These 13 vegan celebrities all went vegan and have since promoted the positive effects of a plant-based diet.
Several of the celebrities included below found that cutting out animal products is an easy way to minimize contribution to both animal cruelty and climate change. Eating vegan can also have a positive effect on a person’s health, and many of the people listed here noticed an immediate change after adopting a plant-based diet.
Studies show that plant-based whole foods are among the most nutritious. | Love & Lemons
- Vegan Diet Health Benefits
- Vegan Diet and Weight Loss
- Celebrities Go Vegan
- 1. Kevin Smith
- 2. Evanna Lynch
- 3. Will.i.am
- 4. Ariana Grande
- 5. Simon Cowell
- 6. Lewis Hamilton
- 7. Miley Cyrus
- 8. Craig Robinson
- 9. Mena Suvari
- 10. Beyoncé
- 11. Zac Efron
- 12. Steve Harvey
- 13. Kim Kardashian
- 8 Inspiring Vegan Weight-Loss Transformations
- 1. Robert and Jessica
- 2. Keyrah
- 3. Alicia
- 4. Kelly
- 5. Victor
- 6. Eric
- 7. Stephane
- 8. Eve
- Order Your FREE Vegan Starter Kit
- According to a new survey, 11% of UK consumers say they’ve tried a vegan diet, and 19% would consider going vegan. But what exactly does that entail?
- Q: What are the types or levels of vegetarianism?
- What kind of vegetarian are you?
Vegan Diet Health Benefits
A growing body of medical studies shows that the health benefits of a plant-based diet far outweigh those of more traditional diets. Eating plant-based foods regularly can be particularly good for your cardiovascular health, and several celebrities have used a vegan diet to combat health issues and aid recovery time.
Findings presented to the American Society for Nutrition last June indicated that a plant-based diet can normalize high blood pressure in less than two weeks. In 2017 Imperial College London conducted a review of several studies on fruit and vegetable consumption.
Originally published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, the report states that the risk of cardiovascular disease drops by around 13 percent when eating 200g of fruit and veg per day. Cancer drops by 4 percent, and the risk of premature death by 15 percent. When consuming 800g of fruit and veg this drops by 28, 13, and 31 percent respectively.
Adopting a plant-based diet has also been linked to a lower BMI (body mass index) — which is a commonly cited reason for trying to eat more vegan food. However, many experts have pointed out that BMI is not an accurate measurement of health.
A diet rich in plant-based food could improve health and reduce BMI.
Vegan Diet and Weight Loss
Some flexitarians and vegans have also found that a plant-based diet can help with healthy weight loss. While “healthy” looks different for different people — and preoccupation with BMI is not necessarily synonymous with good health — studies have shown that those trying to lose weight could be able to achieve their goals through a high-carb vegan diet. Several celebrities have used this kind of diet to help shed weight and to build up muscle, stamina, and fitness.
According to a study published in the journal Nutrients last year, a 16-week clinical trial revealed that a high-carb vegan diet resulted in lower BMI, weight, fat, and insulin resistance. The vegan diet emphasized whole, plant-based sources of complex carbs like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Increasing the intake of complex carbs instead of animal protein had a pronounced and positive effect.
Celebrities Go Vegan
While many people often first go vegan for health reasons, in learning more about animal agriculture’s effect on the environment — and animals themselves — many also begin to advocate for other aspects of the diet along with other social justice issues. These vegan celebrities are no exception. In fact, they’re leading the trend.
Animal advocate Kevin Smith first went vegan to get healthy after a heart attack. | Kevin Smith
1. Kevin Smith
Filmmaker Kevin Smith went vegan after experiencing a major heart attack in 2018. Smith addressed this on Facebook, where he thanked his family and said, “maybe it’s time to go vegan.”
Since then Smith has been very vocal about the health benefits of a vegan diet, which first prompted his transition. Smith has also commented on other positive aspects of going meat-free and has spoken about animal rights and welfare.
He appeared with his vegan daughter Harley-Quinn Smith in a promotional video for Farm Sanctuary last November. Earlier this year they also presented animal rights activist Lindsay Oliver with the Hidden Heroes Award at the Mercy for Animals 20th Anniversary Gala.
