Difference Between Vegan and Plant-Based

29th December 2020By DZ TeamGoing Vegan

Difference Between Vegan and Plant-Based

Vegan Vs Plant-Based: So What's The Difference?

Many people ask, what is the difference between vegan and plant-based? Isn’t a vegan diet a plant-based diet? Yes, it is but that doesn’t make them the same.

A vegan diet is different from a plant-based diet, though they are similar. They differ on the premise of the inclusion by choice of animal-based products.
A plant-based diet tends to include foods like fruits, sprouts, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Still confused about the difference between vegan and plant-based? No worries, I will explain further! πŸ™‚

 

Difference Between Vegan and Plant-Based - healthy vegan diet

A Healthy Vegan Diet

In this section, I’m going to breakdown the basics of a healthy vegan diet. Firstly, it comprises strictly of healthy plant-based foods. All animal products (dairy, meat, poultry, fish, honey, and eggs) are excluded from the diet. That said, some vegans may still consume foods like biscuits, chips, cookies and other junk related foods. It may also consist of processed foods including tofu, burgers, and ice-cream. Though snacks can be consumed a whole based diet is recommended. This will encourage a healthy vegan diet which is high in nutrients. Foods which are often consumed include:

Legumes: beans, split peas, nuts, seeds, soy products (tempeh or tofu). Legumes are known to be packed with fiber, protein, antioxidants, b-vitamins, and essential fatty acids.
Whole grains: wheat berries, millet, oats, brown rice, and quinoa. Whole grains provide a rich source of minerals, protein, fiber, b-vitamins, and antioxidants.
Fruits: Citrus and Berries. They are rich in vitamin C and a great source of antioxidants.

 

What Else Should a Healthy Vegan Diet Include?

Vitamin B12, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and iodine. The are important nutrients.
Vitamin B12: Crucial for the formulation of red blood cells, neurological functioning, and the system of DNA. B-12 sources are best received through methyl cobalamin and supplements. B-12 in the form of cobalamin is found in fortified foods such as nutritional yeast, cereal, and non-dairy milk.
Vitamin D: natural sunlight and vitamin D supplements.
Omega-3 fatty acids: (flaxseed, flaxseed oil, walnuts, hemp seed oil, tofu, canola oil and dark leafy greens). Omega 3 fatty acids create the adequate balance necessary for optimal brain and heart health. Omega 3 fatty acids are crucial for infant/child development. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is omega-3 fatty acid in its original form. This is recognized within the body as DHA and EPA when converted.
Iodine: (navy beans, baked sweet potato with skin, enriched white bread, prunes, apple juice, strawberries and watercress)
Calcium: (almond milk, soy milk, almonds and soya beans)
Iron: (amaranth, navy beans and blackstrap molasses
Protein: (oats, tofu, tempeh, legumes and quinoa)

 

The Vegan Society - Definition of Veganism

The Vegan Society provides a great definition of veganism. They say,

"Veganism is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to excludeβ€”as far as is possible and practicableβ€”all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment."

Their definition also contains a specific clause:

β€œIn dietary terms, it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.”

As we explained previously, this means that people who follow a healthy vegan diet will not consume meat, fish, eggs, or dairy products. Additionally, strict vegans avoid all animal-based products, i.e., honey and any foods or non-food products that are derived from animals.

 

Difference Between Vegan and Plant-Based - healthy plant-based diet

A Healthy Plant-Based Diet

A healthy plant-based diet is similar to a healthy vegan diet. In what way? Well, in the sense that it is about avoiding animal-based food products. That said, a person who is plant-based might avoid eating animal products. However, they might still decide to purchase a fur coat!

There are specific foods that some vegans might eat, which would not form part of a healthy plant-based diet. A perfect example is β€˜vegan junk food’. This may consist of things like tofu based hot dogs and deep-fried seitan etc. These types of products are not great for your health and they obviously lack nutrition! Obviously, this does not fit in with the ethos of being plant-based.

What is Plant-Based?

