By: Kate SAARI
When you hear the word “vegan” or “vegetarian”, what do you think of? Fruits, vegetables, and water maybe, since that seems to be their whole diet. At least, that is what everybody assumes is their entire food plan. Although vegetarians and vegans have a more restricted food menu, there is still a wide range of possible items for consumption. It may seem like a super life-changing transformation, but with an easy switch of both mindset and palette, you can achieve both lifestyles. The two eating restriction diets are both similar, but yet so different. Both diets contain their beneficial and detrimental effects, so which diet is truly better for you, not just physical health, but mental health.
One thing that is very clearly known is that both of these diets come with positive outcomes. Such as Vegetarians, who have better heart health than the standard Western diet, but Veganism goes farther than that. Harvard Health states “Whole, unprocessed fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that support heart health.” To have a happy healthy heart, you need foods like nuts, berries, grains, and leafy greens, etc. All of these options contain antioxidant polyphenols and protein, which manages lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Vegans take in a lot of additional advantages because they aren’t consuming foods, such as dairy, that aren’t absolutely useful towards your heart. This leads to one of our differences between the two diets. One is allowed to eat dairy products, like milk, ice cream, and butter. Vegans avoid these meals not only for the health positives but for their belief against animal cruelty. The Today Show did a segment on a dairy company called “Fairlife.” Katie Jackson reported that “On a daily basis, cows with infected eyes, broken bleeding tails, infected udders and afterbirth placentas hanging out from their bodies were seen being forced on the rotary system…”. 3 employees were charged for animal cruelty and another was arrested. This is just one of many other corporations that take advantage of animals and treat them horrifically, but aren’t held accountable. Veganism helps protest against this type of behavior towards our wildlife. So, not only does being vegan help you feel satisfied on the inside, you get to feel the satisfaction of knowing you’re saving an animal’s life.
Vegetarians have plenty of positives as well that vegans miss out on. Vegetarians are known for weight loss, because it’s a start of losing the negatives from meat, such as saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories. This diet is a great first step when wanting to live a healthier lifestyle, but don’t want to avoid mac and cheese or milk on cereal. Veganism is also a good technique for losing weight, but their diet isn’t as filling as Vegetarianism, so they are constantly eating to feel stuffed from their lack of energy and protein from meat. Vegetarians can’t eat red meats, seafood, or poultry, but foods such as eggs, honey, and dairy are still available to them. Eggs are a great source of protein and can be put with many meals. Australian Eggs informs us that “Just one boiled egg contains 40% of your daily vitamin D requirements, 25% of your daily folate requirements, 12% of your daily riboflavin (Vitamin B2) requirements, 20% of your daily selenium requirements…” As long as foods such as eggs are still accessible, you are able to take in the right amount of nutrients that you would need on a basic regimen. Being a vegetarian myself, I can say I have really benefited from this diet while still being able to receive all the nutrients I need for being a kid. Vegetarianism is a great contributor to help lose weight, but still allows you to venture outside fruits and vegetables,
So, which diet is actually better for you? Vegans have all their benefits as well as Vegetarians, but both have their downsides. The real answer is whatever works best for YOU. Both diets are equally as challenging or simple as you make it. While Vegetarianism is a close relative to Veganism, it’s how you treat the diet that matters. Researchers at the University of Oxford found that reducing meat and dairy products from your diet could decrease an individual’s carbon footprint from food by 73 percent. Since both diets don’t include both of these foods, these two are great for the environment. So, now it’s up to you. Whatever you decide, whether it’s converting to Veganism, Vegetarian, or sticking with the same diet you already have, it really is all about you. In the end, either choice is right, but all that matters is your health and you’re content with yourself.