Evanna Lynch went vegan in 2015. | Evanna Lynch
2. Evanna Lynch
Actor and animal advocate Evanna Lynch is a Veganuary Ambassador and even has her own vegan podcast called The Chickpeeps. Lynch has been vegetarian since the age of 11, and gradually went vegan by adding more plant-based ingredients to her food.
The Harry Potter star first went vegan in 2015. According to Veganuary, her decision was based on compassion. She said in a statement, “It was just the right path for me. I felt like as soon as I went vegan, I was more myself, like I was just living according to what I believed, which is such a freeing thing when you finally commit to it.”
“I strongly believe in non-violence, that we shouldn’t be hurting other people or creatures,” said Lynch.
Will.i.am switched to a plant-based diet and reduced his cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight. | Wikimedia Commons
The Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.i.am has also enjoyed multiple health improvements after moving to a vegan diet. He spoke to Arianna Huffington about it in an episode of The Thrive Global Podcast.
“I switched my regimen, went plant-based and it changed my life. I lost 20 lbs. My cholesterol came down, my high blood pressure came down. My stress levels came down naturally. I have more energy,” said Will.i.am.
“It changed my life, and I would encourage everybody to have a plant-based regimen,” Will.i.am added. “You don’t need the meat, you don’t need to have decaying flesh in your body. The more I think about it I was like, ‘Ew.’ I was just, I had death in me.”
Billboard’s 2018 “Woman of the Year” Ariana Grande has ten rescue dogs and a pet pig. | Wikimedia Commons
4. Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande adopted a plant-based diet in 2014 and has been a vocal animal rights advocate since.
Grande was named Billboard’s “2018 Woman of the Year” – in part due to her dedication to social justice. The musician has ten rescue dogs and a pet pig named Piggy Smallz, who sometimes features on Grande’s social media.
Grande told The Mirror: “I love animals more than I love most people, not kidding. But I am a firm believer in eating a full plant-based, whole food diet that can expand your life length and make you an all-round happier person.”
Simon Cowell adopted a plant-based diet for his 60th birthday. | Getty Images
5. Simon Cowell
The former “American Idol” host and music mogul Simon Cowell is now plant-based. Cowell switched to a vegan diet in April, ahead of his 60th birthday.
“It has helped me sleep and I wake up feeling less tired. I noticed a massive difference in how I felt in about a week,” he told the Sun. “I have more energy and focus and it wasn’t difficult.”
“Within 24 hours I changed my diet and I’ve not looked back since,” Cowell said in a recent interview with the Sun. “You feel better, you look better.”
“I refuse to support the companies that buy from those companies killing and torturing animals,” says Lewis Hamilton on Instagram | Lewis Hamilton
6. Lewis Hamilton
Five-time World Champion Formula-1 racer Lewis Hamilton adopted a plant-based diet for his health but is now increasingly concerned with animal rights issues and the ethics of meat. Hamilton first announced his veganism on Snapchat, saying:
“Going to watch What the Health Tonight. I’m on a mission to go vegan, people. Animal cruelty, global warming, and our personal health is at stake.”
“I have plenty of protein in my diet and I’ve gained muscle, and I’m healthier and happier than I’ve ever been. Wish I did it sooner,” he said.
Musician Miley Cyrus has been vegan since 2014 and has received awards for her advocacy. | Wikipedia Commons | Miley Cyrus
7. Miley Cyrus
Animal advocate and musician Miley Cyrus has been vegan since 2014. The celebrity frequently discusses her diet and received the Best Voice 4 Animals award from PETA in 2017.
On Instagram, Cyrus thanked PETA for the award and said: “I am very certain that veganism is taking over and stoked to see so many brands jumpin on this revolution!”
Cyrus has collaborated with fashion designers to create her own vegan-friendly clothing, including Converse. Since going vegan, Cyrus often Tweets her support for the vegan movement and is particularly vocal about speciesism and animal rights.
Craig Robinson lost 50 pounds and says he found the vegan lifestyle “amazing.” | Craig Robinson
8. Craig Robinson
“The Office” and “Brooklyn Nine Nine” star Craig Robinson gave up meat in January 2016 and said that animal-based foods had started to make him feel unhealthy. After moving to a plant-based diet and ditching alcohol Robinson lost 50 pounds.
“ working out and I’ve been trying this vegan lifestyle too. It’s amazing,” Robinson told talk show host Harry Connick Jr. “It’s much easier than I thought it would be.”
