Mediterranean diet Vs. Vegan - Which one is better for you?
Today everyone wants to stay healthy—people lookout for different types of workouts, gym training, yoga sessions, and whatnot. But, one of the most important aspects of good health is to use a diet that can work for your body.
With multiple diet options available in the market, it can get quite confusing to choose the best one. Thus, in this article, we will look into two major diet plans that include the Mediterranean diet and the vegan diet.
Thus, we will look into details of the Mediterranean diet vs. vegan diet. We will try to look into the food you can eat and the nutritional and other benefits of both these diet plans. So, if you are excited about this, let’s check how good these diet plans are.
Mediterranean diet overview
The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional fooding habits of Jewish people and Arabs in Israel, as well as fooding habits in Greece, Italy and some other Mediterranean countries. The history of the Mediterranean diet dates back to the 1960s. As per many research, Jewish people were exceptionally healthy as compared to people in other parts of the world.
Israeli people has different fooding habits, and their food products are healthier and nutritious as compared to food from different parts of the world.
Different studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet helps in weight loss, and it also helps in preventing all kinds of heart diseases. Thus, if you want to live healthier and happier like Jewish people, it’s time to know about Mediterranean diet health benefits.
Vegan diet overview
Today people all around the world have decided to go vegan because of different ethical, environmental, and health reasons. A vegan diet, if followed properly, can provide multiple health benefits like slimmer waistline, and improvement in blood sugar levels.
But, as per much research, it has been witnessed that vegan people have a lower BMI as compared to other people. Adoption of a vegan diet can also help in keeping blood sugar levels in check and also keeps Type II diabetes at bay.
Mediterranean diet Vs. Vegan: Comparison
When it comes to comparison between vegan vs. Mediterranean diet, you should know that both these diet plans are low-calorie diets. Both these diets have several pros and cons, which we will discuss in this section. Thus, if you are thinking about following any of these diets, read this section carefully.
Physical health benefits
Physical health benefits of the Mediterranean diet
As per the research conducted, Mediterranean diets help in avoiding cardiovascular diseases. The diet is also effective in fighting certain types of cancer, diabetes, and also reduces weight. In addition to this, if you feel lethargic, following the Mediterranean diet will make you agile. A Mediterranean diet is rich in fiber; it also reduces the chances of Type II diabetes.
Physical health benefits of a vegan diet
As per a study, following a vegan diet can help a person to lose almost 9.3 lbs over a period of 18-weeks. It has also been proven that people who follow vegan diets also lost weight quickly as compared to people who were following calorie-restricted diet plans.
Mental/cognitive health benefits
When it comes to mental and cognitive health benefits, both these diet plans can work in favor of people.
Cognitive health benefits of the Mediterranean diet
Certain studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet helps people with Parkinson’s disease, and following the diet for a longer duration also helps in improving brain health. In addition to this, people who follow the Mediterranean diet have a slower rate of cognitive decline and dementia. Thus, if your friends or family members suffer from any of these diseases or impairments, following a Mediterranean diet can help them in the long term.
Cognitive health benefits of a Vegan diet
Choosing a vegan diet has multiple health benefits, and one of the most important benefits relates to cognitive development. It can also help in preventing cognitive decline. Thus the Vegan diet is helpful for people who suffer from cognitive decline like Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to this, consuming a plant-based diet can also help you in decreasing the chances of dementia.
The use of healthy fats is the USP (Unique Selling Proposition) of the Mediterranean diet. If you are thinking about the Mediterranean diet or a vegan diet in terms of fat percentage, the Mediterranean diet will give you better results. If you are following the Mediterranean diet, you eat different sources of healthy fats. Olive oils are one of the biggest sources of healthy fats that are included in the Mediterranean diet.
When it comes to a vegan diet, these do not include lots of fat, but the fat percentage in the vegan diet as compared to the Mediterranean diet. For example, people who follow a vegan diet are not allowed to eat animal-based food. Thus, they have very limited options to get food that is rich in good fat. Thus, people following a vegan diet are prone to eat products that may contain saturated fat.
The major source of carbohydrate in the Mediterranean diet comes from unrefined sources and fiber-rich sources like wheat and beans. The Mediterranean diet also includes eating lots of fruits and vegetables, which may include some percentage of carbohydrates.
Most vegan diets are rich in carbs since they include lots of grains and legumes. Even if you follow a low carb vegan diet, you will need to consume at least 30-100 grams of carbs every day.
Thus, when it comes to the consumption of carbs, vegan diets are flexible as compared to the Mediterranean diet. If you are thinking about following a low carb diet, your focus should be on following the Mediterranean diet instead of a Vegan diet.
Mediterranean diets are rich in different fruits and vegetables, and thus, they are termed as the best food for people suffering from diabetes. The Mediterranean diet also provides protection against Type II diabetes. Mediterranean diet consists of different sources of fiber, and thus, it helps diabetic people in controlling blood sugar levels.
