Diet

What’s The Difference Between A Vegan & Plant-Based Diet? Dietitians Explain Key Differences And More

Beauty News Australia

What exactly is the difference between a plant-based diet and veganism? When someone is asked, they always give the same answer: “Isn’t that the same thing?”

Aside from the fact that social media and grocery store packaging may suggest that they are the same thing, there is actually a big difference between these two dietary lifestyles. Depending on what you are looking for, you will prefer one over the other.

What makes a vegan diet different from a plant-based diet? Here is what dietitians are saying:

What is a vegan diet?

Jerlyn Jones, R.D.N., L.D., owner of the Lifestyle Dietician says “a vegan lifestyle comprises of excluding all animal products, such as eggs, dairy, meat, and even honey. They eat fruits, vegetables, beans legumes, nuts, and seeds instead to comprise most of their meal plans.”

To make the long story short, absolutely no products derived from animals are eaten on a vegan diet.

Vegans also do not wear any clothing or make use of any products that are in any way, shape or form made from animals – like wool and silk. Although being on a vegan diet is automatically plant-based, the term ‘vegan’ has evolved into a whole lifestyle.

What is a plant-based diet?

Diana Sugiuchi, R.D.N., L.D.N., and founder of Nourish Family Nutrition says that “there’s really not any one definition of what ‘plant-based’ is. For some people, that means no meat; for some, that means a little bit of meat; and for some, that means adding in more plants.”

The basic definition of going plant-based essentially means placing plants at the center of every meal.

Jones adds that “the two lifestyles are very similar, but the key difference is that you’re not necessarily eliminating all animal products in a plant-based diet. The emphasis is mostly on the vegetables and fruits, but you may also include things like chicken or seafood every once in a while.”

What diet should I do for better weight loss?

 “Everyone can benefit from eating more plant-based foods. It’s not limited to only those who want to prevent or treat certain diseases. Everyone can get on board with eating more fruits and vegetables, because that’s what’s recommended,” says Jones. To get the benefits of both diets, make sure that every meal comprises mostly of plants and you will see the effects.

Losing weight and improving your overall health and lifestyle will work with both diets, but based on your own personal goals – each one could have better health benefits than the other. Neither diet could be said to be healthier, that is up to you to decide what works better for your body. Eating plants is already strongly linked to feeling better, lowering your risk of sickness like cancer and type 2 diabetes, as well as weight loss.

 “There is no one, set diet that is going to work for everybody, with their lifestyle and with their taste. To find the best diet for anyone, it’s really thinking about your tastes, changes you’ll really be able to include on the regular,” says Sugiuchi, who recommends that you meet with a dietician before abruptly changing your eating habits.

What other information should I know about?

While making a health switch right away seems really tempting, both dietitians warn against rushing into major decisions. “Any time you want to change the way you’re eating, you have to really sit down and plan for it, and that’s where a registered dietitian nutritionist can be a beneficial resource,” Jones says.

Sugiuchi says that:

“Adding plants is a great way to start. Substituting one meal per week, if you’re eating a lot of meat, with a meatless day, like the concept of Meatless Mondays, can be a great way to introduce these meals that feature less animal proteins.”

“People want to put labels on the way they’re eating: vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian. I’m much more a fan of being flexible, especially if you’re transitioning into a different way of eating.”

With that knowledge, you don’t even need to worry about strictly following just one healthy lifestyle or the other, rather, create one that suits the life you lead completely.