“I just wanted to push away from meat and stuff for a little while,” said Robinson. He added that he had “heard you can regenerate your liver in six months. I was like let me see if I can go six months and I just haven’t gone back.”
Mena Suvari has been vegan since the start of 2018. | Wikimedia Commons | Mena Suvari
9. Mena Suvari
Actor Mena Suvari adopted a plant-based diet in early 2018 after watching the 2017 documentary “What the Health.”
“I believe it was not only seeing footage of what happens within our world towards animals, but also the way that the documentary clearly explained the health aspect of veganism,” Suvari told LIVEKINDLY. “It all just instantly clicked for me and I went plant-based overnight.”
Suvari has worked on an anti-vivisection PSA with Last Chance for Animals and since going vegan overhauled her entire wardrobe. She donated all her animal-based clothes and started over.
@beyonce followed a vegan diet in the build-up to Coachella to help her maintain a strict rehearsal schedule. | Wikipedia Commons | Beyonce
Musician and entrepreneur Beyoncé has credited a vegan diet for her now-legendary Coachella performance in 2018.
In preparation for the performance Beyoncé and her performers adhered to grueling 11-hour rehearsals, which were powered by nutritious and plant-based foods.
Beyoncé’s personal chef prepared six daily meals to fuel the intense training regime, and Queen B shared three consecutive posts to her 112 million followers encouraging them to explore plant-based meals: “Vegan Time!! Click the link in my bio to join me!”
Zac Efron says that vegan food has been great for his exercise regime. | Zac Efron
11. Zac Efron
Actor Zac Efron has experimented with a vegan diet and has even credited his toned physique to plant-based food. Efron announced his veganism in an interview with Teen Vogue last year.
“I’ve been experimenting with eating purely vegan,” Efron explained. “That’s completely changed the way that my body works, and the way that I metabolize food, the way it turns into energy, the way that I sleep. It’s been brilliant. It’s been great for my exercise, and great for my routine.”
In February Efron ate dairy-free ice cream while recovering from knee surgery, and kept up with his vegan diet while on an off-grid camping trip with his friends.
“You are what you eat,” says Steve Harvey. | Wikimedia Commons
12. Steve Harvey
TV host Steve Harvey enjoyed multiple health improvements after adopting a vegan diet. On an episode of his NBC talk show “Steve,” Harvey discussed the high rate of heart disease in the United States and how a plant-based diet can help.
“Let me tell you something. I’ve been doing this since January 4, I got to tell you, I do feel a lot better,” said Harvey in March.
“I have the cholesterol levels of an infant,” he added. “My cholesterol numbers are lower than my cardiologist’s cholesterol numbers… You can eat your way healthy. You are what you eat.”
The beauty mogul and reality star Kim Kardashian says she is vegan now. | Kim Kardashian
13. Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian has recently said she is following a plant-based diet.
In an Instagram video, Kardashian told Anastasia Soare — founder of the cosmetics company Anastasia Beverly Hills — that veganism was responsible for her slim waist. “Honestly, being vegan now helps,” says Kardashian.
The “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” star regularly shares pictures of vegan food on her Instagram, recently including plant-based sausages and mung bean-based JUST egg. Kardashian has also revealed that her wardrobe is now 100 percent fur-free, perhaps inspired by friend and fellow vegan celebrity Pamela Anderson.
Summary Article Name 13 Celebrities Before and After Going Vegan Description 13 celebrities before and after going vegan. Celebrities go vegan and discuss the health benefits of plant-based, including weight loss and improved energy. Author Liam Pritchett Publisher Name LIVEKINDLY Publisher Logo
According to healthline.com, veganism is currently defined as “a way of living that attempts to exclude all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty, be it for food, clothing or any other purpose.”
People may choose to go vegan for ethical reasons, whereby they avoid meat and animal agriculture products because they believe in an animal’’s freedom and right to life.
Whereas some may opt for a vegan diet in an attempt to reduce the environmental footprint of animal products.
Others may choose to go vegan for its potential health benefits.
Some studies have found a link between veganism and a reduce risk of heart disease, ope 2 diabetes, cancer or premature death.
Other reports have shown that lowering the amount of animal products you eat may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimers disease or dying from cancer or heart disease.
Does a vegan diet aid weight loss?
