What really is the difference between Vegan and Plant-Based Diets? Which one should you follow and are they both equally healthy?
What’s the difference between eating vegan vs plant based? This question can be difficult for individuals who are looking to change their eating habits for health or weight issues. The simplest answer is that eating vegan means that you simply do not eat any animal products. This does not always mean that the food choices are healthy. There are lots of fats, sugars and processed foods allowed in the vegan diet. Simply put, if it does not contain, hurt or involve any animal or animal byproduct, it is allowed to be eaten on the vegan diet. Veganism is not just defined by a diet, it is a lifestyle and a belief system. Being vegan goes much deeper than the issue of just eating animal product. We do not wear or support any animal products such as leather, wool, and silk. We also use only vegan cosmetics and toiletries that are not tested on animals.
Eating a WFPBD (whole foods plant-based diet) means that you also eat no animal products. However, this diet is different from the vegan diet because it does not allow oils or added sugars with the exception of maple syrup in some recipes. WFPBD is proven to be effective in reducing disease, curing some diseases and reversing heart disease and diabetes in some people. This diet has been making headlines because of the amazing documentary Forks Over Knives which goes into detail of the research and benefits this diet has been shown to have in people’s lives.
Both diets are proven to be beneficial in reducing disease factors but for some people, like myself, we like both philosophies. When looking at eating for my personal health WFPBD is going to give me the most benefit, simply because I’m not eating processed foods, added sugars, and extra oils that I don’t need. This diet also recommends strongly that you eat organic and whole grain breads, so no white bleached flour based breads. However, I love eating treats once in a while which already need to be gluten-free vegan so I will add the oil or some brown sugar and I’m ok with that. I also love my French fries, they can be a lifesaver when eating out with my family and we do not go to a place that has any vegan options.
The bottom line is both diets are beneficial and healthy. With being vegan you just need to be a healthy vegan and be more aware of what’s added into some of the foods your consuming. But if your like me, I find the two work great together and complement each other very well.