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Vegetarian, Vegan or Gluten Free?

When it comes to diets, different people have different preferences. There are many different diets you can follow, but three of the most common are vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free.

These diets all have one thing in common; they restrict you from eating specific things. While they can be somewhat similar, there are differences between the three as well.

A vegetarian diet follows the idea that meat shouldn’t be eaten. A vegan diet is where no animal products are consumed at all, while a gluten-free diet involves eating foods that don’t contain gluten.

Vegetarian Diet

With a vegetarian diet, meat and meat products aren’t consumed. This type of diet is commonly a choice; you choose to stop eating meat, for one reason or another. Meat products refer to any foods that contain ingredients that come from meat. An example of this are sweets that contain beef gelatine. This is a product from beef, so it’s not vegetarian-friendly.

While meat products aren’t consumed, other animal products are still eaten. This includes eggs, milk, cheese, honey, and anything else that’s made by animals for us to eat. For this reason, vegetarian diets can be relatively easy to understand. In essence, the only foods that can’t be ingested are ones that contain meat or meat products.

When it comes to what you can eat, here’s what’s available:Fruit Vegetables Rice & Grains Beans & Pulses Dairy products (milk, cheese, etc…) Bread Oats Gelatine-free sweets Cereal Pasta Noodles PotatoesOf course, there are many more things to add to this list. The main thing to remember is that no meat can be eaten.

Vegan Diet

A vegan diet often gets mixed up with a vegetarian one. Much like vegetarian diets, a vegan diet won’t include any meat consumption at all – this includes meat products. Where the two differ is that you can’t eat any animal products in a vegan diet at all. Some vegetarians may choose to cut out a few animal products, but vegans strictly don’t eat any.

As such, the list of foods you can’t eat is much longer than that of a vegetarian diet. Vegans don’t eat any of the following:Meat Meat products Dairy (Milk, cheese, yoghurt, etc.) Eggs HoneyConsequently, alternatives for these things are a big part of vegan diets. A lot of vegans will look for meat alternatives to satisfy their cravings, along with dairy-free options for milk and yoghurt. Here is a list of some things a vegan can eat:Vegetables Dairy-free milk alternatives (soy, oat, rice, nut, etc…) Bread Vegan sweets (gelatine and animal product free) Natural sweeteners (molasses or agave syrup) Fruit Beans & Pulses Rice & Grains Potatoes

So, while a lot of common foods can’t be eaten, there is still a lot of things vegans can eat. Mainly, it’s all about finding alternatives to the things your diet restricts you from consuming.

Since dairy can’t be eaten, this also means a lot of sweet treats are off the table as well. Chocolate is made using dairy, and lots of cakes or brownies use eggs and milk in their recipes. As a result, people following a vegan diet need to pay close attention to the ingredients in everything they eat. While it can be clear that something doesn’t contain meat, there’s always the risk that another animal product is in there.

Most people opt for a vegan diet as a personal preference. However, lots of people who are intolerant to dairy might choose to follow a vegan diet for health reasons.

Gluten-Free Diet

Vegetarian and vegan diets share plenty of similarities. But, a gluten-free diet is remarkably different to them both. As the name suggests, this diet involves eating things that don’t contain gluten.

Gluten is a protein that’s found in wheat, barley, and rye. As a result, it’s located in lots of different types of food. This can make a gluten-free diet very restrictive and prevents you from eating a lot of your favourite foods.

Here are a few common foods that contain gluten and can’t be eaten:Bread Pasta Noodles Cereals Crackers Biscuits Pies Gravy Some sauces PastriesYou also need to stay clear of the following drinks too:Lager Ale Beer Stout Barley squashes

As you can see, a gluten-diet can cut out lots of things you might eat regularly. However, it is possible to enjoy most of the foods containing gluten by looking for gluten-free alternatives. A lot of pastries, bread, and other baked goods can be eaten if they’re made with a different type of flour. Rice, corn, soy, potato, and chickpea flour are all gluten-free, making them safe to eat.

The same goes for pasta and noodles; there are gluten-free versions available as well. These are recognisable as they’re labelled ‘gluten-free’. Common types of pasta that are made without gluten include lentil pasta, chickpea pasta, and edamame bean pasta. Rice noodles are the most common type of gluten-free noodle.

Along with finding gluten-free alternatives, people following this diet can still eat the following:Dairy products Fruits Vegetables Meat Fish Potatoes Rice

Some people choose to follow a gluten-free diet because they’ve heard it could have health benefits. However, most people are forced to follow this diet because they have an intolerance to gluten. Gluten intolerance is referred to as coeliac disease. This is a condition where your immune systems react badly to gluten, causing stomach pains and digestive issues. It’s not a condition you can cure; the only solution is to adopt a gluten-free diet to prevent any symptoms.

Anyone following these diets needs to be made aware of the ingredients in any food they eat. It’s always recommended that you ask for nutritional information before you put anything in your mouth. This prevents vegetarians from accidentally eating something with meat in, vegans from eating food with hidden animal products, and gluten-free people from eating gluten.

At Manchester Catering Company, we service different dietary requirements. If you’re looking for business lunches or catering for specific events, then feel free to contact us to learn more about how we can cater to your diet.

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