Are you somewhat confused about the difference between plant based versus vegan diets? If so we are here to clear it up for you! While they are similar in some ways there are some distinct and important differences. Both refrain from animal products but for very different reasons! Additionally the animal free foods each diet prioritizes is very different too! Lastly while all plant based food is vegan, not all vegan food is plant based! Let’s get into it
Veganism is a movement and a diet
Vegan food is free from animal products of any kind. Additionally they strive to be as cruelty free as possible. This includes how the food is made and how workers and land is used to provide the food. Furthermore vegans don’t buy skin care products, cleaning supplies, makeup, etc that is tested on animals. They adopt pets and don’t support breeding. Do you see the otters here?
Plant based versus vegan diets are similar but very different at the same time. Vegans believe animals are sentient beings equal to humans. They strive to protect animals from harm and since we don’t need to eat them to survive they believe it’s wrong. Veganism is about the sanctity of animal life, the environment, sustainability, etc.
- What is the difference between plant based vs vegan diets?
Vegan food may be animal free but it’s not necessary healthy. Some people may think of vegan food as fruit and vegetables however a lot of unhealthy stuff is vegan! That’s the difference between plant based versus vegan diets. Plant based foods are all healthy.
- What are the benefits of Veganism?
- The environment Producing animal products greatly impacts the planet, way more so than producing plants. Breeding animals for food requires massive amounts of natural resources every year. In fact it uses an unsustainable amount of land, water, and grain.
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions According to new model, ending animal agriculture and moving towards Veganism could drastically curb greenhouse gas emissions “our best and most immediate chance to reverse the trajectory of climate change,” according to a new model developed by scientists from Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley. Source
- Stopping livestock emissions Animal agriculture generates a massive amount of pollution and waste that seeps into the land and ground water. Therefore Veganism benefits the environment by negating these negative environmental impacts.
- Climate change Animal agriculture is the greatest cause of climate change. It has been scientifically shown that its responsible for 14.5-16.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore it causes significant” environmental degradation.” Source
- Removing nitrous oxide The most significantly potent green house gasses produced from animal agriculture are methane and nitrous oxide. The atmospheric concentrations of nitrous oxide have increase 30% since 1980.
- Saves water
More water is used to sustain the farming industry than any other industry.
Vegan foods that are not plant based (examples):
- Beer – Beers’ ingredients are full of processed sugars and fermentation but for the most part beers do not contain animal products.
- Bread – Made with processed bleached flours and other preservatives and chemicals .
- Vegan cheeses (processed) – homemade vegan sauces can be healthy but the processed store bought ones generally have high amounts of salt, sugar, and other preservatives.
- Candy – A lot of candy is simple high fructose corn syrup and other highly processed sugars.
- Oreos – One of my favorite cookies! Oreos contain no animal products but again highly processed sugars and chemicals.
What defines the plant based diet?
Plant based versus vegan diets prioritize health. Plant based foods are minimally processed natural foods. For example: fruit, vegetables, beans, rice, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes etc. Ultimately plant-based diets focus on plants that are abundant in nutrients. Furthermore people choosing a plant based diet may still partake in animal products from time to time.
What are the benefits of the plant based diet?
- You’re also contributing to the environment as you’re not consuming animal products.
You will consume a higher daily intake of beneficial nutrients. Plant based diets provide more fiber, antioxidants, iron, and beneficial plant compounds. Furthermore they’re higher in potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamins A, C, and E.
- Weight loss: – 20 Plant Based Recipes I Ate To Lose 60 Pounds
- People on plant based diets tend to be thinner and have lower body mass indexes (BMIs).
- Lower blood sugar levels and improved kidney function
- Reduced risk of cancers, heart disease, stroke, and pain from arthritis
My Favorite Plant Based Foods
Avocados are delicious and creamy. They contain healthy fats, oils, and antioxidants. Also vitamins, and minerals. This superfood has more potassium than bananas. One averaged sized avocado contains approximately 322 calories, 29 grams of fat, 975 mgs potassium, 13 grams of fiber, 1.3 grams of sugar, 4 grams of fiber, 5% vitamin A, 2% calcium, 33% vitamin C, 6% iron, 25% vitamin B-6, and 14% magnesium.
Flaxseeds have been cultivated as food for over 6,000 years. They are one of the worlds first know superfoods. Flaxseeds will help you feel full hours after eating. Benefits of flaxseeds include metabolism, digestion, healthy skin, healthy hair, lowers cholesterol, reduces sugar cravings, fights cancer, balances hormones, and more.
They are included in which foods make you feel full! One serving of ground flaxseeds (in this case is 2 tablespoons) contains 75 calories, 2.6 grams of protein, 4 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of healthy fat, 3.5 grams of fiber, 2% of calcium, 3% of iron, and 10% of magnesium.
Kale is also known as leaf cabbage that have green or purple leaves that do not form a head. This leafy green vegetable contains one of the highest amount of antioxidants of any vegetable. One cup of chopped kale 33 calories, 329 mg potassium, 6 grams of carbs, 2.9 grams of protein, 133% vitamin A, 134% vitamin C, 5% iron, 10% calcium, 10% vitamin B-6, and 7% magnesium.
Ginger is an extremely healthy superfood. It contains a medicinal component called Gingerol. Gingerol has the ability to ease illnesses such as nausea and morning sickness. Ginger has anti inflammatory and anti oxidant properties. This superfood spice can help with arthritis pain, osteoporosis pain, lower blood pressure, and reduce heart disease.
Ginger can help with menstrual pain and chronic indigestion. It lowers cholesterol, prevents cancer, and reduces risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Ginger will help you feel full hours after eating. 5 slices (or 11 grams) of ginger contain 9 calories, 46 mg potassium, .2 dietary fiber, .2 grams of protein, 1% vitamin C, and 1% magnesium.
Apples are great for weight loss, digestion, detoxification, and immunity. They are high in fiber, anti oxidants, and essential nutrients. Consuming apples lowers your risk of cancer, illness, and asthma. More reasons apples are beneficial for optimal health include high fiber, high water, low calories, low carbs, high vitamins and minerals, and high in antioxidants and photochemicals. One medium Apple has approximately 95 calories, 195 mg potassium, 4 grams dietary fiber, 1 gram of protein, 2% vitamin A, 14% vitamin C, 1% calcium, and 1% iron. That is why its included in foods that help you feel full all the time.
6. Sweet Potatoes
The sweet potato is a root vegetable. Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A, vitamin B5, B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, and are high in carotenoids. This root vegetable will help you feel full hours after eating. Furthermore its super healthy and vegan. They are also fat-free, low in sodium and have less calories than other potatoes. Sweet potatoes are a great source of Vitamin A, which is an awesome antioxidant powerhouse.
They have anti aging, cancer prevention, and eye sight benefits. One large sweet potato has 163 calories, .27 grams of fat, and 855 mg of potassium. Also 5.9 grams of fiber, 15.19 grams of sugar, and 3.62 grams of protein. And 692% of vitamin A, 59% of vitamin C, 7% calcium, and 7% iron. They are a perfect natural appetite suppressing food.
Suggestion: Cinnamon Sweet Potato Breakfast Cookies Recipe
In conclusion veganism and plant based are really similar in so many ways. Vegans do not necessarily eat healthy all the time (or at all for that matter) but they care a lot about the health of the environment and animal welfare. Plant based diets benefit the planet just as much as vegan diets and are extremely beneficial for personal physical health. One thing is for sure however and that is that animal agriculture is not a sustainable way of life.