Vegan and Plant-based diets comparison

If you are researching about the plant-based diets for an extended period, then you must know about specific terms such as vegetarian, vegan and even of “Lacto-Ovo-pesco-macro-tarian”…

I know, the last name I mentioned is weird and most of them don’t know about this term but be patient because everything will be apparent to you after reading this complete article.

For Beginners, What Is A Plant-Based Diet?

Mainly two answers are available for this question.

An Umbrella Term for Diets mainly focuses on Whole Plant Foods

When we talk about a plant-based diet, then we generally talk about the consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, spices and herbs. Animal-derived products such as meat, eggs, dairy, poultry are not considered under a plant-based diet.

A Synonym For Flexitarianism

Another term which is generally used for a plant-based diet is known as Flexitarianism- what you might think of as the weekend warriors of plant-based eating patterns

Most of the omnivores consume a plant-based diet, destroying eggs and meat while stressing plant foods in their meal. Health is the main reason behind this.

So, for every subgroup of plant-based dieters, flexitarianism seems to be the least ideological, primarily stuck to the eating pattern for excellent health.

You may have heard about a programme called Meatless Monday, which is a public health awareness campaign.

This campaign supports the fact that Americans consume a vegan meal at minimum once per week to reduce the risk of several diseases like obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Vegetarian Diet Patterns

Pure vegetarianism, in its purest form, requires the elimination of poultry and meat, while permitting other animal-derived products.

Here’s a chart, if you are in a hurry. It will help you to check the significant differences between the various plant’s based diets. In this chart, we have distinguished the different categories based on food consumed and avoided.

Don’t forget zoom, if you are on a mobile device.

Now, we will discuss how the above chart is designed.

Lacto-ovo-vegetarians (dairy + eggs + plants)

Nearly 95% of vegetarians in North America add dairy and eggs in their diets to some extent.

Hinduism also prefers to eat in this way. Many are either enlarged as lacto-ovo-vegetarians or lacto-vegetarians.

Lacto-vegetarians (dairy + plants)

They don’t consume fish, eggs, and meat but do consume cheese, milk and other dairy products. The best example of Lacto-vegetarianism is Jainism. Jainism do not cause harm to anything thought to have a soul.


Eggs and Plants.


A vegan does not consume any food derived from animals.

Although it’s the most restrictive kind, it cumulatively offers significant health benefits, but at the same time, it can also cause a high risk of nutrient deficiency.

As Shown by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the globe’s foremost authority on nutrition, “well planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence and for athletes.”

So, because of this reason, it is advised that one should follow a well planned vegan diet to get more health benefits while minimizing the risk of several deficiencies of nutrients.

Opposite to flexitarians and even vegetarians, vegans- although a few are mainly interested in health and wellness- are characterized by severe problem regarding the ethics surrounding the use and consumption of products derived from animals.

For them, the term vegetarian holds a little ethical significance. They frequently stand out from strict vegetarians by their abnegation to consume honey or wear fur or leather.

Major devote vegans may not disagree on a wide range of disputable issues regarding the relationship between humans and animals. Still, the majority share a desire to live a life as free of animal exploitation as possible.

What’s with the Overlapping Definition?

Ohhk… The definition of a diet based on plants seem awful close to the meaning of flexitarian eating.

Read the below-mentioned examples to understand the definitions

On Plant-Based Diets

“It is not necessary that a plant-based diet is only vegetarian diet because most of the people on a plant-based diet continue to consume meat or fish but in a tiny quantity.”

On Flexitarian Diets

Flexitarian diet which is also referred to as semi-vegetarian diet. It is a diet that is plant-based but at the same time also includes occasional inclusion of meat.

Why the additional term? Well, I am not sure, and I don’t think anyone else is. But if I asked, what my thoughts are, I believe the acquaintance of this term was more of a public relations move. Look flexitarian comes from the term vegetarianism, which has many hidden meanings, some religious, or at least ideological.

A Few Oddballs

Macrobiotic Diet

It is an eating pattern that was first popularized in Japan. It’s a vegetarian diet that focuses on local vegetables and grains. Its henchmen try to avoid refined food items and animal products.

The macrobiotic diet is sometimes described as a variation of the vegetarian diet. This is because much of the concern around deficiency risk of nutrients on vegetarian diets have been focused on restrictive eating regimens, namely macrobiotic and vegan diets.

However, the macrobiotic diet is narrowly vegan. This eating regimen is greatly metaphysical.

Apart from that, it is not rare for its henchmen to eat some lean fish and meat from time to time.

Fruitarian Diet

Diet, which in some cases is characterized by eating fruit, nuts, seeds and legumes.

