Anyone of a certain age is familiar with the term ‘vegetarian’ because this became a popular diet way back in the 1960s. Yes, vegetarianism was around a lot longer than that, but it became something trendy in the days of getting back to nature and mother earth. However, being a vegan is different in many ways from being a vegetarian, so if you are new to the concept, let’s start with that difference.
Acceptable Foods on a Vegan Menu
A vegetarian will not eat meat, fish, poultry, or seafood, and this is the same as a vegan menu. A vegan, however, will eat nothing with any animal products whatsoever. This means no dairy and no eggs either. If you are new to being a vegan, you may not understand just how trying it can be to cook without dairy or eggs. Just look at the ingredients on any label and you will see, somewhere down the list, powdered eggs, milk, or butter. In fact, these ingredients are more prevalent than you might think, and this is why so many vegans cook everything from scratch. In fact, if you’d like to see a true vegan menu, check out the vegan menu at Native Foods. You’ll see just how precise their menu offerings and ingredients are.
The Problem with Eating Out
If you have ever noticed, many of your vegan friends will not eat out with the gang whenever everyone gets together at lunch or for a quick bite to eat before going to a movie on weekends. Have you ever wondered why that is? You know they are vegans, but you can’t understand why they can’t just order something off the menu that doesn’t have meat, fish, poultry, or seafood. Why can’t they have cheese fries, for instance? Even without the cheese, french fries might also be taboo because of the oil they are fried in. Did you know that many restaurants still use lard or beef tallow for deep frying? Remember, a plant-based vegan diet contains no animal products whatsoever.
Vegetarianism Offers Greater Leeway
Although most vegetarians will abstain from meat, fish, poultry, and seafood, there are those who eat a modified vegetarian diet. These would include those who may eat small amounts of meat, and these are referred to as pescatarians (will eat fish), flexitarians (flexible eating of some meats), or sometimes referred to as a “semi-vegetarian.” This is often so that they can get certain amounts of protein instead of relying on nuts and legumes, for example. Also, a vegan who survives only on plant-based foods is much the same as someone who only eats halal or kosher for religious reasons. No, religion isn’t a factor in veganism, but the strict confines of the diet are much the same.
There is a growing body of evidence supporting the premise that being a vegan is a heart-healthy way to eat and live. Cholesterol is one of the leading causes of heart attacks and it is the belief of vegans that avoiding meat products can enable you to live healthier and longer because of the absence of this deadly substance that clogs the arteries. Your key takeaway then is that a vegan diet is a 100% plant-based diet. That sums it up nicely.