As a holistic health coach, I am sometimes asked what the perfect diet is. "Should I become a vegetarian? Or a vegan?" is a common refrain of my friends and family. With hundreds of conflicting diet books on the market, it's no wonder that people feel overwhelmed by the hunt for an ideal diet. All you need to know is that diet is not a "one size fits all" concept.
In my studies, I learned over 100 different diet theories. The raw food diet, the vegetarian diet, the vegan diet, and the pescetarian diet are some of the more common ones. I also learned that what may work for one person may not work for another. In other words, "one person's food may be another person's poison". This concept is known as "bio-individuality." (http://www.integrativenutrition.com/glossary/bioindividuality) Each individual has a unique genetic make-up and their own set of lifestyle-oriented goals and challenges. When choosing a diet, it's important to know your body and to find a diet that works for you.
Below are a few differences between some of the diets:
Vegetarianism consists of the elimination of the consumption of meat and animal products, however vegetarianism is not strictly plant-based, and dairy products are often included in vegetarian diets. A vegan diet is strictly plant-based and does NOT include the consumption of animal byproducts (such as dairy products or processed foods). A pescetarian is a vegetarian whom consumes fish as their sole source of animal protein. (http://vegetarian.about.com/od/vegetarianvegan101/tp/TypesofVeg.htm).
I generally adhere to a pescetarian diet on all days besides Thanksgiving, when I love to indulge in some turkey. I will also occasionally use lean ground turkey in spaghetti sauce if I am in need of a protein boost. So, in reality, my diet is best described as flexitarian. Following a flexitarian diet simply means eating primarily plant-based meals with few exceptions.This diet appeals to many and seems less overwhelming to those who feel as if they can't permanently remove meat from their diets.
If you choose a diet that works for you, you may find it easier to "crowd out" the unhealthy foods like chips and soda. Eating MORE nutritious food is the goal to achieve better health.
Remember, Folks, food determines how we feel and heal!