Vegan Diet versus Carnivore Diet: What’s the Difference?
People make the choice to switch to a vegan diet for a variety of reasons. Some do so because they want to reduce their environmental impact by eliminating animal by-products from their diet.
Others make the move because they are concerned about hormones and antibiotics in livestock. Many also go vegan for economic reasons since meat can be quite expensive. Thanks to the year-round availability of fresh produce (both fruits and vegetables) and the emergence of vegan-dedicated restaurants, becoming a vegan is easier than ever.
The Original Use of a Carnivore or Keto Diet
The principle of the keto diet is simple–high fat, sufficient protein, and low carbohydrates. It started primarily to treat refractory or hard-to-control epilepsy among children. This kind of diet pushes the body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates.
The body converts carbs from food into glucose and uses it to fuel brain functions. If there is very little carbohydrate available in one’s diet, the liver transforms fat into ketone bodies as well as fatty acids. Ketone then replaces carbs as a source of energy. Elevated ketone levels (known as ketosis) greatly reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures.
Other neurological disorders a ketogenic diet could potentially help improve include:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Brain cancer
- Sleep disorders
The Rise of the Carnivore Diet
The carnivore diet (also known as the zero-carb diet) is on the rise right now, and more and more people are following it by choice. Those who have tried the ketogenic diet swear by the benefits of a low-carb, high-fat (adequate protein) diet. Keto seems to successfully help people lose weight and improve digestive health. Another important advantage cited by those who follow this diet is that it allows people to eat food they actually enjoy.
But which is actually better, a vegan or a carnivore diet? If you cannot decide between the two, then this post is for you. Take a closer look at these two types and find out which one will best suit your health needs.
Why Going Vegan Is Better
In order to live, the human body needs 13 types of vitamins. These are vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B12, D, K, and folate. Life literally depends on these vitamins. The good news is that we usually get all these from a balanced diet. But we all know a balanced diet is not always the case for everyone. A chronic deficiency of some of these vitamins can lead to serious health conditions and diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular conditions, and osteoporosis.
This seems to be a problem with the carnivore or keto diet. There are tons of nutrients you cannot get from eating meat alone. And those who do not suffer from epileptic seizures can definitely take advantage of a vegan diet.
Benefits and Problems of a Carnivore Diet
Since a carnivorous diet is high in protein, it does not leave you full for a long time as other fiber-rich diets do. Also, consuming a lot of processed and refined carbohydrates alters your gut bacteria. This can cause fluctuations in blood sugar, which can affect the skin and cause common problems like acne.
But the worst food culprit when it comes to skin problems is dairy. As a matter of fact, studies show that those who rid their diet of dairy see significant improvements in their skin, especially if they have mild to moderate acne problems. There are also reports that show people on vegan diets have brighter complexions, better skin textures, and less bloating on their faces.
Important vitamins like vitamins C, E, and folate are pretty much only available from vegetables. You need to particularly add green leafy veggies and citrus fruits to your diet. This is why most sailors get scurvy. They do not usually get enough vitamin C in their fish and other meat-based diets.
The body will also be unable to process vitamin K if it does not get enough vitamin E. Though you can technically get it from consuming fish, beef, and liver, there will not be enough to make use of it.
Risks and Complications of a Carnivore Diet
There are undeniable benefits to a keto diet, especially quick weight loss. However, it is worth noting that staying on this diet for a long time can have adverse effects on your health.
Some of the most common problems include:
- High level of acid in the blood (acidosis)
- Low blood sugar
- Muscle degeneration from severe weight loss
- Feeling sluggish
- Formation of kidney stones
Traditional studies on veganism focused on its potential nutritional health deficiencies. In the past couple of years, however, there has been a hard turnaround as more studies confirm the health benefits of a meat-free diet. The American Dietetic Association has even said that an “appropriately planned vegan diet is healthy and nutritionally adequate, and may even provide prevention and treatment for certain diseases.”
Take note, the key term is appropriately planned. There are guidelines to help you fully utilize the benefits of a vegan diet. You cannot go wrong with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains. Saturated fat and trans fat must also be replaced with good fats such as those found in nuts, canola oil, and olive oil. It is important to remember that even nutritious, plant-based, and low-fat foods can still cause you to gain weight. Portion control is also a must, along with regular physical activity, if you want to stay fit and in shape.
If you are planning to follow a carnivore diet, you can read more about this topic so you can stay informed. You can get tips and ideas on how to create an ideal meal plan for this type. On the other hand, those who want to follow a vegan diet can find many resources on the internet.
You can easily discover recipes that you can follow at home to build the lifestyle you want. Whether you choose to follow a vegan or carnivore diet, it is important to focus on balance. There are certain pros and cons of each type. Make sure you take note of the information provided above to serve as a guide when choosing the right one for you.