This nutritional formula focuses on obtaining food so that the original plant is not killed.

Steve Jobs is perhaps the most unusual modern example of old fruit.

In the early years, he used a diet for some time. Twenty, for this reason, it contains some plants that we usually don’t consider as fruit.

In practice, it consists of fruit (fresh and dried), nuts, seeds and selected vegetables.

Why would you focus on not killing the original plant?

Many motivations are responsible for this kind of food, but I will list a few here.

First, this diet is associated with Jainism: the least violent religion/ideology in history.

Unlike ethical vegans, their concern for good extends to all living creatures, including plants.

For other fruit slicers, the motivation to consume fruit dates back to the time when people said they were only collectors.

Pescatarian Diet (Pesco Vegetarian Diet)

A diet characterized by the exclusion of meat other than fish. However, some variants include eggs or milk products.

A motivation for this type of eating is that while a person sympathizes with the plight of strict vegetarianism and veganism, he hesitates to dive right in.

They are not sure how their body will react to sudden restrictions or whether the stricter variations of vegetarianism will nourish them.

Maybe they would prefer not to surrender all creature substance, so they pick to devour creatures with lesser sensory systems—animals may be having to a lesser degree an ability to feel physical and enthusiastic torment

Others may plan to continue eating fish long-term, believing that humans should eat at least some meat to get nutrients that are not found in plants.

And for similar reasons (fish are potentially less sensitive than higher animals), they choose to follow what they consider to be the most ethical version of vegetarianism that can be maintained in the long run.

I should note that I do not endorse this argument, but only describe it. These are just a few possible motivations. I am sure there are many motives, some of which have to do with religion, fasting, etc.

Relative Health Benefits of the Plant-Based Diets

As mentioned above, significant evidence points to the health benefits of a plant-based diet, with the vegan diet offering the enormous potential benefits if adequately exercised.

Vegetarian Diets

Initially, studies on Seventh-day Adventists (SDAs), a vegetarian population, showed a reduction in the incidence of metabolic syndrome.

This is very impressive, given that the typical inclusion of people in the SDA community can be very different.

Despite the considerable differences in the nutritional quality of vegetarians, some religious studies have shown that the vegetarian diet has several health benefits – notably cancer, obesity and cardiovascular risk factors.

In particular, studies were carried out by Orthodox Christians and Seventh-day Adventists, which showed that vegetarian eating habits improved the health of these populations.

Vegan Diets

The vegan diet offers many benefits concerning various health parameters, and there are already some studies showing that it leads to better health outcomes in the field of common chronic diseases.

This is even though widespread acceptance is a relatively new phenomenon.

Here I will deal with only two of the most common diseases: cardiovascular diseases, obesity and cancer.

Vegans and Heart Disease

Where the veggie lover diet truly sparkles is in the region of heart wellbeing. As per progressing research, the vegetarian diet is the main eating design demonstrated to have the option to switch atherosclerotic cardiovascular ailment (ASCVD).

This is nothing unexpected. Plant-based weight control plans, all in all, have for quite some time been related with various medical advantages, including lower cholesterol levels, circulatory strain levels, and lower danger of coronary illness, hypertension and type 2 diabetes, and malignancy rates.

The wholesome profile of plant-based weight control plans may clarify a portion of the wellbeing points of interest just referenced.

Comprehensive nourishment plant-based weight control plans will, in general, be lower in dietary cholesterol, immersed fat, and have more significant levels of helpful supplements, for example, dietary fibre, potassium, magnesium, nutrients C and E, carotenoids, folate, flavonoids, and different cancer prevention agents and phytochemicals.

Vegans and Body Composition

Concerning body piece, veggie lovers will, in general, have a lower weight file (BMI), with vegetarians having the most reduced BMI by and substantial than some other populace.

Vegans and Cancer

There are a couple of reports from UK companions and an Adventist Health Study (AHS 2). These reports incorporated the relative dangers for a wide range of tumours in different veggie-lover subgroups and meat-eaters.

After, they looked at the relative hazard between the various populaces. The veggie lover bunch beat out the meat-eating gathering, recommending that hazard (for all malignancies consolidated) might be as much as 10% lower in the veggie lover gathering, and almost 20% lower in the vegetarian subgroup when contrasted with the meat-eating gathering.

Anyway, ideally, I figured out how to assist clear with increasing a portion of the disarray around definitions and wording. I need you to know the distinction so you can consider the benefits of every variation of the plant-based weight control plans.



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  6. Ronald L. Sandler, Food Ethics: The Basics, Routledge, 2014, p. 74.
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