What is the difference between Vegans and Vegetarians?

Did you know, there are different types of vegetarians? Lets have a look;

  • Flexitarians, avoid animal products most of the time, but occasionally eat meat or fish.
  • Pescatarians eat fish, dairy, and eggs but don’t eat meat or poultry.
  • Lacto–ovo vegetarians don’t eat meat, fish or poultry, but do eat eggs and dairy products.
  • Lacto vegetarians don’t eat meat, fish, poultry or eggs, but do eat dairy products.
  • Ovo vegetarians don’t eat meat, fish, poultry or dairy, but do eat eggs.
  • Vegans don’t eat animal products. They don’t eat meat, dairy, honey, eggs or gelatin. Some vegans don’t wear clothes containing animal products (leather, wool, or silk), and some choose not to use products that may have been tested on animals.

Vegetarians, especially vegans, need to pay attention to their diet and ensure they get enough Protein, Iron, Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and Omega–3 Fatty Acids.

Protein is essential for growth and repair within our body. As Vegetarians don’t eat meat, they must get their protein from other food sources. Nuts, nut butters (including peanut butter, almond butter), soy foods (such as tofu and soy milk), legumes (such as beans, peas, hummus, and lentils), quinoa, dairy foods (such as milk, yogurt, and cheese), and eggs all provide a source of protein.

Protein Food Group

Iron plays many important roles in the body including the transport of oxygen to our muscles and tissues. Sources of iron include soybeans, lentils, tofu, chickpeas, fortified breakfast cereals, spinach, dried apricots, figs and prunes.These plant based sources of iron are not absorbed as well by your body when compared to meat sources of iron. Vitamin C can help your body absorb iron so it’s important to eat Vitamin C rich foods such as oranges, red peppers and broccoli when you are eating plant-based iron foods. This will help maximise the amount of iron you absorb.

Calcium is needed to build and maintain strong healthy bones. It is found in dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese. Plant based sources include broccoli, butternut squash, collard greens, black beans, white beans, soybeans, and tofu. It’s important to note, plant sources of calcium have less calcium per serving and are more difficult for our bodies to absorb when compared to dairy products. Some foods are fortified with Calcium, these are a great way to help you reach your daily requirements. Examples include calcium fortified soy milk, coconut & almond milk, orange juice, cereal and cereal bars.

Vitamin D supports the absorption of calcium and is vital for strong bones. Our bodies make Vitamin D using sunlight. Requirements for Vitamin D may increase during the winter months or for people living at higher latitudes. Food sources of Vitamin D include egg yolks, salmon, tuna as well as fortified dairy, soy milk products and orange juice.

Vitamin B12 is essential for the proper function of your brain and nervous system. Vegans must consume B12 fortifed foods as there are no vegan food sources. Fortified-nutritional yeast flakes, fortified soy milk, and fortified cereals are good sources of B12. For other vegetarians, foods with B12 include cow’s milk and eggs.

Omega–3 Fatty Acids are essential fatty acids. Your body can’t produce these fats so you must get them through your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids help control inflammation in the body and support heart health. Vegans or vegetarians who don’t eat eggs must include other sources such as walnuts, flaxseeds, canola oil, soybeans, or tofu.

Our Nutritionists Top Protein Packed Foods For Vegetarians;

Top Protein Foods for Vegetarians

 

Happy #veganuary

Bye for now,

Sarah-Jayne.

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