Vegan, Vegetarian, Rawfoody, Wholefoody . . . what’s the difference?

Vegan, Vegetarian, Rawfoodist, Wholefoodist,
Plant Based . . . . what’s the difference?

We often hear that people eat vegetarian, vegan, raw, wholefoods, or plant based . . . but what’s the difference?

First, let’s define what these words mean.  A vegetarian does not eat meat.  The Vegetarian Society defines a vegetarian as, “someone who lives on a diet of grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits with, or without, the use of dairy products and eggs. A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish* or by-products of slaughter.”

A vegan does not eat meat, but also does not eat eggs, dairy or fish. 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 for food, clothing or any other purpose.” 

A Vegetarian, most often, looks at food choices based on a diet while a vegan looks at food choices based more on a lifestyle.  Although both a vegetarian and a vegan diet are intended to be healthy, a person on either diet can eat poorly and still follow the guidelines.  Processed foods such as chips and crackers and sugar laden foods such as cookies and cakes may meet these dietary guidelines. 

Wikipedia defines A Raw foodist as one who eats only uncooked, unprocessed, unrefined, and unpasteurized foods that have not been treated with pesticides. The foods are not cooked above 117 degrees Fahernheit.  A dehydrater may be used to ‘cook’ the food, but otherwise foods are mostly eaten in their raw natural state. Most raw foodist eat a diet of primarily plant based foods, however, depending on the exact philosophy or type of lifestyle and results desired, raw food diets may include a selection of eggs, fish, meat and dairy products

A “wholefoods” “plant based” diet is one and the same. I find the words “a wholefoods plant based diet” kind of a lot to say, so I like to call us PB&J (Plant Based Junkies). A PB&J, does not eat meat, eggs, dairy, fish, processed foods or sugar and uses minimal oil for cooking.  Forks Over Knives defines a wholefoods plant based diet as “a diet based on fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes; and it excludes meat (including chicken and fish), dairy products, and eggs, as well as highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil.” 

All of these diets can be made even healthier by selecting only organic foods.

My diet of choice is the organic, wholefoods, plant based (PB&J) diet.  And remember that the word “diet” in this context does not mean a quick diet to lose weight, although eating only healthy, organic wholefoods will definitely give you the opportunity to do so.  This diet is a lifestyle way of eating. And, I can assure you that once you start eating healthy, your cravings for sugar and fat will decrease.  That’s not to say that you will never longing look at a cinnamon bun . . . but you will think about it . . . and you may be able to have just one taste or no taste at all!

I have followed a fairly healthy lifestyle throughout my life, with a few slip ups here and there.  Today I follow the organic PB&J diet 99% of the time. I’m still not perfect . . . and I feel great.

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