As people nowadays are becoming more conscious of their health and body image, vegetarianism is inching itself as an accepted society norm. It is not simply a dietary choice but a lifestyle diet. Restaurants offer vegetarian viands for customers. Demands for vegetarian products increase in food grocery stores. Vegetarian-friendly recipes spread like mushrooms in the web sphere. In the same way, curiosity grows for people who are interested in exploring and trying veganism. What is vegetarianism and how is it different from veganism? In this article, you’ll find out. Just as there are many subgroups in a religion, there are also many subtypes that belong to one big umbrella of vegetarianism.
- Lacto vegetarians are those who don’t consume meat excluding dairy products like milk, cheese and so forth. Probable reasons for people becoming lacto vegetarians are of dietary reasons; they take dairy products still as they feel the need to balance out their diet.
- Ovo vegetarians, on the other hand, are those who don’t eat meat and dairy products at all except eggs. This is because they feel the need to have extra protein in their diet.
- Moving up to the next level, vegetarians who don’t eat meat, dairy products and eggs but eat fish are called pescetarians or pesco vegetarians. They eat fish because they feel like it rounds out their dietary needs in terms of protein and B12, a necessary vitamin commonly found in animal products not present in purely vegetarian diets.
- Finally, the strictest type is the group composed of those who don’t eat any meat, dairy products, eggs and fish at all. They are called vegans. In addition, vegans avoid using animal by-products such as leather, fur, wool, silk, lotion and other products tested on animals.
- Veganism is further divided into two subgroups. One is composed of raw vegans, or people who only eat vegetables or food which are not heated up higher than 37 degrees Celsius (before they lose their nutrition value, as they believe). The other subgroup is composed of fruitarians, people who eat only fruits (no grains, nuts and animal products).
From the subgroups above, general advantages of a vegetarian diet are: increased levels of anti-oxidants (e.g. Vitamins C and E) and lower risks of acquiring diseases such as obesity, hypertension, heart diseases, diabetes, diverticulosis, renal disease, gallstones and some types of cancers.
In some further extent, vegans maximize the advantages of being vegetarians as they practice a “greener” lifestyle. Their body systems can be so-called cholesterol-free. They have lower blood sugar levels and lower fat contents. Hence, they have more tendencies to lose weight faster.
Sounds good, right?
However, many of the dieters who are starting to become vegetarians fail to carefully research and plan out their vegetarianism or veganism lifestyles before they actually start. These people feel lack of energy, experience a significant loss in muscle mass, and find themselves at a disadvantage. As a result, they do not last for more than one to two months.
In terms of health sustenance, other examples of disadvantages include lack of protein and amino acids, iron, zinc, calcium, omega 3 and Vitamin B-12.
By researching and learning on becoming a vegetarian more, you become aware of more pros and cons. All in all, before making any drastic changes to your diet, consulting your personal physician, dietician or nutritionist is always best recommended. Being healthy, regardless the type of diet, is most rewarding.
About Belle – Belle is the owner and blog editor of Lean and Fab Supplier. She is an athletic girl who loves running, gymnastics and tennis and is also a strict vegetarian.