The Truth About The 'Veggan' Diet

According to Merriam-Webster, a vegan, by definition is a "strict vegetarian who consumes no food (such as meat, eggs, or dairy products) that comes from animals." One study suggests the motivators behind adhering to a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle include health or ethical reasons, and environmental factors. 

There are, however, variations of the vegetarian diet such as flexitarian, or flexi-vegan, where people will eat some animal products while still benefitting from a mostly plant-based diet (via Healthline). An ovo-vegetarian, or 'veggan', is someone who will not eat any animal-based foods except for eggs from free-range hens, or poultry they know have been raised ethically. 

On a 'veggan' diet, all animal products, including dairy products, are eliminated but unlike a true vegan diet, veggans will eat eggs and foods containing eggs such as mayonnaise, egg noodles, and some baked goods. According to Healthline, a person might adhere to a 'veggan' lifestyle over concern that a true vegan diet lacks variety, nutritional value, or convenience.

Benefits of living "Veggan"

Allowing for eggs in an otherwise vegan or vegetarian lifestyle can help provide additional essential nutrients, including protein and vitamin B-12 (per Healthline). Additionally, one egg contains nutrients such as vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and iron, which may be challenging to get an adequate amount of on a strictly vegan diet. Furthermore, adding eggs into a plant-based diet can be beneficial for those at risk for nutritional deficiencies.

Aside from the nutritional perks gained by being an ovo-vegetarian, there are people who will choose this diet for a more ethical reason. For some people, choosing eggs from humanely raised poultry is a better option than eating dairy products from cows and goats maintained in congested spaces, which has been said to result in animal cruelty (via Greener Ideal).

Whether you choose to practice vegan or 'veggan,' plant-based diets have been proven to provide many health benefits, including lowering the risk of heart and kidney diseases. According to Harvard Health Publishing, following a vegetarian diet can also help with maintaining a healthy weight, reducing the risk of obesity and offering another reason to give 'vegganism' a try.