Both veganism and vegetarianism are growing in popularity. However, some people may find the differences between these two diets a little confusing, particularly as there are several variations of vegetarianism.In this article, we explore the similarities and differences between vegetarianism and veganism.

Vegetarian & Vegan Diet:

What is a Vegetarian diet?

A vegetarian diet excludes animal protein and meat. However, vegetarians may consume some
animal products, such as dairy, milk, eggs, cheese, and honey.

What is a Vegan diet?

A vegan diet involves eating only plant based foods, including fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts,
and seeds and excludes all animal products, including meat, dairy and eggs.

Vegan Diet

Vegans vs. Vegetarians

Vegan Diet
Difference between vegan and vegetarian diet
Vegetarian Diet

The difference between vegans and vegetarians is that although vegetarians do not eat meat they consume dairy products. On other hand vegans exclude all the products which are animal based. The vegan diet is more restrictive than vegetarian diet (Margaret A.Thomas, Feb 2016).

Different types of plant based eating:

Name of dietDescription
vegetartian orflexitarian

Includes eggs and

may Include small
amount of meat,
poultry, fish and

Includes eggs, dairy,
fish and seafood

excludes meat and

Includes eggs

excludes meat, poultry,
fish, seafood and dairy

Includes dairy

excludes meat, poultry,
fish, seafood and dairy

(a.k.a. lacto-ovo

Includes eggs and

excludes meat, poultry,
fish and seafood

excludes all meat
poultry, fish seafood,
eggs and dairy

Health Benefits:

  • Bitter gourd (as vegetable/ juice)
  • Amla juice (Indian gooseberry)
  • Fenugreek leaves and basil leaves
  • Turmeric, cinnamon
  • Cod liver oil
  • Probiotics
  • Adaptogen herbs- maca root, ashwagandha, holy basil, chasteberry
  • Apple cider vinegar


Nutrient deficiency in Vegan and Vegetarian diet:

These diets deplete vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids, iron, calcium, zinc, riboflavin, and vitamin D and protein to some extent.
Vegan diets may not be suitable for babies because their brains and bodies are growing at a rapid pace and require high protein, good fat, and vitamin B12.
Soy products and raw vegetables, such as cabbage, cauliflower, and kale, are goitrogenic and may cause thyroid hormone imbalances.

Here are some ways to incorporate these nutrients into a vegetarian diet:

Iron Rich Foods
Zinc rich Foods
  • Protein: Choose tofu, edamame, tempeh, beans and other legumes, nuts, nut butters, eggs,
    and whole grains such as quinoa, amaranth, etc.
  • Vitamin B12: Soy-based beverages, some breakfast cereals, and fortified veggie “meats.”
  • Riboflavin: Almonds, fortified cereals, cow’s milk, yogurt, mushrooms, and soy milk are
    riboflavin-rich foods.
  • Alpha-Linolenic Acid (Omega-3): Canola oil, ground flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, walnuts, walnut oil,
    soybeans, and tofu are good sources of omega-3
  • Iron: Eggs, fortified breakfast cereals, soy-based foods, dried prunes, dried apricots, nuts,
    beans, legumes, and fortified whole wheat bread are good choices.
  • Calcium, which builds bone, is plentiful in cheese, yogurt, milk, edamame, tofu, almonds,
    sesame tahini, calcium-fortified orange juice, calcium-fortified non-dairy beverages like soy or
    almond milk, and dark green leafy vegetables like collard greens, spinach, and bock choy.
  • Zinc, which boosts the immune system, is ample in soybeans, soy milk, veggie “meats,” eggs,
    cheese and yogurt, fortified breakfast cereals, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, lentils, black-eyed
    peas, split peas, and wheat germ
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