The Vegetarian and Vegan Diets

Whats is a Calorie Deficit Diet? Different people have different relationships with food. It is very interesting to find out why some people eat meat and some do not. It can be because of their beliefs or also because of their food preferences. Each one of these two categories plays a significant role in weight loss and healthy living. People who eat animal products benefit from consuming protein and other essential nutrients. Individuals that do not consume animal products will reduce their risk of developing obesity and heart diseases.

Vegetarians and vegans form the category of people who do not eat animal meat. While some people might take these two to be the same, there is a subtle difference between them. A vegetarian does not consume any animal at all, including birds, fishes, and all others. A vegan goes a step forward by avoiding other products derived from animals. Such includes dairy cheese, dairy milk, eggs, and honey. While vegetarians have been around since 700 BC, vegans are more recent and are gaining attention by the day.

Recent studies that were carried out to compare the vegetarian and vegan diet reported that vegetarians have a higher risk of developing diabetes type 2. This can be attributed to the special diet plans that vegetarians adopt. For instance, a vegetarian’s diet can contain eggs. However, egg yolk is high in cholesterol. Cholesterol is famous for its deleterious effect on the body. 

Apart from belief systems, some people adopt vegetarian and vegan diets in orther to lose weight. The following sections will look into each of these diets and explore what they are all about; their similarities and differences.

Vegetarian Diet

As mentioned above, vegetarians have been around since 700 BC. Their main reason for practicing vegetarianism include ethnics and environmentalism. In the early days, this group of people believed it was unethical to kill an animal for food. More recently, some people practice vegetarianism for health reasons. Others practice it to lose weight.

Who is a Vegetarian ?

The Vegetarian Society defines a vegetarian as a person who does not consume any poultry, meat, fish, game, or other by-products derived from killing animals. Vegetarians will use a product if the animal does not have to die to access it. Some example of such includes egg and milk.

What is a Vegetarian Diet ?

A lot has been mentioned about the structure of a vegetarian diet. Because of its uniqueness, this diet plan is adopted daily. Studies have shown that over 16% of people practice the vegetarian diet plan. The typical vegetarian diet does not contain poultry, meat, or fish. It mainly consists of fruits and vegetables. Animal products such as dairy cheese, dairy milk, eggs, and honey can be found in a vegetarian diet. The typical vegetarian diet also contains grains, legumes, nuts, pulses, and seeds.

There are different levels of the structure of a vegetarian diet. These include;

·         One devoid of animal flesh but contains egg and dairy products.

·         One devoid of animal flesh and egg but contains dairy products.

·         One devoid of all animal products except eggs.


While most of them practice vegetarianism because of environmental and ethical reasons, some practice it because of its health benefits. The environmentalists believe that more animals equal more greenhouse gas emissions. This gives stability to the ecosystem and contributes immensely to climate change. Environmentalists also hold the opinion that animal product consumption requires a substantial amount of energy and natural resources which should be preserved.

Health-wise, some people practice vegetarianism for weight loss. Vegetarianism also reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases. The vegetarian diet is high in important nutrients such as magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and fiber. A study conducted on over 60,000 adults reported that vegetarians have a lower body mass index than the general population. Body mass index is a system which measures body fat based on weight and height. The index is used to classify people as underweight, normal weight, or obsessed.

Vegetarianism has been linked to a reduction in cancer development. Colon carcinoma is an example of such cancers. This is because one of the risk factors for the development of colon carcinoma is red meat and saturated fat consumption.


A vegetarian diet that is well structured can be nutritious and healthy. However, if attention isn’t paid to certain areas, a person will be at risk of some nutritional deficiencies. Animal products supply the body with protein, essential fatty acids, iron, selenium, vitamin B12, and zinc. Deficiency in these nutrients can cause easy fatigability, thyroid dysfunction, and anemia (vitamins B12 and iron are key ingredients in blood production).

A major way to overcome this downside is to have a well-structured diet. The ideal vegetarian diet should contain whole grains, proteins, fruits, and vegetables. Another efficient way of compensating for these deficiencies is by consuming multivitamins and supplements.

raw vegetables, weight loss, diet

The Vegan Diet

The vegan diet has also been briefly introduced in the early sections. They are more recent and can be viewed as a strict form of the vegetarian diet. This group does not believe in consuming any animal products at all. Unlike in vegetarians where a good number of them are in it for weight loss, vegans practice veganism mainly for ethical and environmental reasons.

Who is a Vegan ?

 The Vegetarian Society defines a vegan as a person who does not consume any animal product because of attempts to exclude animal cruelty and exploration.

What is a Vegan Diet ?

A vegan diet is like that of a vegetarian. The difference is that a vegan does not consume eggs, dairy products, and any ingredient derived from animals. A vegan’s diet mainly contains fruits vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, pulses, and seeds. The absolute lack of animal products predisposes vegans to a higher risk of nutritional deficiencies.


A vegan diet has the same benefits as a vegetarian diet. However, there is an added advantage for vegans. Since they do not consume eggs, they are saved from the excess cholesterol in the egg yolk. This gives them a lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases than vegetarians. The typical vegan meal, therefore, keeps the heart healthy and strong.

Vegan diets help to prevent diabetes type 2. This is achieved by the stabilization of blood sugar levels over a long time.


The downsides to a vegan diet are like that of the vegetarian diet. The difference is that a vegan is at a higher risk of those nutritional deficiencies. This is because they do not consume any animal products.

Therefore, vegans need multivitamins and vitamin supplements much more than other people. The supplements will help to compensate for the vitamins and other nutrients their diet lacks.

Multivitamins and Vitamin Supplements

As a vegetarian or vegan, one thing you need more than another is a supplement. The vegetarian and vegan diet can be deficient in vitamins that the body needs. Prevention is better than cure; therefore it is essential to take the supplements before the nutritional deficiency affects your health. There are many supplements on the market today. Essentially, they should contain;

 Vitamin B12 (found in meat)

Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish)

Iron (for blood formation)

Calcium (for bone strength)

Vitamin D (for bone strength)

Vitamin K (for proper blood clotting)

Zinc (for blood formation)

Iron (for blood formation)

Iodine (for proper thyroid function)

Examples of supplements with the essential vitamins and minerals include; Apple Cider, Quercetin, Spirulina, and many more. To know more about these products and get one for yourself, click here. Vegetarian and vegan diets are excellent for healthy living, weight loss, and the environment. However, it is important to note the downsides to this diet. Preventive precautions such as well-structured diet and supplements.

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