Photo of a table top full of fresh vegetables, fruit, and other healthy foods.

Photo of a table top full of fresh vegetables, fruit, and other healthy foods.

You have probably heard the words vegan and vegetarian used when people are referring to specific diets.  What you may not know however is what the main differences are between the two.  Here is a quick description of both and the fundamental differences between a vegan based diet and a vegetarian based diet.

A vegetarian diet is a diet that is strictly based on plants and vegetables.  It is void of all meat (beef, chicken, fish and seafood), but does allow dairy products and eggs.  Although there are many different variations of a vegetarian diet, all of them avoid meat based protein.  With so many choices available at many restaurants and supermarkets today, a vegetarian diets is not only extremely accessible, it is also every bit as nutritious and varied as any other diet.

A vegan diet is a far stricter diet and tends to be more of a lifestyle than just a diet.  A vegan diet is similar to a vegetarian diet in that neither eats meat, but that is where the similarities end. A vegan diet does not include any type of dairy product, nor will it allow for eggs.  Vegan diets can also exclude honey and all other animal-based products.  This can encompass clothing and medicine as well if animals or animal products were used.  For example, vegans will not wear leather or wool nor eat any type of gelatin product.

Health Benefits of Vegan and Vegetarian Diets
There are many studies that have been done that show that both of these types of diets result in a healthier lifestyle.  Both a vegetarian and vegan diet can quickly remove many of the common food allergies in today’s diets.  This is especially true of a vegan diet as it completely removes dairy from the diet.  Both a vegan and vegetarian diet also show reduced risks of cancer as neither diet ingests meat which can be inflammatory as well as carcinogenic.

Both vegans and vegetarians need to monitor their iron intake as neither diet includes red meat.  However, a well-balanced and varied diet should be able to make up for the lack of iron in these diets.  There are also iron supplements which can help top up the iron levels.  Vegans may also need to supplement vitamin B 12 as their diet does not provide this essential vitamin.

Both a vegan diet and a vegetarian diet are great choices and will provide a very healthy and positive lifestyle.  As one of the best Vancouver vegetarian Chinese restaurants we offer many great vegetarian and vegan dishes and fully embrace and support the lifestyle and ethical outlook of both diets.  Come in today and see what mouth-watering and creative dishes await your taste buds.  We hope to see you soon!