Vegans vs. Vegetarians
Vegetarian and vegan are two words that we have all heard of but most of us won’t really understand the difference. We know that it means vegetarian food or a vegan diet doesn’t contain eat red meat or any meat-based diet, but what is the difference between the two?
||Veganism is a philosophy and compassionate lifestyle whose adherents seek to exclude the use of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose. Vegans endeavor not to use or consume animal products of any kind.
||Vegetarianism is the practice of a diet that excludes meat (including game and slaughter by-products; fish, shellfish and other sea animals; and poultry). There are several variants of the diet, some of which also exclude eggs.
||Vegans do not consume meat, eggs, milk, honey or any food that is derived from animals.
||Do not eat meat or fish. Some do consume dairy and some vegetarians consume eggs. Lacto-vegetarian: eating dairy products. Ovo-vegetarian: eating eggs. Do not eat gelatin or other animal by products.
||Do not use any animal derived products, e.g. fur, leather, wool, etc. Do not condone the use of animal testing.
||While vegetarians do not eat meat, most vegetarians do not mind using other animal-derived products, e.g. fur, leather, or wool.
BEING VEGAN AND LOSING WEIGHT
A vegan diet isn’t a guaranteed way to lose weight. You can very well eat processed chips, cereal, energy bars and pasta as the bulk of your diet and still be heavier than someone following an omnivorous diet consisting of lean meats and leafy greens. Long-term vegans, though, do tend to have less body fat and lower cholesterol than meat eaters, reported a study in Nutrition Research and Practice published in 2012. Vegans are successful at keeping a healthy body weight focus on eating whole foods, such as beans and legumes, fresh vegetables, and soy protein. To lose weight quickly, even as a vegan, you’ll still need to moderate your calorie intake and exercise.
Weight loss on any type of diet occurs when you eat fewer calories than you burn. A deficit of 3,500 calories leads to 1 pound lost. You create this deficit by cutting calories, exercising more or a combination of the two. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends not losing weight at a rate faster than about 2 pounds per week, or you’ll be less likely to keep it off. This may not fit your definition of “fast,” but it’s the most manageable and safest rate.
One of the benefits of a vegan diet is that you’re cutting out potentially high-calorie foods, such as fatty meats, poultry with the skin and processed meat. A vegan diet includes no animal flesh and sometimes no animal products, no eggs, and no dairy. A vegan consumes mainly plant foods.
To lose weight quickly, you may need to limit certain snacks that are healthy and vegan, but can easily lead to overeating. A scant handful of nuts or two tablespoons of hummus fit into a vegan weight loss plan, but if they turn into a half- or full-cup serving, you’re better off resisting them altogether. Opt for a snack of plain, soy low-fat yogurt with berries, a piece of fresh fruit or cut-up vegetables, instead.
Stay away from fried vegan foods, including French fries and tempura vegetables. Don’t deprive yourself of fats altogether when trying to drop pounds, though. Just opt for healthy unsaturated versions by sprinkling a few seeds over your salad, tossing roast vegetables in a tablespoon of olive oil, or adding a tablespoon of chia seeds to your morning smoothie.
Just because a food item says it’s vegan doesn’t mean it’s low-calorie. Vegan cookies, cupcakes and pizza usually contain large numbers of calories and could undermine your results. Salads are excellent meal options, as long as you limit the amount of high-calorie toppings — including croutons, creamy dressing, cheese crumbles, dried fruit and candied nuts.