Multiple studies consistently link vegan diets to lower body weight and body mass index (BMI), hence why many slimmers choose this diet to help shed body fat.
A joint study suggested that plant-based diets help stimulate certain hormones in one’s gut that assist in the regulation of blood pressure, insulin production, and glucose and energy levels.
These are what make a person feel like he or she is already full and is, thus, the primary reason why those who go vegan get to manage their weight more efficiently.
8 Inspiring Vegan Weight-Loss Transformations
Studies show that those who adhere to a vegan diet have a lower body mass index than that of their meat-eating counterparts. In addition, meat-eaters consume more calories and fewer vegetables, on average, than vegans do. This feature showcases eight people whose weight-loss success stories came about thanks in large part to their decision to choose an animal-free diet. Compassion and health go hand in hand—just ask these inspiring people:
1. Robert and Jessica
After realizing that our food and exercise habits were affecting our children negatively, we arrived at the conclusion that they deserved more than to watch our health fall apart at a young age. We started very simply—Jess took up Zumba. Meanwhile, I began playing tennis, a former favorite pastime from my childhood, and once the rust chipped away from all the parts I hadn’t moved in years, I began to feel exhilarated. The effort and feeling of competitiveness were addictive.
Our food habits changed much more slowly, as I was convinced that all we needed was to reduce our portions to reclaim our health. We became much more disciplined in our cooking and eating, ensuring that when we made our favorite foods, we made just enough for everyone to have a single serving. We began to see the weight slip off us, and more importantly, we began to feel stronger, with a growing sense of confidence in ourselves.
Encouraged by our initial success, we began reading everything we could about food, nutrition, the horrors of factory farming, and organics and how these things were either a help or a detriment to our bodies.
Our level of activity was ever growing over the course of our journey. We registered for our first 5K in December 2012, and our enthusiasm for running grew from 5K to 10K races, and eventually, I completed my first marathon, after hundreds of hours of training. We are now looking forward to our next challenges, our next races, and our next meals, which, as of just recently, are all 100 percent vegan.
We sought during this process to change many aspects of our lives, and this ultimately yielded information that led me to return to school in pursuit of my medical degree and led Jess to enroll in school to obtain her art degree. We have grown more confident, more intelligent, and more compassionate—especially toward the animals who are seen socially as mere products instead of the wonderfully intelligent, sentient beings they are.
After many years of unhealthy eating I found myself at 288 pounds. I knew how I got there but I had no clue how to fix it. Would I always be overweight? Would I ever like what I see and love how I feel? I had so many questions. I remember saying, “Keyrah, you have to do this!” I have two daughters that I did not want to leave, and I didn’t want to miss graduations and weddings due to a weight-related early death. But how to change? After many failed attempts at multiple weight loss tricks, programs, and diets, I was still stuck!
On March 1, 2015 my life completely changed. I became vegan! I started by trying a plant-based instructional detox which was a vegan meal and exercise plan. I lost 19 pounds by day 11 and I was amazed, encouraged, and excited. Becoming vegan has been the best decision of my life. Not only did I lose 100 pounds in 10 months, I have also been able to inspire many people to become vegan by allowing them to watch my 128 pound weight loss journey on social media.
I began to notice an unexpected result of my weight loss journey—I was receiving hundreds of messages and emails daily. I tried to respond to everyone individually and it became nearly impossible, so I met with my health advisor Tori from LOJ FitClub, who is also vegan. He helped me bring the detox to others, in order to help start their vegan health journey. I am now 160 pounds. I’m happy, healthy, and I’m excited about having the freedom to inspire others. I would love for you to stay connected with me and the motivation nation and here’s how.
I went vegan as a stressed-out graduate student who cared about animals, the environment, and workers’ rights. At that time, my own health was the last thing on my mind—I was just trying to make it through all-night writing sessions by scarfing down French fries and cookies, and I definitely didn’t think I had time to exercise.
Almost as soon as I finished my degree and started working normal hours, I realized that I now had time to invest in myself, so I started going to the gym. My membership came with a few free personal training sessions, and when my trainer asked me about my diet, I told her I was vegan. To my surprise, she said she was vegan, too! She also told me that since I was already eating plant-based foods, I should be able to shed the extra pounds easily, and she was right. By adding exercise to my routine, as well as cutting back on the fries and cookies (don’t get me wrong—I still eat those sometimes) and eating more unprocessed fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, I was able to improve my health and lose about 70 pounds of weight that I didn’t need.
