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Vegan vs. Vegetarian: Is the Plant-Based Lifestyle for You?

In the past years, we’ve seen an increase in diversity and inclusion in all aspects of life. But one area that should be highlighted is the recent addition of vegetarian and vegan options in the food industry.  This increase has given individuals greater flexibility and choices as to whether they would like to pursue plant-based diets without losing the satisfaction of enjoying their favorite meals.

Deciding to transition to a vegetarian lifestyle still allows you to consume your favorite dairy products while only excluding meat products from your diet. However, a vegan lifestyle requires more self-discipline as you are now eliminating eggs, all dairy products and meat from your diet.

It’s recommended to first convert to a vegetarian lifestyle and then progress to going full vegan to reap the many benefits such as weight loss, improved internal health like lowered chances of kidney loss and decreased blood pressure, and clear and healthy skin.

If you’re interested in changing your diet to a healthier option, here’s a variety of both vegan and vegetarian-friendly brands that will have your stomach full and your heart healthy!


Daiya is a plant-based company that offers products that “are free of these major food allergens including dairy, gluten, and soy.” They offer a range of food options such as pizza, macaroni and cheese, yogurt, cheesecake, ice cream, and shredded and block cheese.


Gardein focuses more on meat substitutes. They offer a variety of items such as burgers, plant-based jerky, and meatless seafood such as crab cakes and fish fillets.

Beyond Meat

Beyond Meat should be a more familiar brand name to the general public. They offer products such as burger patties, sausage links and crumbled meat. Beyond Meat has been the top brand to pave the meatless option into the restaurant industry. Food chains such as Friday’s, Del Taco, Burger 21 and Dunkin’ are profiting more by considering their guests with restricted diets.

Morning Star

Morning Star, another company that focuses on meat substitutes, has also branched out to the restaurant industry by partnering with Dunkin’ and Starbucks to provide breakfast options to their plant-based diet customers. Morning star offers hot dogs, bacon strips, burgers and more!

Whether you decide to incorporate vegan or vegetarian diet habits for a short period or make it a lifestyle, remember the health benefits associated with it. You are making both your mind and body strong, which you’ll definitely thank yourself for in the long run.

Nia-Simone Sherwood is a journalism major at Georgia State University. Her interest includes playing the guitar, creating funny videos, and writing. Nia-Simone hopes to work with youth who are also interested in journalism and help build their journalistic skills.
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