vegan vs vegetarian

What are the differences between a vegan and a vegetarian

Vegan VS Vegetarian Diet

The significant difference between vegetarian and vegan is that the vegetarian diet does not consume animals or any meat, but the vegan diet takes it further to exclude not only the animal but what it produces as well. This means that a vegan diet will not include eggs, dairy, gelatin, honey, and much more. The vegetarian diet still includes ingredients from animals like eggs, dairy, and other ingredients mentioned above, but it does not consume the animal itself.
It’s evident that there’s a significant amount of similarities between vegetarian and vegan diet, but they are actually very different.

What Are The Common Types of Vegetarian Diet?

The vegetarian diet involves avoiding the consumption of fish, poultry, and meat. Some people adapt to this diet for personal or religious reasons, while others do it for health reasons.

What a lot of people don’t know is that there are various types of vegetarian diets out there. With that in mind, here are the common ones listed below:

Lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet:

This involves eliminating poultry, fish, and meat, but allowing dairy and egg products in the diet, which is significantly different from a vegan diet.

Lacto-vegetarian diet:

This type of diet would eliminate eggs, poultry, fish, and meat, but allowing dairy products like milk and cheese.

Ovo-vegetarian diet:

This diet allows the consumption of eggs, but the individual would avoid fish, poultry, dairy, and meat.

Pescetarian diet:

This diet allows fish, eggs, and milk or dairy, but the individual will have to avoid poultry and meat.

Flexitarian diet:

This diet is all about moderation, where dieters will incorporate occasional fish, poultry, and meat, but the majority of their time is geared towards consuming fruits and vegetables.

What Are The Common Types of Vegan Diet?

There are different varieties of the vegan diet; the most common ones include:

Whole-food vegan diet:

This diet emphasizes a variety of whole plant food such as whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.

Raw-food vegan diet:

This is a unique diet that focuses on cooking food at a temperature below 118°F or 48°C. This diet focuses on raw nuts, seeds, plants, fruits, and vegetables.


This is a wonderful diet that reduces the amount of fat-rich plants like avocado. It Depends on soft greens and raw food instead and is often referred to as a fruitarian diet or low-fat diet.

The starch solution:

This is a high carbohydrate, but a low-fat diet that is very similar to the 80/10/10 rule. However, it emphasizes cooking starch like corn, rice, and potatoes.

Raw till 4:

This diet is inspired by the 80/10/10 and starch diet combine. Raw till 4 is a low-fat diet with raw food that is consumed until 4 PM, but you have the choice of cooking plant-based meals for dinner.

The thrive diet:

The individual would eat plant-based whole foods that are minimally cooked at low temperature or completely raw.

Junk-food vegan diet:

This type of diet involves mock meats, fries, cheese, desserts, and other heavily processed vegan food. Unfortunately, this diet lacks whole plant food.

Benefits of Being a Vegetarian or Vegan?

Lose weight

This is the most common reason why people switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet. It only makes sense because meat tends to be high on calories and fat. Fortunately, vegan or vegetarian diets have lower calories and less fat. In addition to that, both the vegan and vegetarian diet is high on fiber, which helps regulate your metabolism to help get rid of waste at a faster rate.

Regulate blood sugar level

Type two diabetes occurs when insulin is not functioning properly. This health problem occurs when there’s a lot of fat and sugar in the blood. This will over exhaust the insulin leading to inactivity. That means, whenever there’s glucose in the body, the insulin will not function to drive down the blood sugar. Fortunately, the vegan or vegetarian diet helps regulate the blood sugar level, therefore reducing type to diabetes.

Healthy heart

When the body has a lot of cholesterol and triglyceride, it can accumulate and block blood vessels in the heart. When that happens, there will be a decrease in blood flow to the heart. This can lead to significant coronary artery disease or other heart problems.

A vegetarian diet can lower triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. For example, there was a study that 76 people who are tied to the vegetarian diet have lowered their triglyceride and LDL cholesterol, all of which are critical to prevent heart problems.

In another study, people who adopted the vegan diet have experienced significantly lower total cholesterol and LDL level as well as a 75% reduction in blood pressure, therefore decreasing the chance of developing heart disease.

Reduce Cancer Risk

Some research claims that their vegetarian diet is connected to decreasing the risk of colon, breast, stomach, and rectal cancer. Other research has shown that a vegan diet has a 15% lower risk of dying or developing cancer.

Better Kidney Function

The problem with meat is that it produces a lot of proteins that are detrimental to the filtration system in the kidney. Fortunately, with a vegetarian or vegan diet, there’s practically no protein, therefore leading to a healthier filtration process. This is especially important for diabetics where the significantly high levels of glucose that have already damaged their kidney filtration system, so a vegetarian or vegan diet can help preserve their kidney function.

What Are The Problems of Being a Vegetarian or Vegan?

A well-regulated vegan or vegetarian diet can be healthy and nutritious. However, if you are not cautious, it can lead to some nutritional deficiencies.

For example, fish, poultry, and meats have a high amount of zinc, iron, vitamin B 12, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acid. Unfortunately, since vegans and vegetarians don’t consume these food groups, they are more likely to be deficient.

When it comes to the vegan diet, we often avoid eggs and dairy, which contains a high amount of vitamin B, vitamin D, and calcium. This can be very detrimental to our bone health.

If you are experiencing symptoms of weakness, anemia, thyroid problems, fatigue, and bone problem, then it’s essential to alter your vegan or vegetarian diet to get the proper nutrients that you need.

