A Vegan vs A Plant-Based Diet – What Is The Difference?
There has been a massive growth in the plant-based movement over recent years, yet people defining themselves as ‘vegan’ sometimes seem to take exception to the term plant-based.
Certainly, the plant-based term was coined to make plant-based appealing for health reasons, without getting into the ethical debate, but does that really mean that vegans are more ethical than those that define themselves as plant-based? And why do vegans sometimes ‘have a go’ at people describing themselves as plant-based? Are they really ethically inferior? What’s going on with this ‘plant-based ‘definition?
A growing number of people are choosing to reduce or eliminate animal products in their diet.
As a result, a larger selection of plant-based options has become noticeable at grocery stores, restaurants, public events, and fast food chains. Some people choose to label themselves as “plant-based,” while others use the term “vegan” to describe their lifestyle. As such, you may wonder what the differences between these two terms are.
The American diet is changing. More people than ever are questioning the wisdom of consuming large amounts of animal foods and are moving to a life with more plant foods. Indeed, this shift is evidenced in the booming plant-based food industry, which saw $3.3 billion in sales in 2018 alone.
We all by now have heard of family or friends that have gone “vegan” or have adopted a “plant-based diet.” Others may even know people on a “whole-food, plant-based diet.” Some of this terminology is relatively new; some of it has a long history. Further confusing things are how these terms are quickly evolving and often mean different things to different people.
More people than ever before are cutting animal products from their diets for a myriad of reasons including health, the environment and animal welfare. Some of these people choose to label themselves as ‘vegan’ whilst others prefer to use the term plant-based to describe their lifestyle.
Furthermore, you also have people who follow a ‘whole food plant-based diet’, which can lead to confusion when the terms are used interchangeably. These terms evolve quickly and often mean different things to different people, so it’s no surprise that many people are unsure what the difference is between a vegan vs plant-based one and when to use them.
Is a plant-based diet the same thing as a vegan diet? Both meal plans have made headlines for their health benefits in recent years and while they are similar, there are some key differences: Vegan diets eliminate all animal products, while plant-based diets do not necessarily eliminate animal products, but focus on eating mostly plants, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
The first thing to note is that the term ‘vegan’ implies that you’re cutting out all animal products from your diet. If you’re interested in getting the best results from a vegan diet then this is not the right diet for you. Veganism is really just one diet.
As this word can mean so many different things to so many different people, we want to start by defining exactly what a vegan is. Veganism is an ethical philosophy and lifestyle that calls for the exclusion of all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals. This isn’t a diet; it’s a way of living.
Many vegans feel that it’s unethical to participate in, and/or profit from, the exploitation of animals. The act of going vegan means you have to change your diet completely. And often, that involves breaking old habits and making new ones. That’s why many people have a difficult time completely changing their lifestyles at first. It can be very challenging, and it’s not easy to change your diet when you have been conditioned to eat certain things all your life.
The goal of veganism is the exclusion of all forms of animal products. This includes not only the consumption of any kind of animal by-products but also products that contain products containing animal by-products. This does not include the consumption of meat and fish – these may contain animal products, but they are still part of the animal.
Vegans choose a plant-based diet purely for ethical reasons and it’s often accompanied by the production of their own ethical clothing and other non-vegan products. The term vegan refers to people who eat a primarily plant-based diet, while the word veganism refers to a food philosophy and lifestyle.
The Plant-Based Diet
The vegan diet is one that follows a diet that is entirely plant-based. The diet is made up of foods that have been obtained from natural, clean food sources. This means there are no animal products in these foods. The clean label diet excludes animal products, such as foods with animal ingredients tofu steak cheese eggs honey cheese, yogurt cream cheese milk chocolate.
The plant-based diet includes foods that are produced through biological processes but are derived from plants. In other words, these foods are manufactured through the transformation of plants by animals. They still contain some plant material, but not as much as a traditional animal-based product.
Rather than excluding all animal products, it aims to exclude all animal products in their primary forms but does include products that contain animal products in secondary forms, such as the milk and butter in a baked good.
This diet is also derived from ethical and environmental grounds. It typically refers to the removal of all animal products from your diet whilst adhering to the same principles of veganism, however, the diet is still based around whole food sources of protein and carbohydrates.
Whole food plant-based diet is a diet that incorporates plants in everything that you eat. The basic principles are that there should be nothing that is unnecessary in the diet. For example, if you want a delicious pasta meal, you need to ensure that you include plenty of vegetables, and your meal needs to be made from whole-food ingredients.
In addition, when you cook food, you should use vegetables and legumes as a primary ingredients. Whole-food plants are made up of plant foods, such as vegetables, beans, seeds, and nuts. So, if you consume vegetables and legumes, you are getting your essential plant foods in your diet.
The Difference Between A Vegan And A Plant-Based Diet
So what is the difference between vegan and plant-based diets?
