Plant-Based vs Vegan: What’s The Difference

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You have probably noticed, but a lot of what we share and write about here at Plantie include the terms “plant-based” or “vegan” and sometimes both. A lot of people think these terms mean the same thing, but there are some key differences.

While both terms have similar meanings and goals (focusing on a more natural way of eating), it is easy to confuse the two terms when talking about diets and lifestyles. That is why we are going to break down what both terms mean and compare the two; that way you can have a clear understanding of the differences between these popular diets.

What is a Plant-Based Diet?

A plant-based diet almost entirely consists of plants (thanks, Captain Obvious). The term originated in the health science community as an alternative for people who did not view themselves as “vegetarian” or “vegan,” since those terms completely exclude eating meat or other animal products. 

Most people use the term “plant-based” to refer to a diet that consists 100% of plants, but certain people do include some animal products. Eating small amounts of animal foods can be harmless for a person practicing a plant-based diet.

Those who have a plant-based diet can eat whole grains, fruits, vegetables, starches, beans, and oils, though small amounts of meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy products are occasionally allowed.

What is a Vegan Diet?

Veganism is when someone eliminates animal products from their diet, often for ethical and environmentalist reasons. Being a vegan also often extends to lifestyle decisions. Many vegans avoid clothing or products that are tested on animals, a natural extension of their dietary decisions.

With a vegan diet, you can eat whole grains, fruits, vegetables, starches, beans, and oils. Vegans do not eat meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, or dairy products. Basically, if the food or ingredient does not come from an animal, it is fair game.

Related Article: Op-Ed: Why I Decided to Adopt a Plant-Based Diet

How Are Plant-Based and Vegan Diets Different?

When it comes down to it, plant-based and vegan diets are similar. Both focus on fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, and other non-animal products. The main difference between the two is that a plant-based diet makes allowances for the consumption of small amounts of animal-based products but occasionally. 

Here is a chart from Forks Over Knives that makes the difference between these two diets easy to understand:

Despite their differences, both diets offer numerous benefits for your health and well-being. It is important to remember that one diet is not better than the other; they just have small differences that set them apart. Both plant-based and vegan diets encourage a more natural and environmentally friendly way of life, which is how we, at Plantie, would like to encourage you all to live. 

Related Article: A Q&A Session with a Plant-Based Transformational Coach

Whether you have lived with a plant-based or vegan diet for years or looking to start, we have everything you need. Explore the rest of our website for delicious recipes, wellness tips, and other resources. 


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