Being a Vegan vs. Vegetarian

To cheese or not to cheese... In the broader heading of "vegetarians," we find that vegetarian diets may be sub-divided into 3 categories. We've what're termed "lacto-ovo vegetarians," whose diet can include all dairy products and eggs. There is another group of vegetarians termed "lacto" vegetarians," whose diet can include all dairy products, but not eggs. And then there are "vegan vegetarians," whose diet excludes any and all animals or animal by-products. For the vegan, if it had blood flowing through it at any stage or juncture, they will not eat it.

It's argued, perhaps persuasively, that a true vegan vegetarian diet is healthier than either of the "lacto" vegetarian diets. The inclusion of dairy products and eggs into the diet brings with it extra fats and calories.

This inclusion of dairy products into a vegetarian diet will naturally involve the consumption of saturated fats and their evil cousin, trans fats. Dairy fat, found in cheese, butter, and such, consists of approximately 60% saturated fat. Trans fats are found naturally in all animal products and by-products, including cheese. The vegan, on the other hand, does not consume dairy products, or cheese. Their consumption of trans fats can well be in the 0g of trans fats each day. For the health conscious, be they "lacto" vegetarian or straight vegan, 0 grams of trans fats is 0 grams of trans fats.Saturated fats and trans fats have been exclusively linked to heart disease. The "lacto" vegetarians, by nature of their inclusion of dairy and egg products place themselves at a much greater risk than their straight vegan cousins.

With either of the "lacto" vegetarian diets weight loss is not an assured thing by any means. This diet often relies too heavily on dairy products for protein, and the result is an influx of calories that might not have been there before. The "lacto" vegetarian diet may well include processed soy-based products, which are under heavy scrutiny.The vegan diet, however, excludes these high calorie products, as well as the processed versions. As a result, true vegans almost always experience a healthy weight loss. Another change in the body from a vegan diet will be adapting to the change of enzyme levels and varieties in the bowels. Healthy enzymes will replace unhealthy in the vegans system, promoting good health. The heaviness of a non-vegan diet will be replaced with the body's adaptation to the lighter substance of the vegan diet; which itself provides not only better physical health, but better mental health as well. Studies have shown that there are essential supplements needed by the body. The vegan may find the need to add supplements to their diet; one of them being zinc.

To choose one diet over the other is a decision that'll be based on preference, likes, dislikes, and health issues. To cheese or not to cheese should be considered solemnly before committing one way or the other.

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