A vegan diet helps in reducing diabetes in diabetic people. When a person is consuming a vegan diet for a long duration, there are chances that the blood sugar level in the body will decrease. Different research shows that people who follow vegan diets lower their cholesterol levels and also improve their kidney functioning.
The major foundation of the Mediterranean diet, as well as a vegan diet, lies in eating lots of fruits and vegetables.
Variety of food in the Mediterranean diet
Mediterranean diet includes different food varieties like fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains. Meals under the Mediterranean diet are usually built around plant-based food products. The right amount of dairy products, poultry, and eggs are also an integral part of the Mediterranean diet. Red meat is only eaten occasionally under Mediterranean diet vegan recipes.
Variety of food in a vegan diet
When it comes to a vegan diet, numerous options are available. But these options are limited to using plant-based products. Thus, you are not allowed to eat any type of food that is derived from animal sources.
Some of the major food varieties included in the Mediterranean diet or vegan diet include almost all types of fruits and vegetables, legumes like peas, chickpeas, and lentils. In addition to this, a vegan diet also includes the consumption of nuts, seeds, bread, dairy alternatives like soy milk and coconut milk.
Taste and spices
Both these diets are tasty, and you have lots of options when it comes to the use of spices and seasoning.
Taste and spices Mediterranean diet
Mediterranean diet vegan meal plan includes the use of different types of spices and seasoning. You can call the Mediterranean diet a diet plan that is high in flavor but low in calories. Herbs and spices add flavor, color, and nutrients to the food.
Some of the major spices and herbs used in cooking of Mediterranean diet vegan meal plan include parsley, saffron, thyme, basil, rosemary, oregano, cilantro, and zaátar
Taste and spices vegan diet
When it comes to taste and spices of a vegan diet, you can prepare as yummy and as bland food as you want. No particular formula is used while preparing a vegan diet. All you have to do is not add any type of plant-based products. Thus, you can use the kinds of herbs and spices you want in a vegan diet plan. The taste of the vegan diet will depend upon your personal preference.
Mediterranean diet cost
Mediterranean diet is definitely healthier as compared to other diet plans, but it is definitely not cheaper. The number of ingredients and items are used in the preparation of Mediterranean diet easy recipes. In Fact, olive oil, which is one of the expensive oil, is mandatory used in the preparation of the Mediterranean diet. In addition to this, dairy products, as well as poultry, adds cost to the Mediterranean diet.
Vegan diet cost
When compared with the Mediterranean diet, the vegan diet is especially lower in cost. You don’t have to spend too much on purchasing any animal-based products. In Fact, vegan diet cost depends on your personal choice. Since fruits and vegetables are naturally available and you can grow them in your yard, you can easily save a few bucks.
Thus, when it comes to the Mediterranean diet vs. vegan diet in comparison to cost, the Mediterranean diet is healthy, but it is expensive. On the other hand, the vegan diet is healthier, but it doesn’t cost much.
Food list: Mediterranean diet
Following are the major food that must be included if you are following a Mediterranean diet:
- Vegetables like: Tomatoes, Kale,Broccoli, Onions, Spinach, Carrots, Cauliflower, Brussels, as well as Sprouts.
- Fruits: like Apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, dates, etc
- Nuts as well as seeds like almond, walnuts, sunflower seeds, cashews, chia seeds
- Legumes like beans, lentils, peas, chickpeas
- Whole grains like wheat, oats, rye, , corn, barley and pasta
- Fish and seafood like salmon and tuna
- Poultry like chicken and eggs
- Dairy products like cheese and yogurt
- Healthy fat sources like olive oil, and avocados
Food list: Vegan diet
- All types of fruits and vegetables
- Legumes and whole grains
- Nuts and seeds
- Bread, rice, pasta, and other carb sources
- Dairy alternatives like soy milk and almond milk
- Vegetable oil
Thus, the list of food included in the Mediterranean diet, as well as the vegan diet, is extensive.
Different research shows that people in the Mediterranean region consume alcohol, but they consume it in Moderation. It was seen that people drink alcoholic drinks, but the consumption of alcohol is limited to red wine. The best part about the Mediterranean diet is that they include alcohol while they are eating. This reduces the impact of alcohol, and people get adequate nutrition. Thus Mediterranean diet is the only diet plan in which alcohol is permitted while you are dieting.
When it comes to a vegan diet, the use of alcohol is not permitted while you are on dieting. Thus, if you are looking for a diet plan that can offer you the freedom to consume alcohol, the Mediterranean diet should be your choice.
When it comes to restriction, the Mediterranean diet comes up with almost zero restrictions. Thus, you are allowed to eat and drink anything you want but in Moderation. The best part about this diet plan is that you are allowed to consume alcohol while you are following the Mediterranean diet.
