What is the difference between plant-based and vegan diet?
It can be a bit confusing to differentiate between a vegan diet and a plant-based one. As we have already commented in previous articles, we should highlight that plant-based is not a diet. It is much more; it is a lifestyle.
Unlike classic diets, it is not meant to be carried out for a while and after returning to “normal life.” But it’s instead a lifestyle choice that affects a broad spectrum of decisions, from what we put on our plate to what we wear.
With that said, let’s get to the initial question, what is the difference between plant-based and vegan?
In both cases, products of animal origin are completely eliminated. That means; meats, fish, dairy products, even honey are omitted.
Donald Watson coined the term “vegan” in 1944 to describe someone who completely abstains from all animal products for ethical reasons. He established that a “vegan diet” eliminates animal foods of all kinds. Over time, and as more people have adopted this form of eating for reasons other than animal well-being (such as health and the environment) today, the “vegan diet” is used to describe a diet that excludes animal products, regardless of motivation.
On the other hand, the Whole-Food plant-Based diet, for which we advocate from SCK, is not limited to merely eliminating products of animal origin but also encourages to base most of the diet on fresh, unprocessed, nor refine products.
What Is a Whole Foods Diet?
In general, a primarily whole foods diet should include plenty of whole grains, legumes, pulses, fruit, and vegetables. In particularly fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, and complex carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes.
Whole food Plant-based diet is a nutrient-dense, and filling way of eating. There are now a days many studies showing evidence of a variety of health benefits, including longevity, and even the treatment and prevention of certain chronic diseases.
As highly processed vegan foods have become more available, it is possible to eat a vegan diet and eat minimal quantities of whole plant foods. Simultaneously, for marketing purposes, many manufacturers have started labeling these highly processed vegan foods as “plant-based.” Making “plant-based” and “vegan” become synonyms when it comes to food labeling. Foods labeled “plant-based” are generally vegan; whether they are healthy or not is another question.
Whole plant foods can be good for the planet too, especially if bought locally. Seasonal fruit and vegetables can be among the healthiest, most sustainable, and budget-friendly foods available if you are fortunate enough to have access to them. Read more about it here.
Brief Introduction to Plant-based
In 1980, T. Colin Campbell, PhD, was at the National Institutes of Health investigating the potential therapeutic impact of a low-fat, high-fiber, plant-based diet on cancer. Campbell searched for a brief-term to encompass this eating pattern without invoking ethical considerations. Thus was born the term “plant-based” plant-based in the world of nutritional science. A few years later, after testifying against the supplement industry, Campbell added the modifier “whole foods” to clarify that whole plant foods, not isolated nutrients, had health-promoting effects.
We should always choose fresh and seasonal products. The fewer processed foods, vegan or not, the better. A relatively simple rule that we can follow when making groceries is the following. If a product contains more than five ingredients, we should doubt if it is a healthy choice. And if any of those ingredients is something that we do not know how to pronounce or do not understand, it is better not to buy it.
Want more? Check this article, to start your new healthy life with very easy steps!