Plant-Based vs Veganism: What’s The Difference?

Plant-based and vegan diets have been rapidly growing in popularity. But why is this so? Let’s start by taking a look at some of the plant-based and vegan benefits!

Apart from the largely known health benefits of a plant-based and vegan diet, comes social and environmental benefits too. As a plant-based diet only requires a third of land that’s needed to support a meat and dairy diet, having a change of diet poses a solution for overcoming food scarcity. In addition to this, the meat industry is a large contributor to carbon footprint. Reducing animal and animal byproduct consumption aids in reducing air pollution. In short, a plant-based or vegan diet does not only reap benefits for its consumer, but the rest of the world too.

These are great benefits, but it’s important to know how to adopt such diets! Here are some facts about the 4 most common plant-based and vegan diets and how you could start off!

Vegan

A vegan diet avoids food containing animal products and byproducts such as meat, fish, eggs and any form of dairy. It is made up of mainly fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, bread, rice, pasta and dairy alternatives such as soymilk, coconut milk and almond milk. A vegan diet has been popularly known for aiding weight loss and lowering blood pressure.

Before adopting a vegan diet, it is important to take note of the nutrients that this diet could potentially lack due to its exclusion of meat, fish and dairy. Ensure you still meet your daily nutritional requirements!

Vegetarian

A vegetarian diet, unlike a vegan diet, does not exclude dairy. Food such as eggs, cheese, milk, butter and other dairy products are encouraged in a vegetarian diet. Adopting such a diet regulates blood sugar levels which may reduce cholesterol and overall risk of heart attack.

To adopt a vegetarian diet, you may want to start by slowly getting into it. You can do so by having less meat portions in every meal before easing your way into complete meat exclusion.

Pescatarian

Similar to a vegetarian diet, a pescatarian diet encourages dairy and discourages meat. The only difference between these two diets, is that a pescatarian diet encourages fish, shellfish and seafood. High in protein, having fish in your diet can reduce your chances of heart attack.

To adopt a pescatarian diet, begin by slowly replacing meat portions with seafood before excluding meat from your diet completely.

Flexitarian (Semi-vegetarian)

As its name suggests, a flexitarian diet is flexible. This diet does not come with any set of rules or exceptions to it. The foundation of the diet is mainly the same as a vegetarian diet and the only difference is that small amounts of meat and fish are being included as desired. Adopting this diet gives you the best mix of proteins, nutrients and vitamins necessary for your body.

Due to the non-rigid nature of a flexitarian diet, you might be practicing it without even knowing!

There are many benefits that come with a plant-based and vegan diet. Hopefully you’ve found one suited to you!