What is the optimal diet for health and longevity? Is it a vegetarian, vegan, or plant-based diet? In the following blog, I will summarize the key factors of each diet to help you make an educated decision.
Vegetarian, Vegan, and Plant-based diets
First off, we must note that none of these labels exist in nature. Still, we need to have a labeling system to classify things. Once we put an object (diet) into a box, our brain knows how to relate to it. Second, there is absolutely no universal right or wrong way to eat. I don’t believe that eating any specific diet makes one a better human. Of course, there is no arguing that a well-balanced diet leads to better health. At the same time, however, no one truly knows what that diet is.
Based on my experience, I would say that a whole foods plant-based diet is optimal for weight maintenance and simplicity, and it’s also budget-friendly. Likewise, some revolutionary doctors and scientists (David Sinclair, Michael Greger, and Valter Longo) all agree that whole foods plant-based diets are optimal for better health and longevity.
In 2002, at the beginning of my health transformation journey, I decided to become a vegetarian. A vegetarian diet does not allow meat from animal and sea creatures, but cheese and eggs are acceptable. When I switched from a classic Western diet to a vegetarian diet, I lost weight, improved my health, and started feeling much better.
In 2016, in preparation for my stem cell regenerative procedure, I parted ways with my beloved cheese. Within a few weeks, I dropped an extra few pounds. A vegan diet eliminates all animal products, including dairy, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and honey.
But, like many other vegans, I indulged in unhealthy junk non-food full of oil, sugar, and who knows what kind of ingredients. I gained another 10 pounds and started to feel pretty sluggish.
In 2020 at 44-years-young, one more time, I turned my world upside down. I cleaned up my plate and switched to a plant-based diet.
A plant-based diet includes plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes; and excludes any animal products, including meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, and cheese. Similarly, plant-based diets focus on eating whole foods balanced diet.
In summary, a vegan or vegetarian diet could be a fantastic gateway to healthy living. On the other hand, neither a vegan nor vegetarian diet is optimal for health and longevity. For the reason that we can consume a lot of junk. From vegan cookies, potato chips, and other vegan junk foods coded with sugars, refined oils, and salts. Not to mention, a vegetarian diet, in addition to all vegan junk, also includes cheese. So, both vegan and vegetarian can be high in calories and poor in nutrients.
For this reason, a plant-based diet is my winner!
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn minimal fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Anna Sheinman. They are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, and they are not intended as medical advice. They are intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from my own research and experience. I encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.