- Vegan – This is an ethical, humane diet that follows an ethical or religious code, in order to benefit all living things.
- Vegetarian – These people eat vegetables and other legumes (peas, chickpeas etc) as their main source of dietary fibre and protein. However, this excludes meat, fish, eggs, dairy and honey.
- Vegans – These people eat plants as their main source of dietary fibre and protein. Therefore, not including animals is an important point of difference. Veganism can be healthy, plant-based and ethical. The vegan diet also focuses on the use of nutritionally rich foods such as raw leafy greens and sweet potatoes. These foods provide fibre, vitamins, minerals, omega 3s, and antioxidants that are essential for good health.
Vegan and plant-based diets are often used interchangeably, however, they are often perceived differently by people. Many people still associate the term vegan with being vegan, and we suggest you stay with the term. In the context of a plant-based diet, vegan can be used to describe a person who only eats plant-based foods, whereas a plant-based diet is used to describe a person who eats a variety of plant-based foods as part of a balanced diet.
Moreover, we often use the term ‘vegan’ to describe people who adopt a strict ‘no-meat, dairy, egg, and other animal-derived foods’ lifestyle. If you only eat vegetables, fruit, seeds, nuts and non-animal-based products, you’re a vegan. The vegan diet is the ultimate form of nutrition.
It’s incredibly restrictive, as it means limiting the many ‘other animal-derived foods’ that humans need in order to survive. Some people choose to adopt this type of diet as a way to become more in touch with their body and their food choices. People choose to adopt a vegan diet because of the high nutritional value and the benefits of choosing a diet without meat or other animal-derived foods.
A plant-based diet is a healthful diet that incorporates non-meat sources of food. Plant-based diets are a “complete” diet because they not only exclude meat and animal products but also foods that are not naturally plant-based. “Complete” diets are very low in sugar and foods that are high in carbohydrates.
A vegan diet does not include any type of animal product, including dairy, eggs and honey. Even the word “vegan” can be confusing as it means a person is a strict vegetarian, which is an entirely different diet. A vegan diet is plant-based but may exclude some dairy products. A plant-based diet is considered healthy as it’s higher in fiber, vitamins, minerals and nutrients, and lower in sodium and saturated fat.
Using the Terms ‘Vegan’ and ‘Plant-based’ Correctly
What exactly do these terms mean? Let’s explore this: Vegan is an umbrella term that describes a wide range of diets. The first was ‘veganism’, which gained traction during the late 90s and early 2000s. This could be confusing because technically some of the diets now called ‘vegan’ are not vegan. But don’t worry, it’s OK.
Does vegan mean veganism? The term ‘vegan’ is sometimes used synonymously with ‘veganism’. The big problem with this is that vegan when referring to an ‘ecological or compassionate’ lifestyle, doesn’t necessarily mean that an animal-based diet is excluded. In other words, some people who identify as ‘vegan’ could still eat animal products without guilt.
It’s important to understand that calling yourself vegan or plant-based is usually an indication that you follow a mostly vegan diet, although you may consume small amounts of dairy. An accurate description of a plant-based diet requires that it excludes all animal-based foods and does not include any products which are made from animal products. This includes milk, cheese, yogurt and even eggs.
Benefits Of A Vegan And Plant-Based Diet
Healthy, plant-based foods offer a range of benefits. It's no secret that certain foods, such as red meat, egg yolks, cheese, butter, and pork products, offer a range of benefits that we have become accustomed to eating. People often don’t realize that these items can actually be a source of major health problems. A plant-based diet is a great way to avoid the negative effects of these foods and move on to a healthier way of eating.
Can it help you lose weight? To begin with, there’s one obvious benefit: no meat, dairy or animal products in your diet will lead to you gaining weight! This is true no matter what type of diet you follow, although there is evidence that a vegan diet is generally better for weight loss.
Let’s assume for a moment that you decide to go vegan. In this case, you are cutting out all of your favourite meat and dairy products – with one or two exceptions. At first, you may find that you struggle to live without this tasty morsel of a meal, but eventually, your body will adapt to the change and you will be able to enjoy a variety of other foods! How much weight could you potentially lose?
There are some great advantages to adopting a vegan and plant-based diet and we’ve created this handy cheat sheet to help people navigate through their confusion and fully grasp the potential of a plant-based diet. Foods to eat 1. Plants are a nutritious source of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, amino acids and fiber.
Your body needs them to function well. 2. Your body can’t digest plant-based foods, which means that they bypass the digestive tract and enter the bloodstream. 3. The nutrients are absorbed quickly and distributed to your body.
They bypass toxins and infections in the digestive tract, allowing your body to function optimally. 4. Vegan and plant-based diets are much easier on the environment as there is a fewer animal by-product in your body.
