With all the hype about being healthier and having a balanced diet and all of the different types of diets around us, it is common to get confused. Some of the healthier diets, that help to reduce cardiovascular disease and to maintain good health include the ancient Mediterranean diet and the newest trend of veganism. But which one is better for your health? And how do they differ? If you’re interested in finding the answer to these questions, keep reading.
What’s The Difference Between A Vegan Diet and A Mediterranean Diet?
First of all, it’s important to make some clarity about what is what. There seem to always be new diets popping up and it is not uncommon not be able to tell apart from one from another. But when it comes down to choose which type of diet might be the best for you, you have to know what are their characteristics.
A vegan diet is about eliminating all the types of meat and animal products such as dairy (that includes cheese, yogurt, and milk) and eggs while focusing on plant-based proteins such as legumes and consuming mainly vegetables. This diet has lately become very popular, especially because it is most environmentally friendly than other diets.
By cutting down meat, the results often include a reduction in blood pressure and a decrease in heart disease symptoms. But even if, when followed correctly (meaning without consuming too much-processed food and focusing instead on whole, fresh vegetables) this diet can be extremely beneficial, it is still not perfect. Not eating animal products might lead to vitamin B12 deficiency that can cause severe anemia.
On the other hand, the Mediterranean diet has been praised for its health benefits for a long time now. Countries were following this diet the common practice show to have the highest life expectancy and less heart disease.
The diet allows the consumption of animal protein, but the major source comes from fish rather than meat. Healthy fats such as olive oil and nuts are also very important as well as lots of vegetables and fruits.
Vegan Diet and A Mediterranean Diet – Which One Is Better?
While both can be highly beneficial to your health, we need to consider than the Mediterranean diet can be said to be more complete and less restrictive than a vegan one. Firstly, by following a Mediterranean diet in the right way, you will not risk suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency. Not only that, a Mediterranean diet is “less restrictive” and focuses on whole, minimally processed food over processed food. On the contrary, because of the many restrictions that a vegan diet poses, the trend is to fall into the trap of eating highly processed “vegan” labeled foods, which are mostly unhealthy, low in minerals and vitamins and high in salt or sugars.
If not followed correctly and with the right knowledge, a vegan diet can indeed cause some deficiency in several essential nutrients such as iron or magnesium. To be a healthy vegan, you should make your research to know what you should eat to ensure you take in all of the necessary nutrients for the well functioning of your organism.
A Mediterranean diet is rather simple to follow and it is a balanced diet that has been found to improve heart health and to increase your life-span.
No matter what diet you choose to follow, the most important thing is to do so while being informed about the consequences to maximize the positive health benefits for you. Especially if you are new in the field of nutrition and you are simply looking for a way to eat healthier and feeling better, the Mediterranean diet might be your best choice.
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