Vegetarian v. Vegan v. Flexitarian
May 10, 2022
LET'S TACO BOUT VEGETARIAN, VEGAN & FLEXITARIAN
For many these terms are confusing. With so many diets out there, it is hard to know which one to choose for your health or the health of the environment. So, what is the difference between vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian?
WHAT IS A VEGAN DIET?
A person on a vegan diet does not consume animal protein (meat, fish, seafood, poultry) or any "animal products". These include dairy products (milk, eggs, cheese) - and honey.
WHAT IS A VEGETARIAN DIET?
A person on a vegetarian diet does not consume animal protein, but they might choose to eat dairy products and honey. Vegetarian diets are often individualized:
an Ovo Vegetarian does not eat red meat, poultry, or dairy products, but they do eat eggs
a Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian refrains from eating all meat, fish, and seafood, but does eat dairy products and eggs
There are even some diets that mimic a Vegetarian's, though they are technically considered vegetarian:
a Pescatarian cuts out all red meat and poultry, but they do eat fish and seafood
a Pesco Pollo Vegetarian avoids red meat but eats chicken, fish and seafood
WHAT IS A FLEXITARIAN DIET?
A Flexitarian is someone who chooses to eat mostly plants or plant-based foods, while eating animal proteins and products (often red meat, in particular) sparingly.
Regardless of whether or not you follow one of the above diets, our advice for improved personal and environmental health is this: choose whole foods or foods with minimal processing and little added sugar and fat. If you do follow a flexitarian, vegan or vegetarian diet, the most important thing is to remain in balance. Eat plenty of good carbs, vegetables, fruits, grains, beans and nuts for protein, vitamins and minerals - and limit fried foods, sweets and other highly processed foods with added sugar and fat that aren’t nutritious or super healthy.
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