Vegetarian, vegan, vegan: what are the differences?

Vegetarians, vegans and vegans do not consume meat, for reasons specific to each one: to protect the animal cause, to improve its health or to encourage a more sustainable agriculture. But what makes a vegetarian different from a vegan or a vegan?

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There are many reasons that can motivate an individual to become vegetarian, vegan or vegan, whether it is about his religion (Hinduism …), the desire to lose weight or to respect the animal cause. The vegetarians, vegans and vegans all have in common that they don’t eat meat. But there are differences between them:

Different ways to be vegetarian

There are several variations in the vegetarianism :

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A plant-based diet lowers the risk of severe disease courses – healing practice

Plant-based nutrition to protect against COVID-19?

In the case of COVID-19, diet also appears to have a significant influence on the course of the disease. According to a current study, the risk of severe COVID-19 courses is significantly reduced with a plant-based diet and a pescatarian diet (no meat, but fish)

Several studies had already hypothesized that eating habits in COVID-19 could play an important role in terms of the risk of infection, the severity of symptoms and the duration of the disease, reports the research team led by Dr. Hyunju Kim from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In their current study, the researchers have now examined the connection between eating habits and COVID-19 in more detail. The relevant study results were published in the specialist magazine “BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health”.

Risk factors influenced by diet

Pre-existing conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure are considered risk factors for severe COVID-19 courses and they are usually also associated with an unhealthy diet. It was therefore suspected that diet could have a significant influence on the risk of infection and the course of COVID-19.

Relationships with nutrition examined

Using data from 2,884 health care workers from six countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, USA), the research team looked for possible connections between certain dietary patterns and COVID-19. “We used multivariable logistic regression models to assess the association between self-reported diet and COVID-19 infection, severity and duration,” explain the researchers.

A total of 568 participants were sick with COVID-19 and 2,316 remained healthy. Of the 568 illnesses, 138 were moderate to severe, while 430 people had a very mild to mild course of COVID-19.

Protect plant-based nutrition and pescetarianism

After adjusting the data, it was shown that people who stated that they had a purely vegetable or pescatarian diet had a 73 percent lower risk of moderate to severe COVID-19 progression compared to participants who did not eat a vegetable diet, so the researchers. The risk of infection in general is not reduced by the plant-based diet, but only the severity of the disease.

“Understanding the associations between dietary patterns and COVID-19 could improve our overall understanding of the role of diet in viral diseases,” the researchers hope. A plant-based diet can already be considered for the prevention of severe COVID-19 courses. (fp)

Author and source information

This text complies with the requirements of specialist medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.


  • Hyunju Kim, Casey M. Rebholz, Sheila Hegde, Christine LaFiura, Madhunika Raghavan, John F. Lloyd, Susan Cheng, Sara B. Seidelmann: Plant-based diets, pescatarian diets and COVID-19 severity: a population-based case–control study in six countries; in: BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health (veröffentlicht 07.06.2021),

Important NOTE:
This article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.


Plant-based milks: are they as good as they sound?

First modification:

Currently, the so-called vegetable milks, based on almonds, soy, rice, coconut or oats, among others, are in vogue. But are they better or healthier than cows? Is it correct to call them “milks”? A nutritionist in an interview with RFI gives some clarification.

They are called vegetable milks and they can be based on legumes or nuts such as almonds, rice, coconut, buckwheat, oats or the most popular, soy.

They are obtained by soaking the legume, dried fruit or grain and then, pressing and straining, a whitish liquid is obtained, hence they are called “milk”, although the correct thing to do would be to call them drinks, so as not to believe that they have the same properties as milk from mammals.

A boom in recent years

The truth is that these non-dairy alternative milks have become very popular in the last five years. Many people prefer them because they want or need to avoid dairy. Some also choose them believing that they are healthier than cow’s milk.

But some of these vegetable drinks, maybe they are not as good as they seem, for its high content of added sugar o they do not provide as many nutrients present in animal milk as protein, calcium or vitamin D.

Listen to the radio program here:

MAG SALUD 2021_06_10 VEGETABLE DRINKS vs COW’S MILK long version f / v 13’53 “

On this label you can see that after the almonds, cane sugar has been added. © Mike Mozart / Flickr

Checking the labels well is essential, to make sure that they do not have added sugar, or learning how to make them yourself, something relatively easy, since it is a matter of soaking the grains in water for a few hours, throwing that water, then liquefying the grains with filtered water, and pass them through a sieve, repeating the operation a few times.

It is very easy to make your own vegetable milk, just blend the food in question with water (oatmeal, almond, hazelnut, coconut, previously soaked) and squeeze its content with a cheesecloth.
It is very easy to make your own vegetable milk, just blend the food in question with water (oatmeal, almond, hazelnut, coconut, previously soaked) and squeeze its content with a cheesecloth. Creative commons

In this way, milk is obtained that can be kept for two or three days in the refrigerator or, if you prefer, freeze in small bottles; the remaining bagasse can be used for other culinary recipes.

To talk about this topic, we spoke with the nutritionist Carmen Escalada, of the European Medical Institute of Obesity.

Other related topics:

Living without dairy, a food option in vogue


Vegan children are smaller than others

WarsawChildren who follow a vegan diet or are fed are on average three centimeters shorter than their peers. This comes from a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and carried out by the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health and the Children’s Memorial Health Institute in Poland.

According to the study, the children who eat everything also had stronger bones than their vegan peers. In concrete terms, this means that the bone mineral content in vegan children is four to six percent lower on average.

From 2014 to 2016, 187 healthy 5- to 10-year-olds in Poland were selected for the study. Of these, 63 children were vegetarians, 52 vegans and 72 omnivores. The team then collected data on growth, body composition, cardiovascular risk and micronutrient status in vegetarian or vegan children and compared them with the group of children who eat meat. The average meat abstinence period was 5.3 years for vegans and 5.9 years for vegetarians.

Vegan children have a healthier heart for this

Children who followed a vegan diet were also three times more likely to have a vitamin B12 deficiency. However, the study also found that children on a vegan diet have a healthier cardiovascular profile and less body fat than omnivorous children.

The authors of the study emphasize the need for additional vitamin B12 and vitamin D supplements in a vegan diet and that more needs to be done to sensitize families with vegetarian and vegan children to vitamin supplements – including future osteoporosis and To minimize the risk of fractures.