Plant-Based VS Vegan Diets
The biggest misconception when it comes to plant-based diets is that it is just another
term for a vegan diet, but that is not the case. These terms are not meant to be used
interchangeably. With a vegan diet, you never eat any animal products whatsoever,
while people on plant-based diets, might occasionally, though it is much less than on a
Here are some of the bigger comparisons between plant-based and vegan diets so you
can decide which one is right for you.
What is a Vegan Diet?
Let’s start by defining each of these diets. First, a vegan diet is one where you eliminate
ALL animal products and byproducts from your diet and lifestyle. To start with, you of
course no longer eat any form of beef, pork, other red meat, poultry, or fish. Since you
are a vegan and not a vegetarian, you also want to remove eggs and diary products
from your diet. Vegans also do not consume products made by animals, such as honey,
which tends to be more of a surprise by people. Other surprises include no more
gelatin, and possibly changing your lifestyle, like no longer having anything made from
What is a Plant-Based Diet?
With a plant-based diet, most of your diet consists of whole, clean, plant-based foods,
but you are still allowed a very minimal amount of animal products. Everyone is
different, so while one person might enjoy the occasional burger or piece of chicken,
others have their own rules, like no red meat, or eating eggs, but no other meat
products. For the most part, plant-based people who are not vegans or vegetarians, will
have more of a flexitarian lifestyle, where 80% or more of their diet is vegan, but the rest
might contain some limited animal products.
The more important thing about going plant-based is eating a lot of foods that are
whole, fresh, and clean. This means removing most frozen and processed foods, buying
organic, shopping local, and just trying to eat as whole as possible.
How Strict Do You Want to Be?
The first question to ask yourself when choosing between a plant-based or vegan diet is
how strict you want to be. If you have a history of eating disorders, you don’t want too
many restrictions, so a vegan diet might not be the best fit for you. However, if you
handle restrictions well and prefer a set of hard and fast rules, choosing a vegan diet
over a plant-based diet can be a great option for you. Someone looking for more
flexibility would be better suited to the plant-based lifestyle.
What Does Your Current Diet Look Like?
It is also good to look at your current diet, and see which of these diets is most similar to
it. Some people find that vegan is easy, because they already don’t have a lot of animal
products. Maybe you prefer almond or oat milk to cow’s milk, you love Beyond burgers
or veggie burgers, and rarely eat eggs anyway. On the other hand, if you love
vegetables and fruits and plant-based foods, but want the occasional fish or chicken
sandwich, try plant-based instead.