Saturday, 14 April 2012

The Difference between a Vegan & a Vegetarian

Whether you are preparing meals for someone else or thinking about changing your own diet you need to know the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan. Put simply, a vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat or fish and a vegan is someone who eats no animal products at all.

There are, of course, people who eat meat and fish occasionally. They may be in the process of changing to a full vegetarian diet or concerned to reduce their intake of saturated fat. They might be considered as semi-vegetarians.

Some vegetarians will consume milk and dairy products but will not eat eggs. They are often called lacto-vegetarians. They would be vegans except that they include milk in their diet.

Other vegetarians avoid milk, but will eat eggs. They are ovo-vegetarians. They would be vegans if they did not consume eggs.

At some points many vegetarians may pass through one or other of these stages if they are moving towards a fully vegan diet. A vegan avoids all animal products even in clothing. Some vegans will not even eat honey or yeast.

All these dietary preferences should be respected as valid life-style choices. The dietary preferences of your diners should be seen as a challenge rather than a chore.

It is possible to ensure a nutritious diet for an adult by following any of these plans. For a full vegan protein should come from pulses and grains combined in interesting combinations.
Vegetarians will eat these dishes too. If you provide a variety of dishes your diners can make their own choices.

If you want to make the change to a fully vegan diet yourself it is best to begin with a gradual change. First work towards a vegetarian diet and then slowly move towards a vegan diet. Try not to be too hung up on the categories of vegan or vegetarian. Feel you way and enjoy getting the know the potential of the full vegetarian through to vegan spectrum.

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