Keep in mind that there is a variety of whole-grain, vegetables, fruits, and protein that can help supplement what you might be deficient in. Supplements and multivitamins are an excellent option to increase your intake and compensate for deficiencies.

Tips to Becoming a Vegetarian?

If you’re interested in becoming a vegetarian, here are some suggestions to help you:

    • Before starting this diet, definitely think about it first, and ask yourself why you want to become a vegetarian, and believe in it. If you’re going to become a vegetarian for the heck of it, you will not stick with it for long.
    • Do your research and read as much as you can about the diet.
    • You don’t have to go out every day; you can check out some cookbook and easy recipe for a vegetarian diet
    • Consider trying one new vegetarian recipe a week. If you like it, add it to your collection of staple recipes to eat regularly. If you don’t like the recipe, then try a new one. Eventually, you should have around 5 to 10 excellent recipes to cook and eat.
    • You can also use a meatless substitute for recipes that you love. For example, if you love spaghetti meatball, you can substitute the ground beef with tofu instead.
    • It’s best to gradually transition into the vegetarian diet rather than going cold turkey. You don’t have to give up meat all at once, just try a few recipes and eat one vegetarian meal per week, and slowly transition to two vegetarian meal per week and so forth.
    • Since you can have eggs and dairy on a vegetarian diet, make sure to eat more of those food groups.
  • Since the vegetarian exclude meat, you might have a deficiency in protein. The best way to compensate for that is to eat more nuts, soy, beans, greens, and food groups with more protein.

Tips to Becoming a Vegan?

Here are some tips and tricks in transitioning to a vegan diet:

    • It’s highly recommended to remove one kind of animal from your diet at a time. For example, chicken and egg is an excellent food group to start.
    • Start with one item you consume all the time, and substitute it with a vegan version. For example, instead of drinking whole milk, you can substitute it with almond milk.
    • It’s important to be adventurous with the vegan diet. Definitely try new cuisine and recipe.
    • Consider joining a vegan support group. There may be times that you get frustrated when people kept asking, “where do you get your protein from?” The best place to discuss this annoyance is with like-minded individuals who understand what you are going through.
    • Beans, tofu, quinoa, and nuts are excellent places to get all your proteins. If you prefer vegetables, then cauliflower, broccoli, and asparagus are filled with protein.
  • You can be adventurous and try more vegan ethnic food to get your taste buds craving for more. For example, Ethiopian lentil stew, spicy Indian curry, Mexican veggie tacos, and Italian pasta are a wonderful selection to get you motivated on the vegan diet.

What to Eat and What Not to Eat on a Vegetarian Diet?

A vegetarian diet should contain a diverse mix of healthy fats, proteins, grains, fruits, and vegetables. It’s essential to replace proteins with seeds, legumes, and nuts.

Here are some healthy foods to eat if you are on a vegetarian diet:

    • Apples, berries, melons, bananas, oranges, peaches, pears
    • Asparagus, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, leafy greens
    • Barley, rice, oats, buckwheat, quinoa
    • Lentils, peas, chickpeas, beans
    • Walnuts, chestnuts, cashew nuts, almond
    • Chia, hemp seeds, flaxseed
    • Olive oil, avocado, coconut
    • Nutritional yeast, egg, dairy, tofu

Keep in mind that there is a variety of food that vegetarians should avoid such as:

    • Veal, pork, beef
    • Chicken and turkey
    • Fish and shellfish

What to Eat and What Not to Eat on a Vegan Diet?

When you are on a vegan diet, here’s a list of food that you can eat:

    • Tofu is an excellent choice because it’s a protein-rich alternative to fish, meat, eggs, and poultry.
    • Legumes such as peas, lentils, and beans contain a fantastic source of nutrients.
    • Nuts have high amounts of fiber, zinc, Vitamin E, magnesium, and iron.
    • Flaxseed and Chia have high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
    • Fortified plant milk contains high amounts of vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin B 12.
    • Algae has a great amount of iodine and protein.
    • Nutritional Yeast increases the protein content.
    • Whole grain and cereal have fiber, vitamin B, iron, and several essential minerals.
    • Sprouted and fermented plant food such as kimchi has a lot of vitamin K and probiotics.
    • Fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens like kale, spinach, and bok choy, have a lot of calcium and iron.

Now that you know which food is good for you, here is a list of food to avoid on a vegan diet:

    • Lamb, pork, horse, beef, veal, white meat, turkey, chicken, organ meat, duck, goose, quail.
    • Anchovies, squid, shrimp, fish, calamari, muscles, scallops, lobster, crab.
    • Yogurt, butter, cheese, milk, ice cream, cream.
    • Eggs from quails, ostrich, fish, chicken
    • Anything from an animal like pollen, royal jelly, and honey
    • Make sure to avoid animal-based ingredients such as lactose, egg white albumin, gelatin, way, and fish-derived omega-3 fatty acid.

Bottom Line

There are so many reasons why anyone would want to get into veganism or vegetarianism. If done correctly, the diet can provide excellent health benefits such as regulating blood sugar level, improving heart health, enhancing kidney function, weight loss, and much more. These diets are only beneficial if you are consistent and focus on consuming nutrient-rich plants rather than processed ones. Don’t forget to take supplements to compensate for potential deficiencies.

With the right mindset and knowledge involving these diets, you are on your way to living a healthy lifestyle.