Now, despite my busy schedule as a working mom, I still work out regularly with the PETA Pack, and I honestly feel younger now than I ever did back in my unhealthy student days. For anyone who is looking to improve his or her health, I definitely recommend starting by going vegan—not only can it help those who want to lose weight to do so, but vegetarians also have lower rates of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Plus, you’ll save water, reduce your carbon footprint, and save nearly 200 animals every year.
I was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and I grew up on the standard meat- and dairy-based diet that most people eat today. By age 16, I had developed exercise-induced asthma, making it difficult to exercise; my vision got worse and I started wearing contacts; and I fell sick several times a year. By age 18, I was struggling with my weight and had become obsessed with calorie restriction. At this point in my life, I had limited nutritional knowledge and didn’t see the connection between my diet and my health. I would do restrictive dieting or run an hour a day for quick weight-loss results, then lose control and gain all the weight back.
At age 24, I met my husband, and I gained 50 more pounds during my pregnancy with our first child. After watching Forks Over Knives and reading several nutrition books, I decided to cut out the foods that were most likely to cause weight gain—red meat, dairy products, and egg yolks. I never considered myself a vegetarian or vegan on this diet until a couple of months later, when I decided to give up chicken and fish and animal byproducts after learning about cruelty to animals. I have been fully vegan for 3 1/2 years now.
Who would have guessed that choosing compassion and plant-based foods would get me, a mom who weighed 200 pounds after my son was born, into better shape than I ever was? I lost 75 pounds, my total cholesterol dropped to 150, my vision improved to 20/20, and my exercise-induced asthma disappeared regardless of workout intensity. My weight loss and muscle gain inspired me to become a certified nutrition coach and personal trainer to share my knowledge. Over the past three years, I have helped more than 100 people get fit by eating plants to fuel their workouts with my vegan-owned and -operated business, Kelly Athletics LLC.
If you’d asked me four years ago if I pictured myself where I am now, I would have told you, “NEVER!” I was at a stage in my life in which I battled depression, being overweight, and having suicidal thoughts. Deep down inside, I always knew since a child that eating animals was not the kind thing to do, but it wasn’t until I became an adult that I decided to make the changes necessary to help remedy the situation. So I went vegan. Then came the exercise.
I got involved in different martial arts, including capoeira and karate. It was this combination of martial arts and plant-based eating that made it so that the body fat melted off me. Years later, in continuing this trend, I started doing things I never imagined possible: handstand pushups, manipulating fire in my fire nunchaku performances, and lifting another person on my hands in acrobatics. By choosing to live in a way that lets animals live, it took me out of the path of death that I felt I was on and led me into a state of being full of life. In a sense, much like the superheroes I read about in my comic books, veganism granted me superhuman powers I never imagined possible. Do I recommend veganism? You bet! It saved not only my life but also the lives of animals.
Before my transformation, I weighed in at 280 pounds and had a 50-inch waist. I was 51 at the time, and my doctor told me that unless I made immediate changes, I would probably live less than five years because of my poor health, which included type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. My medications cost more than $1,000 per month.
I decided to take action when I saw President Bill Clinton interviewed on CNN talking about The China Study and the healing power of a plant-based diet. I bought the book and hired a nutritionist, who told me that I could cure all my medical problems by going vegan and avoiding processed sugar.
In addition to switching to a plant-based diet centered on whole foods, I started to exercise. At first, I was unable to tie my shoes without being out of breath. Then by walking every day with my adopted dog, Peety, my stamina began to improve. Now, I’m running an average of 40 miles each week and plan to run five full marathons and between 15 and 20 half-marathons this year.
Today, I take no medications, am down to 175 pounds, and have a trim 32-inch waist. My type 2 diabetes is gone, my total cholesterol is 130, and my blood pressure is 96/60. At 53, I can compete athletically with most 25-year-olds.
It is my greatest wish that others will achieve the happiness I’ve achieved, which is possible just by making this one dietary change in their lives. But you don’t have to be a marathoner to see great results. Many will see a drastic improvement just by switching to a vegan diet and walking for a half-hour several times each week! And this is why I joined the PETA Pack, because it combines everything I enjoy: healthy plant-based nutrition, running, and a love for animals.
