What is Vegan?

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What is Vegan?

If your diet consists only of vegetables, fruits, grains, & beans, with absolutely nothing from the animal kingdom and no dairy products and its derivatives, that is “Vegan”. If you’re one of those people who stick to this kind of diet, then you’re a “Vegan”.

Veganism is the strictest type of vegetarianism.  Only plant-related foods are allowed in the diet.  All products from animal sources, including processed foods, are excluded from the menu.  Even eggs and all dairy products are not part of the strict diet program.

People from different walks of life adopt a vegan diet for different reasons.  Many are compelled to strict vegan-dieting because of health reasons.  As accepted by today’s society, diets rich in animal products are linked to many illnesses like heart disease and cancer, among others.  And on the contrary, vegetarian diets are regarded as good health boosters.  Studies have shown that diets that are low in animal/dairy product-content are associated with a decrease risk of many illnesses like hypertension, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, lung disease, and even alcoholism.

Many people also confuse “Vegan” with simply being “Vegetarian”.  But for experts in the field of dieting and nutrition, there are actually multiple types of Vegetarianism, and being vegan is just one of them.  One other type is Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian – this refers to people who exclude all meat in their diets, but may consume dairy and eggs.  Other types allow fish in the vegetable mix, and they are called Pescatarians.  Some people also eat meat occassionally, but stick to the vegetarian mode most of the time.  These people would like to be called Flexitarians or Semi-Vegetarians.  Whatever the classification is, many jump into the Veggies-only or Veggies-Mostly bandwagon because of the health benefits.  Whether you consider yourself ‘healthy’ or ‘may need some help’ in the health department, going green has proved to be beneficial to the body.

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