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Vegan Or Vegetarian Diet? Which Is Better?

Posted Aug 01 2010 11:06am
So, what's the difference between a vegan or vegetarian diet? You may not have thought about this if you have no interest in being a vegan or vegetarian. Or, you may be thinking about changing your eating habits. Vegan or vegetarian diets are healthy options. Let's look at both types of nutritional diets
Vegan Diet

Veganism is the strictest form of vegetarianism. Vegans don't eat animal products or animal by-products. Vegans eat healthy foods but they need to take supplements such as calcium, iron, protein and vitamin B12 because these nutrients are sometimes missing in their diet.

A vegan diet contains less fat than vegetarian diets so this would be a plus if you are trying to burn fat and lose weight. Vegan diets will generally provide you with more energy than a less strict vegetarian diet.

Vegetarian Diet

There are four other less strict forms of vegetarianism
1. Semi-vegetarians eat eggs, chicken, diary products and fish. They do not eat any other types of animal meat.

2. Ovo-lacto vegetarians don't eat poultry, meat, seafood or fish. They will eat eggs and drink milk. Most vegetarians fall into this group of eaters.

3. Ovo vegetarians are similar to vegans except they will eat eggs.

4. Lacto vegetarians are similar to vegans except they will drink milk.

If you are a vegetarian, you are probably reaping the health benefits of a great diet. According to Susan Havala Hobbs (author of Being Vegetarian For Dummies), research has proven that vegetarians have lower rates of coronary artery disease, some forms of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity . Vegetarians are also less likely to have kidney disease and intestinal problems like diverticulosis.

Food choices for vegetarians have expanded at grocery stores and restaurants. Vegetarian diets are no longer considered "bland". Like any diet, you must make sure you are getting enough nutrients.

I would recommend everyone take a multivitamin, unless your diet is perfect.

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