At the age of 45, I was struggling with many health issues: I had high blood pressure and borderline diabetes, my knees were hurting, and even though I was a vegetarian, I weighed 280 pounds. I was eating a lot of dairy products. Soon, I became frightened because walking was difficult, and I couldn’t even imagine running. But I started to read about going vegan and the horrible dairy industry. It really opened my eyes, and as soon as I cut dairy products out of my diet, the weight started to come off. I joined a gym. The stares, the giggles—I endured them all. But I went every day. I did my first “boot camp” classes at 255 pounds.
I was hooked. My friends started joining me in my training. They had plateaued in their weight loss, but not me, and I credit my vegan diet with my consistent weight loss. In addition, I always had energy, and I never felt bloated or lethargic.
I am now a runner, and now that I am training full time in order to compete, I recuperate in a flash. At age 48, I am beating records and finishing before people half my age. Why? You know the answer by now.
I went from 280 pounds to 135 as a mother of three! I tell myself every day that true strength comes from plants but, more importantly, from compassion.
I stepped onto the scale, and I was dumbfounded. The number 340 registered on the digital reading. At 24 years young, I exhibited the onset of kidney dysfunction, hypertension, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and an irregular heartbeat. I was told that my next step would be gastric-bypass surgery. My future would be filled with prescription drugs, hospital visits, and disability if I didn’t make a change.
I was in Las Vegas with my brother and sister-in-law, who are vegan, so I was excited to try some vegan cuisine. I had toyed with the idea of going vegan because of the animals and because I had heard that there are health benefits, but up until that day, the only big decision I was willing to make was “Do I want a large or an extra-large fountain drink?”
I went back home to San Diego and started researching. I was startled. No, I was horrified. The more I researched the subject, the more I realized that going vegan was the best choice for me—and all the animals, too. I started going to vegan stores and reading vegan blogs. I started my first vegan food blog called Eve’s Tasty Apples to share my excitement about and passion for my newfound lifestyle. I didn’t have to diet. I didn’t have to worry about splurging or feeling insanely full and disappointed in myself for eating a certain way. Veganism allowed me to feel full in both body and spirit.
My passion for physical activity was equal to my passion for cooking. I loved the opportunity that vegan cooking offered in the way of ingredients and creativity. I started turning my favorite omnivore recipes into vegan masterpieces. I became so passionate about vegan food that I started hosting cooking classes in homes and at a vegan restaurant called Casa de Luz. With the “Meatless Monday” movement catching on, I wanted to demonstrate what was possible by incorporating meatless meals into people’s diets.
Recently, I completed my first triathlon. From self-defeat to triathlete! While crossing the finish line, I was reminded just how far my course had taken me—much farther than just the distance of the triathlon—since I had realized in Las Vegas that I had lost control of myself and wanted it back. I’m the product of what’s possible when you stop focusing on the reasons why you can’t do something and go full-heartedly for the result that you want to create. I’m an example of what’s possible with a vegan lifestyle.
Feeling inspired? Check out PETA’s vegan recipes.
If this article is making you question your current lifestyle, then we have just the thing for you: our free vegan starter kit, with tips and information about going vegan. For animals, the environment, and your health, order one today.
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According to a new survey, 11% of UK consumers say they’ve tried a vegan diet, and 19% would consider going vegan. But what exactly does that entail?
The Vegan Society defines veganism as “a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals”. Like vegetarians, vegans do not eat any form of meat, however, they go one step further and avoid all animal products completely, including dairy, eggs, and honey.
People have many different reasons for, and ways of being, a vegan. “801010”, “HCLF”, “Raw Till 4”, what’s it all about? Get the low-down on 5 different types of vegan diets.
Perhaps the most common and unifying reason that people decide to go vegan is in the pursuit of a more caring, compassionate lifestyle. Vegans believe in ending the exploitation of animals, which is why veganism often expands into lifestyle choices such as avoiding cosmetics with animal ingredients, or that are tested on animals, wearing wool, silk and leather, or visiting zoos and aquariums.
There are 542,000 vegans in the UK (42% are aged 34 or under)
While some protest at modern mass-market meat and dairy industries, others take the view point that, as sentient beings, it’s simply not our place to take from animals, be that by eating their meat, using their skin, or taking milk or eggs.
