vegan diet for health reasons, but personal beliefs weigh in heavily too.
There are several sub-categories of vegetarian diets. These sub-categories are small, Ovo-lacto vegetarian, semi-vegetarian and vegan, but important for its members. Each person in their dietary lifestyle because of dietary of ethical decisions. Even thought vegan is a sub-group of the vegetarian dietary lifestyle, there is a difference between vegetarian and vegan lifestyles.
Vegetarian is a blanket term used to describe a person who does not eat meat, poultry, fish or seafood. This covers all sub-groups including vegans, but usually implies someone who has less dietary restrictions than a vegan. Semi-vegetarian is usually used to describe a person who is a vegetarian, who eats dairy products, eggs, chicken and fish, but does not eat other animal flesh. Ovo-lacto-vegetarians are people who do not eat meat, poultry, fish and seafood, but do eat eggs, milk and milk products. This is the largest group of vegetarians. Ovo-vegetarians is a term used to describe people who would be called vegan if they ate eggs. Lacto-vegetarian is the term used for people that would be called vegan if the consumed milk and milk products.
Vegan is the strictest sub-category. Vegans do not eat any animal products or by-products. They eat only plant based foods. Their diet is made up of grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts and beans. Some do not even eat honey or yeast. Most do not wear clothes made from animal by-products such as leather and wool. Only vegan clothing, vegan boots and vegan shoes which are not made with any animal products.
Even though there is a difference between vegetarian and vegan lifestyles they both have three major health benefits. Both diets are low in fat and both have little or no cholesterol in them.
A vegetarian diet increases the health of your heart. The vegetarian diet contains more nuts as a protein supplement. Nuts have “good fats” such as omega-3 and omega-6. These promote good heart health due to lowering the cholesterol.
Vegetarians also enjoy good skin health. In addition to nuts, which contain healthful oils, vegetarians eat more fruits and vegetables which are rich in vitamins and minerals. These help to keep your skin hydrated and fed properly.
The third health benefit of both vegetarian and vegan dietary lifestyles is the increase eating of antioxidant foods. Most antioxidants are foods in fruits and vegetables. These are foods help prevent cancer by removing free radicals. Vegetarian meals are very strong in antioxidants.
Whether it is for your health or a personal choice, check out all of the categories of the vegetarian group. You do not have to cut all meat out of your diet. It may surprise you. You may appreciate the healthier feeling you get from a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.