ALL THE BEEF [for me]! I never used to be a huge red meat consumer…but that filet mignon though?! Who doesn’t like a fine-cut slab of red meat that your fork can literally cut through like butter? I DO I DO! But, some of us may not be able to tolerate red meats or even dairy, chicken, and fish [or honey]! I did a little digging on some insights about a vegan vs vegetarian eating approach – so keep reading further to find out some facts and my thoughts about these alternative ways to obtain proper nutrition!
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING VEGAN OR VEGETARIAN?
Upon researching each of these “diet” approaches, here are the primary aspects of each diet: MEAT/DAIRY!
Vegans ultimately avoid animal produce/products. So that means any type of meat, egg, dairy, etc. This type of diet approach must incorporate protein within their diet through other sources such as tofu, nuts/seeds, or even a surplus in supplementation intake! A vegan diet is primarily PLANT-BASED foods – that even means one is unable to consume honey!
On the other hand, vegetarians consume all plant-based foods as well as “some” DAIRY/FISH/EGGS. There are so-called “sub-types” of being a vegetarian: lacto-vegetarian (consume dairy but no eggs), ovo-vegetarian (consume eggs but no dairy), etc. This type of diet approach has a little bit more options to choose from in order to continue to obtain proper nutritional intake levels, especially protein.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF EACH “DIET”?
Both have added benefits for weight and fat loss; additionally, there is some research that aids in decreased cancer risk, improved cholesterol levels, and as well as decreased risk of hypertension development.
On a side note: if you suffer from gastro-intentestional issues or any other health-related issue that may be affecting your nutrition, please consult your physician for further guidance! Remember, I’m NOT a physician – I am only providing you with information/guidance regarding nutrition concepts!
WHAT ARE THE CONS OF THESE “DIET” APPROACHES?
Some things that I found out about these two approaches are their lack of vitamin/mineral content levels, also known as micronutrients. It is highly recommended to obtain supplementation (or other extra sources of food) of vitamins and minerals including:
- Vitamin B12 = primary job to protect/strengthen nerves and red blood cells
- Zinc = aids in cell metabolism and immune health
- Iron = aids in oxygen transport within the blood and oxidation processes
- Omega-3/6 fatty acids = important for eye, heart, and brain health (especially ALA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids)
- Vitamin D = aids in bone/skin health and strength
- Calcium = primarily promotes bone strength and health
HOW DOES THIS WORK WITH MY FLEXIBLE DIETING APPORACH? CAN I STILL DO IT?
Simply put yes. However, it will probably require EVEN MORE planning ahead and literally keeping a hand-written journal of food intake determining which foods “fit” better with your taste buds. Since both approaches heavily rely on plant-based nutritional intake, it may be advisable to utilize supplementation of some of the [said] above vitamins/minerals that may lack when using this type of “diet” approach.
Just like any other “diet” approach, you MUST be able to adhere to a proper plan, take it slow, especially when transitioning to a vegan/vegetarian approach, and track track track your food intake. Also, I would recommend NOT abruptly becoming a “strict” vegan/vegetarian immediately – instead, take it slow and steady when transitioning thus subtracting/adding to your current diet.
Both of these diet approaches can be utilized within the flexible dieting concept – if you feel it may work for you, then by all means give it a shot! Just be sure to NOT deprive yourself from your desires of food and to stay CONSISTENT with whatever your approach may be. Oh, and don’t forget to DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH before trying anything new! I hope this helps spark your insight – happy eating! #teambullseyenutrition