What’s The Difference Between Vegetarian and Vegan Diet?

Vegetarian vs vegan
Vegetarian vs vegan

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There has been much focus of late on the vegetarian and vegan diets. As the world struggles with environmental and climate changes, much has been said about the sustainability of factory farming when it comes to producing animal products.  As a result, two lifestyle diets are gaining momentum and becoming increasingly popular. These diets are the vegetarian and vegan diets, and these are the two diets that we will be comparing today.  

When it comes to the vegetarian diet, there are many different levels of vegetarianism but predominantly it is a diet that is plant-based and is free of any meat, fish or fowl flesh.  Generally, a vegetarian diet also includes dairy products and eggs thought some might choose to forego dairy and include fish for example. It is a diet that is relatively flexible and is really determined by your own personal preferences while maintaining a plant-based focus.

The vegan diet is one that omits all animal products which can include any meats, seafood, fish sauces and animal-based seasonings such as chicken salt etc.   The vegan diet is purely plant-based with the protein sources being mainly derived from green leafy vegetables, legumes, and products such as tofu.

Main pros of the vegetarian diet:

  • Linked to the reduction in many diseases such as heart disease, auto-immune disease, and cancer.
  • Generally, a vegetarian diet leads to a reduction in the consumption of processed foods.
  • Can assist with weight management.
  • Kinder to the planet.
  • Better for the environment.

Main pros of the vegan diet:

  • Linked to the reduction in many diseases such as heart disease, auto-immune disease and cancer.
  • A vegan diet is largely lower in saturated fat which has many health benefits.
  • Can assist with weight management.
  • Kinder to the planet and better for the environment.
  • It is a diet that is the most ethical when it comes to animal welfare.

Main cons of the vegetarian diet:

  • An assumption of health benefits, which are only met with a well-balanced diet
  • Can lead to a tendency to snack, and vegetarian snacks can be just as unhealthy as non-vegetarian snacks!
  • If increasing your fruit and vegetable intake, you also need to increase the volume of food you consume to avoid feeling deprived.
  • Need to be more prepared when it comes to social situations
  • Need to monitor vitamin B12 and other essential nutrients

Main cons of the vegan diet:

  • Can lead to a vitamin B12 deficiency so this needs to be addressed with supplementation
  • Can lead to a calcium deficiency if not eating a well-balanced diet that ensures that all nutritional needs are met
  • Can be restrictive
  • Can be very difficult to incorporate socially
  • Can be difficult to cater for when dining out
Terra kitchen vegan plan
Terra's Kitchen Vegan Menu

When you are embracing a new lifestyle and trying to implement new dietary changes, this can be very challenging when it comes to meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking.  If you are unused to cooking with a lot of fruit and vegetables, legumes and grains which is required with the vegetarian and vegan diets, it can be a little overwhelming initially. 

With a vegetarian and vegan diet, it is also very tempting to replace certain animal products with vegetarian and vegan meat replacements which can be highly processed and not necessarily the best options health wise.

When following a vegetarian or vegan diet, it is very important to be aware of the nutrients that your body needs and to be able to have the time to create new and delicious recipes that you and your family will enjoy without feeling like you are being deprived.

This is where meal kits come in and are very appealing services to use when following a vegan or vegetarian diet.  They are specialists in creating tempting and tasty recipes that fit the vegan and vegetarian diets while also ensuring that you are consuming well-balanced meals that provide all the nutrients that you need. 

Using a meal kit service will be hugely helpful as they do the meal planning, preparation and grocery shopping for you. With a meal kit service, you will be able to successfully follow the vegetarian or vegan diet, with a minimum of effort and a maximum amount of enjoyment when it comes to enjoying delicious and nutritious meals.     

Not only will you be eating well, but you will be successfully following your diet of choice, whether it be a vegetarian or vegan diet, with a minimal amount of fuss and stress.

To further read about the best meal kit services available for the vegetarian diet please click here.

To further read about the best meal kit services available for the vegan diet please click here.