The Vegan Society states that the intent of veganism is to avoid “as far as is possible and practicable,” all forms of cruelty of and exploitation of animals for food, clothing or other purposes.
Vegan vs. Vegetarian
A vegetarian diet is less strict than a vegan diet. Vegetarians tend to avoid eating meat, but will still eat foods produced by animals, like honey and dairy. Vegetarianism tends to be applied as a diet, whereas Veganism can extend further than diet, to clothes and product purchases.
Whole-Food Plant-Based vs. Vegan Diet
A whole-food plant-based diet refers to a diet that pushed vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds and for the most part, avoids animal products. So in this regard they are very similar, but the key to WFPB is the focus on healthy eating and eating foods that are unprocessed or minimally processed. Also, for Veganism the key is to avoid animal products, you can eat as much processed food as you’d like as long as it follows the diet.
Vegetables for Protein
Yaaa, vegetables contain protein, too! Most don’t contain a lot but there are some shining stars in this department: sweet and regular potatoes, artichokes, brussels sprouts and broccoli. Heck, even a cup of cooked spinach has 5 grams of protein.
“But, I thought you said no milk or like cheese…” Maybe that’s how it used to be. No cheese? No thank you. Nowadays there are so many vegan and plant-based options on the market, including a variety of dairy-less dairy options you don’t want to miss out on.
Instead of cow, sheep or goat cheese, try plant-based drinks, cheese and yogurt made from:
- Almonds (Consider sustainability!)
What to Watch For
Going vegan is often thought to be healthy eating, but there are plenty of ways of being vegan and being unhealthy. To stay healthy, try to minimize your intake of processed foods and focus on a vegan diet that is more WFPB. Watch the sugar and the sodium, tons of sodium in those Veggie burgers and meat substitutes. Watch the trans-fats and limit foods high in saturated fats. Focus on those healthy unsaturated fats found in vegetable oils, nuts, seed and avocados.