There are plenty of reasons to choose a plant-based diet. For example, a vegan diet is loaded with fiber and includes plenty of vegetables, which have several health benefits. Fruits and vegetables are also good sources of vitamin C and vitamin K, which reduce the risk of many chronic diseases.
A plant-based diet is also very low in saturated fat and high in antioxidants, fiber and fibre-packed whole grains. These foods may help reduce your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol and certain cancers, among others. There are many reasons why a plant-based diet is best for you, but since these foods are often not vegan, it can be difficult to stay on track if you are vegan or vegetarian.
How To Transition To A Plant-Based Diet Or A Vegan Lifestyle?
Although it can take some time and a significant investment in time and money, as you make the switch to a plant-based diet, it’s worth remembering that this change can have huge benefits for your health.
As the saying goes: It takes 21 days to form a habit. Your body will adapt to the changes in your diet and you will find it easier to make healthier choices.
The first thing to note is that the term ‘vegan’ implies that you’re cutting out all animal products from your diet. If you’re interested in getting the best results from a vegan diet then this is not the right diet for you. Veganism is really just one diet. The other main difference between a vegan diet and a plant-based diet is that while veganism is aimed at a broad spectrum of dieters, the plant-based diet focuses specifically on not eating animal products.
Is A Plant-Based Diet For Everyone?
Plant-based foods are vegetable protein, carbohydrates and legumes, such as beans, lentils and peas. They are also dairy products, such as milk and cheese’. The diet contains a lot of fibre and carbohydrate-rich foods, such as beans, brown rice, quinoa, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Anyone can adhere to this type of diet, with the necessary adjustments of eating habits along the process. One should be able to fully commit in order to yield results that the diet can help a person transform into.
Being A Vegan Is A Choice
If you choose to be vegan, you will no longer eat animals, not because you’ve decided to be a vegetarian but because it’s the ethical choice to make. It’s your choice to eat this way, as it’s a vegan choice. Being on a plant-based diet is a lifestyle choice. Plant-based diets are entirely plant-based and people follow them for a variety of reasons.
Some people may choose this lifestyle as it will allow them to lose weight, others because it’s the best option for the environment and a third because they want to improve their health. Being a vegan is a compassionate choice. People who are vegan and some who are not may feel compassion for animals who are denied their natural environment to live in. For them, it’s a morally justifiable lifestyle choice.
There are a number of people who adhere to a strict vegan diet, this may include people who do so for moral or religious reasons, such as many vegans choose to do. But there are other vegans who choose to do so for the sake of losing weight.
The number of vegans in the world has risen by 82% over the past five years, whilst the amount of vegans in the UK has gone up by 90%. This suggests that more and more people are giving up animal-based products, with numbers expected to rise again this year. People who want to lose weight are usually advised to start with a plant-based diet to lose weight without having to drastically change their eating habits.
Being a vegan has a set of dietary beliefs, just as being vegan has a set of beliefs. Being a plant-based dieter has a set of diet principles, just as being vegan has a set of beliefs. Being vegan is a personal choice. You may decide whether the following principles or statements are important to you, or not.
The Rise Of Veganism And A Plant-Based Diet
Today, Veganism is very mainstream and many people even claim to know one or more vegans – many of whom never mentioned they were vegan before they came to meet us for a chat. Dietitian Chris Thorne is one of the first individuals in Britain to become a vegan and has been an avid supporter of the lifestyle for over 25 years. In a recent interview, he explained why so many people are choosing to become vegan.
“To be a successful vegan you need to eat a huge variety of different foods – and learn how to cook them. Once you’re accustomed to the taste and texture of different food, your taste buds adjust and you won’t even notice the difference in texture”. The same applies to diets like the ‘whole food plant-based diet’, in which many people are now choosing to eat.
As people become more educated, we can begin to see that a ‘whole food plant-based diet is not simply a plant-based diet with a different eating routine. It’s a way of life that is rooted in the natural plant foods that nature has provided us with. This means avoiding highly processed foods and opting for a diet of vegetables, nuts and grains. This type of diet is not only a great way to go about losing weight, but it can also help keep your gut healthy and help you to look and feel younger for many years to come.
We are currently living in an incredibly high-profile world when it comes to animal rights and welfare, with global recognition of the benefits of veganism and the rise of veganism in mainstream popular culture. Why veganism is now even more widely endorsed.
For starters, animal welfare and the environment have never been a priority in the Western world before, and yet both are rapidly becoming the focus of a huge amount of concern and public awareness. On top of this, a large number of people in this day and age are simply not able to afford to eat meat anymore. Many people are becoming vegan in order to fight against the greed of the meat industry and its terrible effect on animals, the environment and food prices.
If you want to live a healthy lifestyle and you want to do so without using animal products, there are many fantastic plant-based products on the market today. There is no perfect diet, so if you need help in choosing one, please reach out to your dietician or nutritionist.
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