Vegetarian, Vegan or Whole Food Plant Based
Vegetarian, Vegan or Whole Food Plant Based may be self-explanatory to some, but believe it or not, there are people who still don’t know the difference.
So, what’s the difference?
Vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat, but mostly eats plants. You have two types of vegetarians which are Lacto-Ovo and Lacto. Lacto-Ovo Vegetarians don’t eat meat, but they eat eggs and dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter. Lacto vegetarians also eat dairy products; however, they do not eat eggs or meat.
A vegan does not eat meat or any animal-based products such as dairy, eggs or honey. A vegan lifestyle is also different. They do not wear or use any products that come from or tested on animals. These items are usually, but not limited to leather, wool, fur, silk, down comforters, accessories, cosmetics, lotions, shampoos, etc.
Whole Food Plant-Based
Whole Food Plant-Based is not a diet, but a lifestyle. It focuses on eating whole plant-based foods. Foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. People who eat whole food plant-based do not consume any oils, white flour, white sugar, processed foods, meat, dairy or any other animal byproducts. They are similar to vegans, but not the same. An individual who follows a whole food plant-based diet does not eat meat or animal by-products; however, they may still wear or use products made from animals.
So which one is better?
Vegetarians may not consume meat; however, they are still consuming dairy products, oils, processed foods, etc. Vegan may seem healthy, but when you think about it, just because it does not come from animals, it does not mean it is healthy. There are so many products now available that are vegan, but they are also highly processed, fried, high in sodium and sugar. Having a vegan doughnut loaded with sugar or eating breaded fried tofu will still cause health problems. That is why I recommend a Whole Food Plant-Based Vegan lifestyle. Eating foods found in nature, in its original form. Here is an example to help you understand what I mean. Oils such as avocado oil, coconut oil or olive oil are not found that way in nature. Those oils are considered processed. If you want oil in your diet, eat olives, avocados, walnuts, or seeds. When you buy flour, look at the ingredients and make sure it says “whole” wheat or “whole” grain. As for the vegan part, choosing to live a life with compassion and love without hurting or contributing to the suffering of other living beings in any way not only improves your well being and health but also allows you to view the world with kind eyes.