Today I´ll write a little about some of the most common terms, isms, that has emerged in the food world over the years. Firstly; the definition of an ism is, according to The Norwegian Encyclopedia (and I translate): “a quality, being prone to; a teaching. Often used to denote a tendency or doctrine within philosophy, art or politics, and is in this context often used as a word in it´s own right, “an ism”. In a later post I will discuss the benefits of a plant-based diet, as opposed to a diet high in animal produce. I do want to state that even though there is a time and place for various diets, you should not eliminate food groups out of your diet without there being any indication for it, nor should you eat only a few food groups regardless how healthy. Veganism and other strict diets are complicated to adapt, and you really need to know exactly what to do. Serious and potentially irreversible damages to nervous system may occur, as well as cause blood- and other disorders. An obsession with healthy living has unfortunately seen the birth of a new ism in it´s wake; healthism. It supports the narcissistic self worship of today, where the body embodies the ideal of self discipline, restraint and control. The extreme body worship found in some body builder communities, gyms and the fashion industry, pulls in the same direction. Other expressions for these cultural trends are psychological disorders/ eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.
Plant-based is a term used for everyone who’s mainly on a plant-based diet.
Veganism is the most hard core of all of these isms, and is a life style philosophy more than just a diet. Vegans avoid all animal products in food and drinks, such as eggs, dairy and also honey, gelatin etc. Clothing, shoes, bags and other products made from fur, silk, wool and leather are also a no-no. Veganism also stems from a place where animal welfare on all levels is valued, and so beauty products containing one or more components derived from animals, or that which has been tested on animals, are not in line with ethical veganism. An other sub-term is environmental veganism, refers to the avoidance of animal products on the basis that industrial farming of animals is damaging to the environment and is unsustainable.
This diet consists of raw, unprocessed plant food which have not been heather above 40-49 degrees Celsius, or 104-120 degrees Farenheit. The reason being that food heated forfeit a lot of their health promoting components, and is therefore less useful, or useless to our bodies. Said components are mainly enzymes, which are pivotal in the making of proteins, and rebuilding muscles and other tissues. When heated, these enzymes can denaturize and leave toxic materials behind, which in turn can put a strain on our detoxification system; liver and kidneys. Foods favored in the raw food diets are legumes, seeds and sprouted grains, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruits and berries. There are som sub-groups too:
- Fruitarians: Those who exclusively or primarily choose to eat fruits, berries, nuts and seeds.
- Juicearians: Process raw plant foods into a juice.
- Sproutarians: Stick to a diet mainly consisting in sprouted seeds.
“A vegetarian is someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, fungi, algae, yeast and/or some other non-animal-based foods (e.g. salt) with, or without, dairy products, honey and/or eggs. A vegetarian does not eat foods that consist of, or have been produced with the aid of products consisting of or created from, any part of the body of a living or dead animal. This includes meat, poultry, fish, shellfish*, insects, by-products of slaughter** or any food made with processing aids created from these.“ vegsoc.org
Eat like vegetarians and also include dairy.
Diet like vegetarians and include eggs.
Pescetarianism comes from the Italian word for fish; pesce. It is the practice of the inclusion of fish or other seafoods to a plant based diet.