Is a plant-based diet the same as vegan?
First, let’s just explain both of the terms. The basic explanation of terms will give you a good hint of whether or not plant-based is the same as vegan. But to understand why the difference is not small and so very important, make sure you read the rest of the article. As someone who has tried both, I think it is really important that you understand the difference.
Definition of a plant-based diet
A plant-based diet is a diet that is based on foods derived from plants, including vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits.
Definition of veganism
Veganism is an ethical movement, where an individual, that refers to themselves as a vegan, sustains from all animal products in the form of food and clothing, doesn’t buy products that have been tested on animals or that required animal abuse of any kind.
The main difference between plant-based and vegan
As you can see from the explanation of both terms, plant-based is a diet and being vegan is an ethical decision, not a dietary one. Although these terms are describing two completely different things, these two areas have quite a few things in common. Let’s look at the most important similarities and differences between the plant-based diet and being vegan.
Reasons for plant-based and vegan
Today it has become quite trendy to go vegan. Even if initially the vegan movement started out as an animal rights movement, today people are going plant-based for all kinds of reasons. More and more people decide to go plant-based for health and environmental reasons. This is a diet, that has been shown to treat and reverse heart disease and to significantly decrease all-cause mortality. The plant-based diet is the most environmentally friendly diet. It is the only diet that can sustain our growing population while producing the least greenhouse gas emissions. It also takes up the least land and freshwater. The plant-based diet is the future and here you can find everything you need to know, about whole-food plant-based cooking. Here you can find all the recipes, tips, and tricks, you need to prepare simple, quick, cheap, delicious and nutritious meals. But is a plant-based diet also vegan?
Veganism is not a diet
Veganism is an ethical movement, where an individual, that refers to themselves as a vegan, sustains from all animal products in the form of food and clothing, doesn’t buy products that have been tested on animals or that required animal abuse of any kind. So veganism, even though it is a noble movement, is not a diet. Any diet, that only specifies what foods to avoid, could potentially be a very dangerous diet. When a diet eliminates whole food groups, it is crucial that you understand why and how to replace them. A plant-based diet is also vegan but it focuses predominantly on whole plant-based foods.
Why I think vegans should choose a whole food plant-based diet
With the rise of veganism, meat and dairy replacements can be found in almost every store. Many people that decide to go vegan just substitute their meat and cheese with vegan substitutes, maybe throw in some random supplements and that’s it. But that is dangerous. I have been there, trust me. The meat and cheese replacements can be very unhealthy and even less nutritious than what they mimic. Even supplements can be very dangerous, there are many studies that show taking isolated nutrients can have unpredictable outcomes. So it’s crucial that we know our food and decide on what to eat and not just what not to eat. That is why I think every vegan should choose a whole food plant-based diet.
Whole food plant-based diet
When I refer to the plant-based diet, I am talking about a whole food plant-based diet. That is a diet, which actually focuses on plants in their whole food form, as close to the form in which they have grown. So this blog is all about making foods taste good from scratch, with whole foods, no additives or taste enhancers. As a Plant-based Nutrition graduate, I also decided to remove all processed fats from my kitchen, so I don’t use any oils. I do use nut and seed butter. If a food has been mechanically processed (eg. ground), but none of its components have been removed or added artificially, it is still considered a whole food. Why is that so important? Nut and seed butter, for example, contain the fiber and the nutrients that came with the seed or the nut, whereas the oils are stripped of everything else until there is just 100% fat. It’s a processed food, so we avoid it, like all other processed foods, just like table sugar for example. I will cover this topic in-depth in the near future, so make sure you subscribe if you don’t want to miss out.
What is the purpose of this blog?
And finally, we come to the part why this blog exists and why you should read it. As someone, who has had a deeper insight into the plant-based nutrition and is tracking all the recent research and development daily (thanks to Dr. Greger’s podcast and Nutrition Studies Newsletter), I know how immense the importance of a healthy diet really is. According to all the recent research, a plant-based diet is one of the most important decisions you can make for the sake of your health and for the sake of our planet. That is why it is really important you do it properly. I made it my mission to put it into practice and make the best out of it. This mission is to keep you away from processed foods and vegan junk food as much as possible and to make sure you are getting proper nutrition to sustain this lifestyle in the long run.
Whole foods, plant-based and vegan
Yes, whole foods can taste amazing all by themselves. They are also very easy to prepare and very cheap. As someone who really enjoys their food and gets all the people that are transitioning, I know how to make our taste buds happy. Let me state just one of my proudest achievements. I helped my partner transition from a junk food meat eater to a whole food plant-based no oil eater in no time. He helped me remember, what junk and meat-eaters crave and I created those indulging foods 100% from whole plants. And I made it so it takes little time, is incredibly simple, quick, cheap, delicious and nutritious. All the recipes are of course also vegan as I also sustain from all animal products for ethical reasons.
Articles, tips & tricks and recipes
If there is something I dislike about the food blogs today, are all the processed ingredients (that’s not cooking!). There are also a lot of exotic or pricey ingredients. And of course those looooong lists of things you need and steps to do to get things done. Many of those steps and even ingredients are completely redundant and are making your life harder. Not to mention pages of life stories before the recipe even begins. As an engineer, it’s in my nature to optimize things, so I am here to make your life easy. I divided this blog into three main categories: articles, tips & tricks, and recipes, so you know exactly what to expect. No love stories in the recipe category.
Comments and discussion
Below every article, there is a comment section. Please don’t be shy. Comment if you agree or disagree with what I wrote or if you tried out a recipe, a tip or a trick. You can also comment just to say hi and tell me which part of the world are you coming from. After all, this blog is for you and I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for sticking until the end of this post, have a lovely day.
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