VEGAN VS VEGETARIAN VS PLANT-BASED DIET
In this article we are going to examine vegan vs. vegetarian vs. plant based diet and see what is the difference between these diets and what they have in common.
Let us begin by defining each diet and then we will go further and take a detailed approach on each one of them.
A vegetarian is a person who does not eat meat for health or religious reasons. A vegetarian does not eat any type of animal such as cow, fish, pig, turkey e.t.c.
A vegetarian abstains from meats, but they are able to consume animal products such as eggs and dairy. Different vegetarians follow different diets that suit their motives.
A vegetarian staple food consists of plants like fresh or cooked veggies, fruits, seeds, nuts, legumes and grains.
Different Types of Vegetarians.
Lacto-ovo-vegetarian- Eats both dairy products and eggs.
Lacto-vegetarian: Eats only dairy products but not eggs.
Ovo-vegetarian: Eats only eggs but not daily products.
Ethical Vegetarians: Avoids consuming meat in defend for the animals or the environment.
Pesco vegetarian: Eats fish, eggs and dairy, but avoids meats and poultry.
Flexitarian: Does not eat meat at most meals, but will occasionally eat poultry, fish or meat.
Demi-vegetarian; it is an individual who consumes fish; eggs, vegetarian cheese and milk based products but excludes meat.
A vegan is an individual who does not eat or consume any kind of an animal or its products such as milk, honey, cheese and fish.
Different Types of Vegans.
Raw-vegan: Does not eat any animal by-product, as well as anything cooked above 46 degrees Celsius.
A Vegan Diet.
A vegan diet is a meal that does not consist of any animal or its byproducts. A vegan may consume any meal as long as it does not contain animal or its derivatives for example meat, milk, eggs, bone, butter, milk, e.t.c.
Oreos, skittles, potato chips, French fries, vegan cheese, and coca cola are good examples of a vegan diet.
Vegans feed on plants which can cause them to lack some important nutrients, to avoid nutrients deficiency in their system they embark on the following foods and food groups in order to remain healthy.
In order to avoid animal exploitation and all forms of cruelty against animals, vegans avoid proteins from animals such as meat, poultry, fish and eggs.
Because of their decision, they go for plants that are rich in proteins known as legumes. Examples of legumes include lentils, beans and peas.
Legumes are also rich in fiber. Vegans avoid consuming all legumes at the same time in order to increase their absorption rate of iron.
Nuts and Seeds.
Seeds, nuts and their by products contain at least 5-12 grams of protein. This makes them a good source from proteins.
Vegan sources of Calcium
Calcium is needed for healthy bones and teeth. Good sources of calcium for vegans include the following;
Unsweetened soya, rice and oat drinks.
Sesame seeds and tahini
Brown and white bread.
Dried fruits, such as raisins, prunes, dried apricots and figs.
Vegan sources of Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. Vegan sources of Vitamin D include the following;
Exposure to sunshine
Unsweetened soya drinks.
Vegan Sources of Iron
Iron is essential in the production of red blood cells. Sources of irons for vegans include the following;
Whole meal flour and bread.
Breakfast cereals fortified with iron.
Dark green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli and spring greens.
Dried fruits such as apricots, prunes and figs.
Vegan sources of Vitamin B12
The body needs vitamin B12 to maintain a healthy nervous system and blood. Sources of vitamin B12 for vegans include the following;
Breakfast cereals fortified with B12
Unsweetened soya drinks fortified with vitamin B12
Yeast extract such as Marmite, which is fortified with vitamin B12
Plant Based Diet.
A person who consumes a plant based diet may or may not be a vegan or a vegetarian. A plant based diet is based on a majority of plant foods but may include a little amount of fish, eggs or meat.
Reasons behind Vegan, Vegetarian and Plant Based Diet.
People who observe a plant based diet do it to prevent themselves from suffering chronic illness or diseases or to revert the effects of chronic illness or diseases.
People can also be motivated to adopt these diets because of animal rights issues and ethical treatment of animals. The vegan society aims to avoid exploitation and cruelty to animals because of food, clothing or any other reason.
If you desire to boost your immune system or to be healthy, plant based diet is recommended for you. If your motivation is ethical treatment of animals, vegan diet is the best option.
Whether it is for health, the environment, ethical issues or for pleasure, it has been reported that the world is turning towards vegetarian, vegan and plant based diets.
Another reason why people choose these kinds of diets is because they are less costly.