Essentially, the focus is heavily placed on eating foods that are rich in plant sources. A healthy plant-based diet primarily includes whole foods. Whole foods are foods that experience little to no processing. Plant-based whole foods include vegetables fruits; whole grains (quinoa, barley, oatmeal); oils (avocado, olive, canola), and nuts and seeds. Additionally, refined foods such as white flour, white sugar, and processed oils are excluded or greatly reduced. Examples of recommended foods are listed below

Fruits: peaches, pineapple, bananas, berries, citrus fruits and pears
Vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, kale, spinach, tomatoes and bell peppers
Starchy vegetables: butternut squash, potatoes and sweet potatoes
Whole grains: Brown rice, brown rice pasta, rolled oats, quinoa and barley
Unsaturated fats: Avocado oil, olive oil and coconut oil
Legumes: Lentils, peanuts, black beans, peas and chickpeas
Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, homemade peanut butter and tahini
Plant-based milk (no sugar added): Coconut milk, almond milk and cashew milk
Spices & Seasonings: curry, black pepper, salt, basil, rosemary and turmeric
Condiments: soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, salsa, mustard and nutritional yeast
Plant-based protein sources: Tofu, tempeh, protein powders, no added sugar, or artificial ingredients
Beverages: herbal tea and water

 

Summing Up - "Healing Through Food”

To conclude, I will sum up the difference between vegan and plant-based in the following way:

- Veganism is a lifestyle which seeks to exclude all forms of cruelty, where possible.
- Plant-based is a diet which is about avoiding the consumption of animal products and anything refined, and food products which are not beneficial for health.

It's clear that people who follow a healthy vegan diet and a healthy plant-based diet have lower blood pressure and a lower body fat percentage.
So, now you are aware of the primary difference between vegan and plant-based nutrition, what is your next step?
Need help? No worries, check out our Personalised Grocery List service.

Whether you decide to go vegan or plant-based –you should join our community and be part of our β€œHealing through food” movement!

Go Vegan For The Environment

15th December 2020By DZ TeamEnvironment

Go Vegan For The Environment

Vegan Environment Facts

Are you considering going vegan for the environment? Well, there are various reasons why more and more people choose to go vegan every day. An increasingly popular one is to go vegan for the environment. As more research discovers what the exact impact of animal agriculture is on the environment, and more vegan environment facts come to light, we are finding out that going vegan is one of the best things we can do for our planet.
In this article, we will share some of the most important vegan environment facts, which explain why it’s so beneficial to go vegan for the environment.

 

Vegan For The Environment - Diet Zest Vegan environment facts

The production cycle of our food

In animal agriculture, food grown on farms isn’t consumed directly – instead, it’s fed to livestock. This requires a lot of livestock feed and the animal product which ends up being made feeds much fewer people than the plants would in the first place. Over 700 million tons of food, which could be consumed by humans, is fed to livestock every year. If we all stopped eating animals, we could even solve the world’s food crisis!
This means many more resources are needed to produce animal products, in comparison to plant-based alternatives. Ultimately, the production cycle of animal agriculture is unsustainable by design. Even organic farms cannot avoid this characteristic, making going vegan for the environment the most sustainable solution.

Adding to our carbon footprint

Climate change is one of the most pressing environmental issues we’re facing today – and the vegan environment facts regarding our carbon footprint are truly shocking. Research has found that animal agriculture produces more greenhouse gasses than all of the world’s transportation combined. There are many reasons why this is the case.

Firstly, livestock, particularly cows and sheep, produce methane while they digest – a greenhouse gas 84 times more potent in the short run than CO2. However, the good news about methane is that if we reduce our consumption, we’re likely to see the results in our environment much sooner than when reducing our CO2 consumption!

Secondly, slaughterhouses and farms take a lot of energy to power, energy which often comes from fossil fuels. By choosing plant-based options, or deciding to go vegan for the environment, you are not just reducing your energy consumption – but also the carbon emissions associated with it.

Lastly, to grow livestock feed, forests are often cut down, particularly in the Amazon. As the number of trees which could compensate for our release of greenhouse gasses decreases, so do the effects of climate change. However, climate change is not the only issue deforestation causes – it also leads to widespread species extinction and soil degradation in the area.

Effects on our oceans

When speaking of vegan environment facts, we often focus on farming of livestock, rather than fishing. However, industrial fishing is one of the most environmentally damaging activities related to the sourcing of animal products – and an incredibly good reason to go vegan for the environment.

