Vegan, the word itself conjures images of stick figures, roots, twigs, leaves, and any other number of random articles for the uninformed about vegan foods, when in fact it should be a word synonymous with a healthy lifestyle. Vegetarian is another word thrown around with the vegan lifestyle, and while similar, there are a vast many differences between the two. Many may wonder the difference, to some it would seem they are one in the same with meat being the only determining factor. Fruits and vegetables are the biggest factor in both lifestyles and diets, and it is also true of the avoidance of meat. So what is the difference?
Vegan Foods – Diet vs. Lifestyle
Perhaps the biggest separating factor for vegans is the strictness of the lifestyle in the avoidance of all animal products. Vegetarianism has many different sub genres to go with it, allowing some flexibility to the diet. For that reason vegetarian could be considered more of a diet, where going vegan is more of a lifestyle. The list of foods to avoid for vegans can be surprising to many who do not realize the restrictions. Read the labels: many foods that may seem acceptable are cooked or manufactured with animal fats or byproducts.
Vegetarians seem to have a certain amount of freedom with their diet and can still be considered a vegetarian. Standard vegetarians do not ingest meat, dairy products, poultry, or fish. Lacto-ovo vegetarians will eat dairy products and eggs. Lacto vegetarians will only stray by ingesting dairy products and ovo vegetarians with eggs but no dairy products. Vegans will avoid all animal products in their diet and even avoid clothing and many other materials that may contain animal products as well. While it is still possible to maintain a diet for a vegan weight loss plan, without the lifestyle change it may be closer to resembling a vegetarian diet.
Vegan Foods – What to Avoid
Vegans will avoid many foods and products if they have anything to do with animals. One example would be honey because it is made by bees. Also gelatin because of animal byproducts. Anything with cheese on it, yes this includes pizza, lasagna, and many other popular dishes. Due to the large list of foods to be avoided, many have been created, making the change to a vegan foods diet easier to maintain. Many products imitate the taste and texture of meat, from breakfast sausage, hamburgers, and hot dogs, to dairy products. Many different kinds of milk have been developed that come from vegan friendly sources. Starvation is not necessary, you can eat plenty and are encouraged to do so provided you continue to eat healthy fruits and vegetables and vegan foods. There are many great Vegan Recipes out there as well to ease the transition. If you want to try a pre-packaged product just remember to check the labels and make sure it is safe for a vegan foods lifestyle. A vegan lifestyle can be difficult in a modern world, but it is becoming easier with many restaurants adding vegetarian and vegan meals to their menus. Also is the addition of growing products that cater to the vegan lifestyle. Switching to a Vegan Foods diet may take some effort, but the end result is well worth the time.
Source: Justin Billingsley Arizona