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Vegetarians are not Vegans. What?

Updated: Jul 26, 2021

Did you know that Vegetarians eat different than Vegans?

They are both plant-based diets, but their food choices are different in a few ingredients, along with their attitude towards health and wellness. Here are a few facts.....

Vegetarians, learn to recreate their favorite meals, and quickly adapt to their new lifestyle. The vegetarians make up for their lack of meat, by increasing their choice of cheese sandwiches, fried potatoes, cheese and pastas, and so called healthy desserts. You have probably tried the vegetarian pizza, zucchini pasta, and teriyaki salmon with steamed vegetables, not realizing it is a typical meal. In essence, the vegetarian has adopted a behavior that is acceptable. The balance in food choices of nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) will average around 42% fat. The following food choices are included with Lacto-Ovo vegetarians, (those who don't eat flesh).

  • Dairy and eggs

  • Fish and Fowl

  • Nuts and seeds

  • Fruits and vegetables

  • Legumes

  • Vegetable oils

  • Vegetable broths

Vegans, eat their own way adopting to a lifestyle of no flesh of any kind. They do not consume fish, dairy, eggs, honey, or any other animal-derived products.

Many vegans are substituting their favorite meals with Soy, soybean, and tofu brand products. You may have tried some of the vegan style dishes without blinking an eye; vegan lasagna with soy cheeses, tofu eggs, meat balls, cauliflower potatoes, and margarine are just a few ingredients. The overall consumption are plant-based, and have been known to provide fewer calories-per-bite. However, the percentage of fat is close to 42%, due to following "low-fat" program, it can be misinterpret and too many nuts and seeds are consumed, increasing a risk of too much fat.

The following food choices are included with a low calorie intake.

  • Fruits and vegetables

  • Legumes, (peas, beans, and lentils)

  • Nuts and seeds

  • Breads, rice, and pasta

  • Non-dairy (soy-milk, coconut milk, and almond milk)

  • Vegetable oils

  • Vegetable broths


The Vegetarians and Vegans are different in their behavior and lifestyle. The majority of Vegetarians and Vegans have the spirit of changing for a healthier lifestyle, without feeling deprived. The Vegetarians will eat sparingly some flesh food, such as fish and fowl. The Vegans will eat no flesh of any kind, including seafood.

*Terms used to identify other plant-based eating styles:

Pescatarian: plant-based no meat and poultry, but eating fish is included.

Lacto-ovo vegetarian: plant-based diet, dairy and eggs are included.

Flexitarian: plant-based diet that can include animal products sparingly.


Brenda J. Pratt, H.D., Ph.D.


1. Klein, David, Ph.D, and Fanny, Paul Ph.D, The AAA Diet Levels 2012; 112-13

Photo by: BJPratt 2015

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