Firstly, the demand for fish and seafood is severely endangering marine species targeted by the fishermen. The fish simply cannot multiply fast enough to keep the population size stable, because so many are being caught. Some data even suggest the oceans could be fishless by 2048 if we don’t take action. Although some steps are being taken to address this issue, we need much more widespread bans on fishing in these endangered areas – until that happens, the best thing to do for the environment and our ocean is to go vegan.

As if it wasn’t enough that these targeted species are being endangered, so are other sea animals. This is happening because the fishing nets used by industrial fishing are exceptionally large and catch anything that comes in their way – this includes not just the target fish but also other animals, including dolphins, sharks, turtles and many endangered species. This phenomenon is referred to as bycatch and costs billions of animals their lives annually. Why do the animals die? They often get severely injured in the process and are thrown overboard, dead or dying

 

Vegan For The Environment & Vegan Environment Facts - Diet Zest

Wasting and polluting our water

It takes a lot of water to produce animal products – we need 100 to 200 more water to produce a pound of beef compared to a plant-based alternative. Besides water for the livestock to drink, a lot of water is also used to clean and maintain the facilities they are kept in.

Animal agriculture is also a big polluter of water, as faecal matter often leaks into rivers and contaminating them. Animal waste runoff is much more common than you may think and one of its most environmentally destructive consequences is the collapse of freshwater supply to the affected areas, leading to people being left without access to safe drinking water.

All the food that’s wasted

Food waste is another environmental issue we are facing in the 21st century. According to the USDA, 30% to 40% of our food supply goes to waste! While all food waste is highly problematic, it seems to be even more so with animal products.
Firstly, as we mentioned above, it takes more resources to produce animal products than it costs to produce plant-based foods. This means that if the food gets thrown away, more resources will have been wasted.
Secondly, animal products such as meat or dairy have a particularly short shelf life, especially when compared to vegan alternatives. This gives us less time to consume them and makes them more likely to be thrown away. While this does not apply to all animal products, it’s an important factor to keep in mind.

Summing up vegan for the environment

Decided to go vegan for the environment? That’s a wonderful thing! We wish you a lot of joy, sustainability, and animal compassion on your journey.

Remember these vegan environment facts – write them down or save this article. They will help keep you going if, at any point, you encounter challenges on your journey towards veganism.

If you need help to take your next step into veganism, why not check out our Personalised Grocery List service.

Consider joining our community, our β€œHealing through food” movement is growing everyday!

The Vegan Diet – An Easy Guide for Beginners

5th December 2020By DZ TeamGoing Vegan

The Vegan Diet - An Easy Guide for Beginners

A World of Options for Vegans

Our vegan diet guide is filled with lots of tips, tricks, and hacks. This will help you to thrive while transitioning to a vegan lifestyle.

Before starting your vegan journey, it is important to think in terms of abundance instead of limitations. Instead of thinking, β€œOh, I can't eat all these foods” it may be more helpful to flip it and instead tell yourself β€œOh! I get to eat all of these foods.” Not that people don't eat plant-based foods on a standard diet, but the focus changes.

With the vegan diet, you will notice and appreciate new foods and recipes, you can appreciate all the colors and variety in your food. And, you can appreciate how good you feel.

This little mental switch may help you with veganism. Plus, it's just good to adopt this mindset for many other journeys and challenges in life.

 

A Good General Rule of the Vegan Diet

Not all vegan diets are made the same. With growing popularity, there are many vegan products on the market today. While many of them are tasty, they can also be highly processed, unhealthy, and expensive. Many people enjoy these foods, and that is great, especially if it helps you. But having your diet centered on mock meats, and cheeses will defeat the purpose, and you could be missing out on the great benefits the vegan diet has to offer.

With that in mind, it is best to avoid refined oils (like canola oil and margarine), sugars, refined grains, and flours.

When going on a vegan diet it is most ideal to center it on plant-based whole foods. These are foods that are unprocessed and are purchased or prepared in their natural form. These are foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, unprocessed fats, and legumes. Usually these foods don't come in a package, and if they do, there should only be one ingredient.

Keeping the whole food plant-based diet in mind is the best long-term strategy for eating. This is the way one can prevent, and even reverse many diseases that can kill or keep us from living our full potential. Nutritional science can be so confusing and contradictory. This can be because many industries with different interests fund the studies to make their products seem healthy. Lifelong nutrition doesn’t have to be confusing when you keep those 4 words in mind - plant-based whole foods.

