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Vegan vs Plant-Based

Have you ever looked at the terms “vegan” and “plant-based” and thought they were the same thing?

It can get confusing!

There are some pretty big differences, so I’m going to dive in a little deeper because plant-based diets are getting more popular than ever.

In fact, just last year in 2021, 62% of all households (79 million!) bought plant-based foods and products. (Products like plant-based milks and meat alternatives.)

And those numbers are only expected to continue to grow.

And this is for good reason … because a plant-based diet has been known to:

● Help with weight loss and obesity

● Reduce the risk of heart disease & some cancers

● Battle cognitive decline

● Be linked to a lower risk of diabetes

● And lots more

Now, this is not a “one size fits all” set of rules … but here are a few differences between the terms “vegan” and “whole-foods plant-based”:

Vegan Diet:

● This is often a total lifestyle approach that uses no animal products at all, including in self-care products and clothing

● It’s often based on ethical concerns for the care and treatment of animals

● Can include highly processed foods (refined grains, sugar, packaged foods) as long as they don’t contain animal products

Whole-Foods Plant-Based Diet:

● Focused on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and healthy fats

● Does not include refined oils or grains, highly processed foods, or added sugars

● May include a small amount of animal products (meat, dairy, fish, etc.)

● May include self-care products and clothing made with animal products

Now it is absolutely possible to follow a vegan lifestyle AND eat a whole-foods, plant-based diet.

SIDE NOTE: You might notice more products being marketed as “plant-based.” This doesn’t necessarily mean they are also “whole foods,” especially if it’s processed!

I hope this helps you understand a little more about the differences – so you can make better choices that work for your goals, your health, and your lifestyle.


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