I’ve been asked the distinction between the vegan diet and the plant-based diet. I hope my answer won’t sparkle a heated debate as I understand it can be a sensitive topic.
First, let’s be clear : the word diet doesn’t mean I-want-to-lose-weight, I’m talking about styles of eating.
People who eat a vegan diet don’t consume any animal products (meat, eggs, dairy products, or animal derived-products such as honey). For that matter, anything made with materials that come from animals such as beeswax, wool, leather, wool, gelatin, etc. is off the table too.
Generally speaking, people who follow a vegan diet are driven by animal rights.
Just like vegan dieters, people who eat a plant-based diet don’t consume animal products. They consume wholesome foods (fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, nuts and whole cereals) and avoid all kinds of refined products.
They generally do it for health reasons (and in my case, for environmental reasons as well).
Vegan vs plant-based
At first glance, both diets are very similar – but not exactly.
The thing is, you can be vegan and still have a very poor diet whereas plant-based dieters focus on wholesome and nutritious foods that keep them healthy.
Let me put it this way: vegans can eat pretty much anything they want as long as there are no animal products – that’s the rule. They can drink Coca-Cola, eat ice-cream (dairy-free but still full of refined sugar), and have a veggie burger at MacDonald’s. On the other hand, people who are on a wholesome plant-based diet cannot drink soda or go to MacDonalds (of course they can, let just say that they just choose not to).
As far as I am concerned, I’m committed to a plant-based diet about 90% of the time. What about the other 10%? I indulge myself! I would for example eat some goat cheese, a nice piece of cake, or an egg white muffin. Being excessive has never been a good thing!
I believe everyone has their own diet style and should find their own balance. Eat the foods that make you happy and healthy, whether it’s vegan, vegetarian, plant-based or not!