Vegetarian Diet is a diet that excludes all meat, fish and foul. See notes below on vegetarian and vegan diets.
Vegan Diet is a diet that excludes all animal products including dairy and eggs. See notes below on vegetarian and vegan diets.
Raw Vegan Diet is a diet that excludes all animal products as well as food cooked at a temperature higher than 118 degrees Fahrenheit. See notes below on vegetarian and vegan diets.
Notes about Vegetarian and Vegan diets:
1. Vegetarian and Vegan diets can be healthy for some people as long as they are made up primarily of nutrient rich foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
2. Vegetarian and Vegan diets heavy in grains and processed foods can lead to nutrient deficiencies.
3. Vitamin B12 is a necessary supplement for all vegans since it is only available in it’s natural and useable form through animal products.
4. Other supplements may be necessary for those that are genetically incapable of extracting and converting certain nutrients from plant sources.
5. While some people can thrive on vegetarian and vegan diets, others may experience serious health problems. Without extensive genetic testing you’ll have no way of knowing if you have the genes necessary to extract and absorb everything your body needs from a plant based diet.
6. While I don’t advocate a strict vegan diet for health reasons, if you are committed to a vegan diet for religious or ethical reasons the link below is the best resource I have found on vegan nutrition and supplementation.
When looking into special diets as a means of weight loss, to find relief from a health issue or simply to improve your overall health, always remember the concept of bio-individuality. Genetics play an important role in determining what foods are appropriate for each of us. Some people can efficiently break down starchy vegetables and grains, while others fair better omitting these foods entirely from their diet. Some humans have evolved to be able to digest cow’s milk while others lack the enzymes to do so. And some people are able to extract the nutrients they need from a plant based diet while others need a healthy dose of protein, fat and other nutrients found only in animal based foods. The point is that we’re all different and no one diet is best for everyone.
While I do make some individual recommendations to my personal clients, I try to avoid blanket statements about diet and health when talking to the masses. BUT, regardless of what foods you decide to eat or not eat, be sure to include plenty green vegetables and don’t forget to exercise every day.