When it comes to a vegan diet, it comes up with restrictions. Thus, when you are following a vegan diet, you are totally restricted from eating animal-based products. In addition to this, you are not permitted to include dairy products in your diet. Thus, you have to choose ingredients that can act as an alternative to dairy products. Thus, you have to substitute cow’s milk with coconut milk or almond milk when you are following a vegan diet plan.
Ease of cooking
When it comes to ease of cooking, there is no point in going for the Mediterranean diet vs. Vegan diet. Both of these diet plans include recipes that are pretty easy to cook. All you need is a few minutes from your busy schedule, and you will be able to cook recipes included in this diet plan.
You can also experiment a lot when it comes to choosing spices and ingredients used in this diet. Both these diets are pretty easy to prepare, and you can easily cook these foods in your kitchen by using normal ingredients. You don’t have to make any extra effort in the preparation of these diet foods.
When it comes to getting used to these diets, they come up with different challenges. While the Mediterranean diets are best for people who are living in Mediterranean countries like Israel, the vegan diet is pretty difficult to adapt.
For people who are used to eating plant-based products, shifting to a vegan diet can be challenging. Since the vegan diet does not allow dairy products, it can be quite difficult to eliminate products. Thus, the vegan diet requires extra effort from people who are thinking about dieting. Thus, when it comes to getting used to the diet plan, the Mediterranean diet requires less effort as compared to the vegan diet.
When it comes to the use of this diet for kids, it is advisable not to use vegan diets for kids. Kids need all kinds of nutrients for healthy growth. The vegan diet won’t be suitable for kids as kids may suffer from a lack of vitamins and other minerals after using the vegan diet.
On the other hand, the Mediterranean diet can be easily given to kids. Mediterranean diet can be called a wholesome diet as it contains all nutrients needed by our body. Thus, if you are planning for any particular diet for your kids, try going for a Mediterranean diet.
Suitable for beginners
Both of these diets are suitable for beginners. The Mediterranean diet can be easily suited to anyone and everyone. But, if you are a meat-eater and you like to eat animal-based products, you may face a bit of challenge to get equipped to the vegan diet.
Today almost everything has some quantities of animal products in them. Thus, following a strict vegan diet can be a challenging task for some people.
When it comes to sustainability, the Mediterranean diet is pretty sustainable. In Fact, people in countries like Greece and Spain have been using the Mediterranean diet for more than a century. The Mediterranean diet is a culture based diet, and it is a way of life for people living in the Mediterranean region. Thus, the Mediterranean diet is pretty sustainable.
In Fact, the vegan diet is also sustainable as growing crops and legumes don’t lead to too much carbon footprint. Thus, economically or ecologically, both these diet plans are pretty sustainable, and anyone who desires to have the best health can easily go for the diet plan.
Both of these diets do not contain any risk. These diet plans can be adopted by anyone and everyone who wants to improve their health in the long run. The Mediterranean diet is a balanced diet that includes all ingredients and nutrients needed by our body.
A vegan diet also contains almost all the nutrients needed by our body. But, as per a few studies, people who follow a vegan diet for a regular interval may lack certain minerals and protein sources. Since a vegan diet does not contain any animal-based product, it can be pretty difficult to fulfill the protein requirement of our body.
Can Mediterranean and Vegan diets work together?
Yes, the Mediterranean diet and vegan diet can easily work together if you are not attracted to too many meat products and seafood. In Fact, the Mediterranean diet includes all those food items that are part of the vegan diet. Thus, if you are planning to go for a vegan diet, but you don’t want to leave your taste of animal-based products, following Mediterranean products can be the best option.
Mediterranean diet includes every ingredient and product in Moderation, and thus, you won’t face any difficulty in following the Mediterranean diet.
If we were to answer which diet plan can be suitable for you, our answer would be the Mediterranean diet. This is because the Mediterranean diet includes all ingredients and food items that are needed by our body. In Fact, following the Mediterranean diet won’t feel like following a diet pattern for you.
With regular consumption of the Mediterranean diet, you will get used to the taste and type of food. Following the Mediterranean diet will also help you to get rid of different physical and mental health issues. You will feel more energetic and agile in the long run.
No matter which diet plan you follow, you have to stop smoking, and you have to be physically active. The world is full of fad diet plans. But, try to follow a diet plan that can be suited to your everyday life and your locality. In addition to this, try to include healthy ingredients and fruits and vegetables in your diet. The diet will give you the best result, only if you follow it regularly.
Thus, if you have planned to follow a diet and you are determined to go for dieting, it is important to weigh the Mediterranean diet pros and cons and the pros and cons of other types of diet plans. We hope this article will help you to make the perfect choice when it comes to choosing the best diet plan. Try any of these diet plans and let us know which one of these worked best for you.