With all of the different food phases out there, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them. When someone commits to a specific diet, they need foods that comply with the diet. People everywhere are looking to improve their diets, whether for health reasons, environmental consciousness or personal beliefs and values.
This can be tricky in a household with more than one person, especially if everyone has their own diet they’re following. While it’s great to adopt healthier eating habits, it can be perplexing to figure out who can eat what.
If you have kids or another family member who wants to try a new eating phase, or if you as a parent have your own diet, navigating those various diets isn’t always easy. You need to ensure everyone is getting proper nutrition and nutrients while pleasing everyone with the right foods.
Fortunately, this article provides you with four tips for navigating different food eating phases, whether it’s a paleo diet or a vegan diet. Knowing the basics of each of these diets will help you understand the various foods you can prepare for a loved one.
Veganism has become a popular choice among those wanting to shift their eating habits. Many people choose this lifestyle because of health, ethical or environmental reasons. However, you might be concerned that your loved one won’t get the proper nutrition with a lack of meats.
When done right, someone who is vegan benefits significantly from their food choices. The vegan diet excludes all animal products, including food and clothing. That means no meat, dairy or eggs, and certainly no leathers.
Though it may seem like there’s only one way to be vegan, there are quite a few variations to the vegan diet, which include but are not limited to the:
- Whole-food Vegan Diet: Still avoiding meat products, this variation is based on whole plant foods. People will eat fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
- Raw-food Vegan Diet: The raw-food vegan will consume foods cooked at low temperatures or not cooked at all. This maintains all of the nutrients within the foods.
- Starch Solution: As it sounds, the starch solution focuses on starches such as rice, corn and potatoes rather than fruits. It’s designed to be a high-carb, low-fat diet.
- Junk-food Vegan Diet: Some vegans choose to rely on plant-based meats and cheeses, along with fries and processed vegan foods.
There are other variations, but these are some of the primary ones. Incorporating more whole vegetables, fruits and nuts into your home can help the vegan living in your house. Additionally, read the ingredients listed on products you purchase to ensure the food aligns with the diet.
Vegetarians are similar to vegans since they base their diet on plants. Additionally, people choose to eat a vegetarian diet for health and environmental reasons. It can be hard not to rely on processed foods as a vegetarian, but if thought goes into the meals and various fruits and vegetables are consumed, it can be an extremely healthy diet.
Whether adults, teens or children, people of all ages can benefit from this food eating phase. The foods consumed should primarily include whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes for a healthy vegetarian diet. It’s best to avoid sweetened beverages and refined grains.
The main difference between vegetarians and vegans is that vegetarians consume some dairy, eggs and honey, which are all-natural animal products that don’t harm the animals. Vegetarians and vegans won’t eat products or by-products of slaughter.
3. Semi-vegetarian or Flexitarian
Just like the vegan diet has variations, the vegetarian diet has a few different variations as well. Those who don’t eat a strict vegetarian diet are often called semi-vegetarian or flexitarian, meaning their food choices are a bit more flexible.
Here are some of the various types of vegetarianism:
- Pescatarian: The only meat that the vegetarian eats is fish, excluding beef, pork, chicken or other meat products.
- Pollotarian: The vegetarian sticks to eating poultry or white meat along with the traditional vegetarian foods.
- Lacto-vegetarian: This excludes meat, poultry, fish and eggs, but does include dairy products.
- Ovo-vegetarian: This variation only allows eggs in addition to the fruits, vegetables and legumes.
- Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian: This combines the lacto- and ovo-vegetarian, which includes dairy and eggs.
As long as you incorporate plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, you should be able to accommodate any flexitarian diet.
4. Paleo Diet
Another trending diet is the paleo diet. Going back to the Paleolithic era, those who eat foods on the paleo diet try to limit their foods to what someone would eat over 10,000 years ago, long before farming emerged.
The paleo diet includes anything that can be hunted or gathered. Essentially, the foods consumed include lean meats and fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. However, these can only be foods that would have been able to be found in the wild.
Foods that cannot be consumed on the diet include grains, dairy products, potatoes and legumes. This is because most of those foods would have to be processed somehow or are associated with the agricultural movement. The diet can help someone lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, and it is also easy to plan meals with this diet.
When preparing food for someone on the paleo diet, avoid refined sugars, salt, processed foods and grains. Some who go on the paleo diet end up on the carnivore diet, which means the person only eats meat.
Make Meals Easy
Catering to different diets doesn’t have to be complicated. If you have a loved one on one of these food diets, refer to these tips or ask them what foods are okay for them to eat. Cooking meals that comply with these diets can make your whole family eat healthier, too!