Some people chose to follow a vegan diet for health reasons or to lose weight, without engaging with the troubling ethics. For this reason they may choose the label “plant-based”, as they continue to use animal products such as leather, silk, and honey.
While it is still very possible to be an unhealthy vegan (Pringles, Oreos, and even Pot Noodles are vegan!), a plant-based diet is only about eating things that have been grown in the ground, and cooked in a way that preserves as much of the natural nutrients in the food as possible. By avoiding meat and dairy, vegan diets automatically cut out a lot of saturated fats, but plant-based diets take this notion one step further by also avoiding processed foods altogether, with a stern focus on “clean eating”.
Raw vegans chose not to eat anything cooked or heated up, so this diet mainly consists of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains. Some may choose this diet for health benefits. Others choose the diet for spiritual reasons, looking to recreate a new Eden. Some raw vegans will follow an 80/10/10 diet: 80% carbohydrates, 10% fat, and 10% protein. Another option is “Raw Till 4”, popularised by vegan bloggers, by eating raw food until 4pm, then a cooked meal for dinner.
High carb low fat (HCLF) vegans will eat huge quantities of carbs in the form of fruit, vegetables and grains, and as little fat as possible. HCLF has various options depending on what the individual is looking for in the diet.
Some want carbohydrates from fruit and veg, similar to raw vegans; others have a lot of potatoes, rice and pasta. Healthy fats (avocado, seeds and nuts) are still essential in the diet, but are eaten in smaller quantities. For newbies, the HCLF diet plan can be a nice guide to eating a balanced, healthy diet without the restrictions of “raw” or “plant-based” diets.
5. Enviromentally concious
More people are trying to make changes in their daily lives to better take care of our planet. Mass consumption of meat and dairy puts a lot of pressure on the environment. The space needed to home animals has resulted in huge areas of deforestation.
In Brazil, the world’s largest exporter of beef, the Amazon rainforest has been hugely affected by the livestock industry. What’s worse, both the animals and their transportation release a huge amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. By boycotting the livestock industry, environmentally conscious vegans hope to cut down their carbon footprint and reduce their impact on the environment.
If you’re thinking of adopting a vegan diet but aren’t sure if it’s right for you, consider speaking to a qualified nutritionist on Nutritionist Resource.
Q: What are the types or levels of vegetarianism?
A: There are several “levels” of vegetarianism, or types of vegetarian diet, that depend on which foods you choose not to eat. Starting from the most restrictive and working our way down, the types of vegetarian are as follows:
- Lacto Vegetarian
- Ovo Vegetarian
- Lacto-ovo vegetarian
- Pescatarian (Pescetarian)
Vegans do not consume any animal products or by-products. So vegans of course do not consume red or white meat, fish or fowl. They also do not consume eggs and dairy. Vegans do not use honey or beeswax, gelatin and any other animal by-product ingredients or products. Vegans typically do not use animal products such as silk, leather and wool, as well.
Lacto-vegetarians do not eat red or white meat, fish, fowl or eggs. However, lacto-vegetarians do consume dairy products such as cheese, milk and yogurt.
Ovo-vegetarians do not eat red or white meat, fish, fowl or dairy products. However, ovo-vegetarians do consume egg products.
Lacto-ovo vegetarians do not consume red meat, white meat, fish or fowl. However, lacto-ovo vegetarians do consume dairy products and egg products. This is the most common type of vegetarian.
While technically not a type of vegetarian, these individuals do restrict their meat consumption to fish and seafood only. Pescatarians do not consume red meat, white meat or fowl. This is considered a “semi-vegetarian” or “flexitarian” diet.
Much like the pescatarian, this “semi-vegetarian” diet restricts meat consumption to poultry and fowl only, and is not officially considered a vegetarian. Pollotarians do not consume red meat or fish and seafood
A plant-based diet with the occasional meat item on the menu. These folks do their best to limit meat intake as much as possible and they have an almost entirely plant-based diet. This is not technically considered a “vegetarian” diet, but we commend the effort!
What kind of vegetarian are you?
There are many different ways to approach vegetarianism, and it’s up to you to make dietary choices that best fit your lifestyle. Consider your health and fitness goals or needs when choosing. Whether you are becoming a vegetarian yourself, or simply trying to better support your vegetarian friends and family, we hope this list and chart have been helpful!