Benefits of a Vegan Diet

The list of benefits for following a vegan diet is long and worthwhile. We will focus on the health benefits for now because this is your journey, and it's about you. Not to overlook the amazing fact that animals don't have to die, and the health of the planet depends on sustainable, localized, plant-based food sources.

Plant-based foods can help manage your weight. This is because plant foods are less calorie dense than animal products. Most plant-based foods are abundant in fiber and are dense in other nutrients. Fiber is low in calories but helps keep us full longer. It also helps with digestion and keeps the heart healthy.

It is also great because you don’t have to worry about cutting calories. You may feel you need to eat more on a vegan diet. There is no shame in that because plant-based food is less calorie dense but holds more nutrients. Eating more can be beneficial and even recommended - A favorite part for many on a vegan diet. Simply listen to your body. If you need to eat more, then do so.

The vegan diet can even be less expensive. Again, by focusing on plant-based whole foods you'll find that foods like beans, oats, rice, potatoes, and many fruits and vegetables are extremely cheap. It always helps to shop in season and locally too.

The vegan diet can keep your mind strong by preventing Alzheimer’s and dementia. It can improve your longevity because plant-based foods are high in antioxidants which protect our body from free radicals and cancer-causing inflammation. Lastly, it has the power to kill the number one killer in the United States: Heart disease.

Following a vegan diet can keep you lean and muscular long term. One thing many worry about switching to a vegan diet is the lack of protein and possible muscle loss. This is not true though as there are many plant-based protein sources, and the vegan diet may even be better for fueling and energizing the body.

How to get Started and Keep on Track

Starting the vegan diet may be a quick transition, or not, but either way it is a lifelong journey. Always take the time to learn new recipes, read new books, or watch documentaries on the subject. It is helpful to learn which foods are the best for your body, and to learn helpful tips from the many who have followed the diet for a long time.

Transitioning does not have to be an all or nothing experience. Start by choosing plant-based whole foods. Many people start off as vegetarian too. Take small steps and go for consistency, and most importantly, have fun.

It is good to have a purpose and a reason why. Maybe if you feel like you're getting off track, or just feeling down, try to remind yourself why you do this. Maybe your reason is a bit different than others, and that's ok. But it is almost always about caring. You care about your body, the animals, and the planet.

 

The Vegan Diet – Diet Zest Article

Living in Society as a Vegan

Restaurants

Restaurants can be tricky if you live in a smaller city or town and there is only a handful to choose from. However, many restaurants are becoming increasingly accommodating by carrying plant-based meats, and cheeses. If not, you can always look at menus online and even call in advance to ask if they can prepare something or make substitutions.

Gatherings

You can always prepare and bring something you are proud to make. Potluck style gatherings are always a great opportunity to do so. People are usually quite accommodating to their guests. Even meat enthusiasts are usually happy to try to make vegan dishes for their friends.

Travelling

Travelling as a vegan should be an opportunity rather than a limitation. You can visit places that celebrate a more plant-based lifestyle. Or, you can check out Eat List to find vegan restaurants and more. Of course, you can visit local markets and cook food at your place of stay using local produce and ingredients.

Nutrition Myths and Tips

Plant Protein

Plant protein is among one of the biggest myths in the vegan diet. Research suggests that protein deficiency is not a problem in the vegan diet unless one is restricting calories. If you feel you are not getting enough protein, then you may need to eat more. But, eating a variety of plant-based whole foods should be more than sufficient in terms of protein.

B12

Vitamin B12 is produced by bacteria and not from animals. Due to sterile practices, plan-food does lack b12. However, it is recommended to take a supplement. Nutritional yeast also happens to be packed with it. Just a quarter cup can have 8 times your daily need.

Omega-3

A plant derived supplement can help with this. You can also eat chia, flax seed, hemp, and walnuts.

Iron

The plant based diet contains plenty of iron from sources like grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, green leafy vegetables, avocado, tofu, tempeh and potatoes.

Supplements

This not just applies to people on a vegan diet but everyone. It may be beneficial to supplement with Vitamin b12, Vitamin D (if you don’t get much sun), and Omega 3.

You can check out ourΒ Personalised Grocery List service for more ideas.

Also, join our community, and our β€œHealing through food” movement, it's growing daily! πŸ™‚