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”:
● 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.