It’s so fantastic that so many people are adopting a more plant-based style of eating, and some even go the extra mile to announce that they are fully vegetarian or vegan. I 100% applaud anyone who decided to stop eating meat or animal products, there are a bunch of great benefits not only for health, but for the environment as well. There are so many reasons that one decides to go full-vego, and whatever that reason is, is all good. Making a commitment to a way of eating and for some a lifestyle shows a huge amount of respect, dedication and personal value. However, many people who go vego don’t do their research before doing so, and there are a number of things that need to be considered from a nutrition point of view before proceeding.
My personal philosophy on vegetarian and vegan diets is that while I respect any individuals decision to follow it, I’m more on the no-diet approach bandwagon, which means still eating as ethically as possible without cutting out any food groups. I also know my body simply does better with eating meat and animal products, so I do my best to investigate brands and buy products which encourage ethical farming practices. Iv’e had periods of my life where I was following a strict vego diet, and although it was well managed, I still lacked energy, dropped my iron levels and increased my frequency of being unwell. You just have to do what works for your body.
Type of vegetarian diets:
There are a number of styles of vegetarian/vegan diets, all of which have a different set of “guidelines/rules” and all of which will have a slightly different set of nutritional let-downs. The main two broad categories ill talk about are vegetarian diets (cutting out meat) and vegan diets (cutting out all animal based products).
Vegetarian: Cut out all meat including pork, beef, lamb, chicken, duck, veal, while keeping fish, eggs, dairy products and other animal-based products.
Vegan: Cut out all animal based/derived products, including; meat, fish, eggs, dairy, gelatin, honey, insects and also any products that animals may have been included in the processing (e.g. leather, enzymes, some cane sugar)
A healthy vegetarian diet: