The Low Down on Vegetarian, Pescatarian and Vegan Diets

Published: 28th May 2019

The world of diets is now broader and more varied than ever and there are so many different lifestyles to choose from, each with their own benefits but how do you know which one, if any, is right for you?

We’re going to be giving you the low down on some of the most popular lifestyle diets of the moment to help you decide whether any of these could be right for you.

Vegetarian

Vegetarianism means you do not consume meat, fish/seafood, gelatine or stock/fat from animals.

Vegetarians can eat as many fruit and vegetables as they want, as well as grains and pulses, eggs, dairy and honey.

The Vegetarian Society list a number of reasons why vegetarianism is a beneficial lifestyle to those that choose it, some of which include being kinder to the environment, being more considerate towards animals but also a multiude of health benefits. There are eating a diet that is balanced, will easily exceed the daily recommended guidelines for the intake of fruit, vegetables vitamins and minerals.

Pescatarian  

Often thought of as the middle ground between being a meat eater and a vegetarian, the pescatarian diet is predominantly a vegetarian diet, but it also incorporates fish and seafood.

The pescatarian diet is known for being a balanced and nutritious diet as it combines all the health benefits of vegetarianism, as well as the added omega 3 and protein that comes from consuming oily fish.

There is a slight health risk to eating too much fish, due to the levels of mercury that can be toxic to the nervous system but any adult can safely eat up to 4 portions of oily fish a week according to the NHS.

Plant-Based and Vegan

Not everyone is aware that there is a difference between plant-based and vegan diets but there is and therefore they’re different lifestyle choices.

A plant-based diet is focused around only consuming plant-based foods in their most pure and natural forms, such as fruit, vegetables, grains, pulses, nuts, seeds etc and no animal products. Plant-based diets are usually just food-focused and therefore a diet as opposed to a lifestyle.

Veganism is a lifestyle, often fuelled by ethical beliefs such as animal rights and environmental awareness. Vegans do not eat or use any animal products, so that includes no, meat, fish or dairy in their diet, as well as no leather, wool, silk, etc in their lifestyle. Some vegan foods are not considered suitable for a plant-based diet as although they contain no animal products, hence they’re suitable for vegans, they’re made with additives and substitutes that aren’t derived from plants and therefore don’t coincide with the plant-based diet.

Both diets do involve the exclusion of a lot of food groups, however, it is believed that with careful planning, you can still eat a balanced plant-based or vegan diet and get everything you need from it. A lot of dairy-free alternatives such as milk and yoghurts are now being calcium-fortified to make them more calcium-rich and therefore supporting bones and teeth.

Protein can be difficult to get enough of in the vegan and plant-based diets as you have removed all animal products but grains, pulses, nuts and seeds do contain protein, as do tofu, chickpeas and spelt, so incorporating these ingredients into the diet will assist in ensuring you eat a balanced meal plan.

So, there’s plenty to think about when it comes to ditching meat and whether you just cut out that out or go all out and lose all animal products. Do any of these diets sound right for you?

There’s no solid evidence that switching to these diets can support weight loss but it is possible to continue on a weight loss journey and be a healthy, balanced eater while on these diets.

For more advice on what to eat whilst on your Bodyline plan, be sure to ask your dedicated team member at your next consultation.

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