Plant-Based diet vs Vegan diet
What are the differences between a Plant-based diet and a Vegan diet?
In this blog, I want to clear up the differences between a vegan and a plant-based diet. I will also explain some basic information around other popular diets.
First a little bit of background…
I have been running VegMeUp since January 2021. One of the main reasons for starting VegMeUp (a fully plant-based food-box delivery service) is the state of our planet. I am deeply worried about the environment and the direction in which we are heading. What sort of planet will we leave to our children and grandchildren if we don’t change?
- The percentage of green gas emissions produced by farming animals is higher than all emission from transportation combined.
- 9400 litres of fresh drinking water are needed to produce 500 grams of beef.
Big and quite concerning numbers!
I am convinced that collectively, we need to cut back on our animal intake for the benefit of the planet and not only that, also our personal health. There is excellent scientific evidence that many chronic diseases can be prevented, controlled, or even reversed with a ‘whole-food’ plant-based diet. Eating plants has many health advantages as long as you are eating the correct plant-based products. More about this in another blog.
But what does plant-based really mean? And is it different from a vegan diet? This was one of the questions I received from a customer. I will try to explain it below.
What is a plant-based diet?
In short; a plant-based diet is a diet where foods are derived from plants. Including; vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and fruits; with no animal source foods.
Being plant-based typically refers to your diet is a diet based on plants alone. Within this plant-based category, you can make a distinction as well. There is a plant-based diet and a ‘whole food’ plant-based diet. This latter is the healthiest option, and means your food is minimally processed and therefore better for your health. Examples of processed plant-based foods are: fruit purees, oils and breakfast cereals these products are often full of sugar and other additives! Still plant-based but not necessarily good for your health.
So, how about a vegan diet?
Being Vegan is not only about your diet, it is going beyond. A vegan diet is also 100% plant-based as it involves eating only foods that are derived from plants. Being vegan generally is defined as living in a way that avoids consuming, using, or exploiting animals as much as realistically possible. While this leaves room for individual preferences and barriers, the overall intent is that minimal harm is done to animals through life choices. This includes clothing, personal care products, shoes, household goods and accessories. In rare cases, some foods may be considered plant-based but not vegan. For example, some coconut milk producers in Thailand use monkeys to harvest coconuts, chaining them with metal collars and forcing them to climb up trees to collect coconuts. As animals are exploited in the process, the product, while plant-based, would not be considered vegan.
Does that mean VegMeUp is vegan?
VegMeUp is fully vegan and plant-based. It does not use any food extracted from animals (including honey), or ingredients produced through animal exploitation. VegMeUp also tries to encourage omnivores to try and discover how easy, fun and delicious it is to cook with plants! I understand that it is a big move to go from eating meat to going vegetarian or even vegan. How about starting by going plant-based a couple of days a week? VegMeUp provides very easy to follow delicious options to make a start and get a taste of how great it is to cook with plants. Cutting back on our meat intake has a great impact on our planet; let’s work towards a better healthier planet for ourselves and our children.
How about the other popular diets?
- Vegetarian: Is someone who does not eat any meat, poultry, fish, shellfish or by-products of animal slaughter but might consumer dairy, eggs or honey.
- Flexitarian: Is a style of eating that encourages mostly plant-based foods while allowing meat and other animal products in moderation.
- Paleo diet: Varies diet depending on availability and location. It is designed to resemble what human hunter-gatherer ancestors ate thousands of years ago. The basic concept of the paleo diet is to eat whole foods and avoid processed foods.
I hoped this information has helped to give a better understanding of the differences in diets. Let me know if there are any questions or feedback.
Jimmy van der Linden