Health Benefits of Vegan, Vegetarian and Plant Based Diet.
Plant based diets are known to contain vital elements such as potassium, calcium, iron, vitamins, minerals and contain less saturated fats and sodium.
Plant based diets contain less calories but are rich in vitamins which causes this diets to be rich in nutrients.
The result is that vegetarian and vegan diets could possibly reduce the likely occurrence of obesity, cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Research has shown that vegetarian diets are rich in carbohydrates, dietary fiber, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium and relatively low in protein, saturated fat, retinol, B12 and zinc.
Vegetarian men live longer than meat eating counter parts. It has been shown that vegetarian live 9.5 years longer than those who habitually eat meat. Vegetarians are less likely to develop or experience food allergies.
Research that has been conducted in the past show that vegetarians tend to have lower blood pressure than non vegetarians due to rich potassium foods that tend to lower the blood pressure.
It has been reported that vegans reduce the risk of blood pressure by 78% compared to individuals who consume meat on a daily basis.
Six Benefits of Vegetarian Diet.
High in Vitamins and Antioxidants.
Most of the plant based foods offer a relevant amount of antioxidants and contain some anti-inflammatory elements, which shows that they help to stop the progression of diseases by supplying nutrients that combat oxidative stress.
Diets that contain adequate amount of vegetables, fruit and other plant foods like ancient grains and legumes provide a lot of nutrients, including phytonutrients, and antioxidants such as flavonoids, quercetin, resveratrol, beta-carotene and more; essential vitamins such as Vitamin E, C and A; trace minerals such as phosphorus and manganese, electrolytes like potassium and magnesium.
A nutrient dense diet is advantageous for good health, slowing down the effects of aging, boosting your immune system against diseases, preventing cancer, heart diseases and deficiencies that cause a lot of negative reactions.
Boosting the heart Health.
Plant based meals provide assistance to lower inflammation, a root cause of heart diseases, and also provides dietary fiber.
Research has indicated that there is a relationship between consuming a high fiber diet and having increased protection against high blood pressure, heart diseases, diabetes and high cholesterol.
A study that was published by American College of Cardiology indicated that a higher intake of plant based diet rich in healthier plant foods is associated with lower coronary heart disease risk.
The unsaturated fats found in soya beans, seeds, nuts, avocadoes, olives and other foods that originate from plants tend to reduce occurrences of heart diseases.
Individuals who consume a large amount of fruit and vegetables each day, tend to have the best protection against weight gain as they become older.
This is achieved because foods like fruits and fresh veggies contain low calories and yet they are high in volume and therefore occupy a larger portion in your stomach and therefore stop you from overeating.
Plant based diets are related to a lower risk of obesity.
Provides More Digestive Enzymes.
If you decide to include a good amount of raw foods in your diet, you will benefit from gaining higher amounts of enzymes that serve many purposes.
Enzymes are beneficial because they are required to break down the food into little nutritional units that the body can digest.
Removes by Products Found in Cooked food and additives.
When meat is cooked at very high temperatures, certain chemical compounds known as heterocyclic amines will be created that will result in carcinogenic effects.
Vegetarian diets are able to get rid of processed meats, which are also known as carcinogenic.
These include foods like packaged cold cuts, cured meats and hot dogs. On the contrary, plant based proteins offer amino acids but with the absence of carcinogenic effects.
Preserves Environmental Resources.
A lot of people choose to reduce the amount of fish, meat and other animal foods in their diets in order to lower carbon footprints.
Plants foods require less natural resources for example water. Research has shown that animals require a lot of water, land and energy than plants.
Lower Blood pressure and Hypertension.
Non vegetarians tend to have a higher blood pressure than vegetarians. This is because vegetarians have less body weight which results in lower blood pressure.
Avoiding consuming animal products means avoiding much of their saturated fats which lead to the clogging of pores. Many vitamins and pigments in veggies and fruits contribute to a healthy skin.
The lycopene in tomatoes helps to safeguard your skin from damage from sun rays and vitamin C in sweet potatoes smoothens wrinkles by stimulating the production of collagen.
Boosts your vision
The vitamin A in carrots aids in night vision. A plant based diet rich in spinach, corn, kale, corn, squash and grapes contain lutein.
The lutein pigments in these foods are thought to eliminate and cataract muscular degeneration.
VEGAN VS VEGETARIAN VS PLANT-BASED DIET
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