We always support the idea of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but nowadays plant-based diets are gaining great prominence, so many opt for them without being properly informed, and then come nutritional deficiencies and health problems. That is why today we want to talk about the Mediterranean diet and the vegan.
Having healthy lifestyle habits implies having a healthy, balanced, and varied diet, leaving aside negative vices such as alcohol and tobacco, renouncing ultra-processed ones, and reducing the consumption of salt, sugars, and saturated fats. Apart from all that, it is also considered a healthy habit, to perform some type of physical activity on a regular basis and with moderate intensity.
The Mediterranean diet
The benefits of this diet are more than proven by scientific studies from around the world. If we know how to respect the limits in this type of diet, the Mediterranean diet reduces heart disease, does not tend to raise the bad cholesterol, does not cause diabetes, blood pressure is regulated, etc.
A diet without cuts, but with many excesses, since in the section of the Mediterranean diet we have emphasized that we must have limits on the consumption of meat and fats so as not to have health problems such as for overweight, cholesterol, diabetes, and other serious diseases.
The Mediterranean diet is characterized by being rich, varied, and balanced. Much of it is composed of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, then there is the dairy part with all kinds of milk, cheeses, yogurts, and so on. In the section on meats, it would be necessary to opt for white meat and leave red meats (it is proven that excessive consumption of these causes cancer) for specific days.
As for fish, choose oily fish whenever possible and buy it fresh or packaged, no pre-cooked, no pre-fried, no ultra-processed with breaded fish or anything similar. Seafood also enters this diet, and you have to buy it fresh and consume it quickly, apart from trying not to break the cold chain.
The best ally in this diet is extra virgin olive oil. High oleic sunflower oil can be a timely option to fry something and not spend so much money, but it is still important to invest in health, so we recommend good health EVOO.
With the vegan diet are not allowed foods of animal origin (meat, eggs, milk, dairy products, honey, fish, crustaceans, etc.).
This diet is not in balance with the real needs of the human being, therefore potentially harmful in the long term. The intake of cobalamin (vit. B12) present only in animal feed, calciferol (vit. D) present only in animal feed, essential amino acids (proteins of plant origin contain them in limited quantities), iron.
In vegan nutrition, it is often necessary to supplement or compensate for the deficiency elements. The vegan diet is an inadvisable diet, especially in “delicate” periods of life such as childhood, adolescence, pregnancy, lactation, and old age. In any case, expert advice is required to avoid serious shortcomings.
If the vegan diet is truly well balanced, full of fresh products, we supplement properly and move away from ultra-processed, reducing salt, sugar and saturated fat, this type of diet would be recommended and very healthy almost as much as the Mediterranean.
At the intermediate point is the vegetarian diet, to which we can attribute other subgroups such as flexitarianism, and ovolactovegetarianism, among others. In this diet there are those who put even fish, each type gets its name.
If they are all fresh products and away from the ultra-processed, we reduce salt and sugar and it is mainly based on fresh products such as many vegetables and fruits, it would certainly be a very good option. Because we get the good from plant-based diets and essential nutrients from Mediterranean diet products like dairy, eggs, and even meat and fish very sporadically. It is a Mediterranean diet, but with certain cuts.
Vegan diet VS vegetarian diet
They are very similar since both are plant-based, which happens that there are a number of key differences. In short, the vegan diet is a strict vegetarian diet where there is no food of animal origin, not even egg or honey.
The vegan diet is very strict
A diet where there are several levels, that is, from the one who drinks perhaps normal juices in a VERY punctual and sporadic way because it is in a restaurant, to the one who does not buy a product in the Mercadona or in the supermarket that is for contains traces of milk, for example.
A diet where all products of animal origin are excluded and a 100% vegetable diet is passed. On the one hand, it sounds very healthy, but it has two drawbacks, the nutrient deficit and the amount of ultra-processed that is consumed. We must supplement B12 and vitamin D (unless we take vegetable milk and foods already with that supplement)
Which Unites The Vegan Diet, And The Mediterranean Diet.
Most people who are aware of their diet know the importance of real food and nutritional density.
They deeply raise awareness among their practitioners, making them understand the importance of eating high-quality food and discarding less natural things.
They also encourage good eating habits that last a lifetime. Such as drinking water, changing desserts for fruits, exercising regularly, etc.
They also promote the consumption of vegetables in a wide variety and not only the typical salads. Which opens the eyes to a wider and more original panorama of healthy dishes for the whole family.
They know well that well-chosen carbohydrates and fats are indispensable. Lipids are necessary for the proper functioning of the body and quality have a satiating power that sugar does not have.
How do they compare?
Both the Mediterranean diet and the vegan diet rely on a plant-based diet rich in nutrients, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
The Mediterranean diet also tolerates animal products in moderation, including poultry meat, eggs, dairy products, and seafood. Red meat and meat products such as bacon or ham are not excluded but should only be eaten occasionally.
Conversely, the vegan diet excludes all of these foods, as well as other animal products such as honey, gelatin, and butter. Foods cooked in animal fats or containing additives derived from animals should also be avoided, including certain food colors and flavorings.
The Mediterranean diet does not establish strict rules regarding which foods are allowed and prohibited, but it is generally recommended to limit processed foods, refined grains, and added sugars.
These foods are all allowed as part of a vegan diet, as long as they do not contain any animal products.
In addition, several other elements of the Mediterranean diet are not highlighted in the vegan diet. These include consuming red wine in moderation, consuming heart-healthy fats, and sharing meals with friends whenever possible.
Both the vegan diet and the Mediterranean diet emphasize plant-based foods, but only the vegan diet eliminates ingredients containing animal products. The Mediterranean diet limits processed foods, refined grains, and added sugar.
We want to say that both diets are good options if they are done properly, that is, balanced and with very varied foods, although that is where the philosophy of life of each one comes in. Plant-based diets help raise awareness about the situation of overstock farming, climate change, barbarities that are committed on farms, water pollution, health problems, cholesterol, etc.