Many people are unaware that there is a difference between the terms “vegan” and “plant-based.” Let’s take a look at the differences.
Plant-based is, well, exactly that. Plant-based means a diet that revolves around plant based foods—fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains and seeds, but absolutely no animal products such as meat, fish, milk, butter, eggs, cheese or other animal by-product.
Both plant-based diets and vegan diets have been found to decrease the risk of coronary artery disease and can also help with weight loss. In addition, both diets may decrease the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. So either path you choose, you’re doing your body good.
One subtle difference between vegan and plant-based diets is the perception that the latter allows occasional forays into junk food consumption. For example, french fries are perfectly acceptable in plant-based diets (they have no animal products in them) as are foods that vegans would traditionally sidestep such as dark chocolate.
In addition, many vegans consider that term a lifestyle rather than simply a diet. Vegans will avoid leather shoes and handbags, will refrain from wearing wool or other animal based clothing and may also eschew silk. And taken a step further, any product that is proven to be tested on animals are not used. Those would include cosmetics or shampoos. Even products that come from insects such as honey are usually not part of a vegan’s lifestyle.