A vegan is a strict vegetarian who does not consume meat, dairy products, eggs, honey, or other animal-derived products. Vegetables, grains, nuts, legumes, seeds, and fruits are just a few delicious and nutritious foods that can be included in a vegan diet.
Vegetarian diets can provide numerous health benefits. They can provide all of the essential vitamins and minerals required for a long and healthy life if adequately planned. There are 4 different types of vegetarians.
- Lacto-ovo-vegetarian – People who avoid eating meat and seafood but consume dairy products (such as milk), eggs, and plant foods.
- Lacto-vegetarian – People who do not consume meat, seafood, or eggs but do consume dairy and plant foods.
- Ovo-vegetarians - People who do not consume meat, seafood, or dairy products but do consume eggs and plant foods.
- Vegans– Vegans eat only plant foods and avoid all animal foods.
Benefits of a Vegan diet
A well-balanced vegetarian or vegan diet can provide multiple health benefits, including a lower risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, coronary artery disease, hypertension (high blood pressure) diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Vegetarians and vegans are also less likely to become ill or die from certain degenerative diseases. Additionally, Plant-based diets have been associated with decreased rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and various malignancies for many years.
Albert Einstein states, “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”
If you choose to be vegetarian or vegan, plan your diet to make sure it includes all the essential nutrients. Protein, several minerals like iron, calcium, zinc, vitamin B12, and vitamin D are all essential elements that might be difficult to acquire on a vegetarian diet if not carefully managed. So keeping a well-balanced diet should be the number one priority.