Although the word “vegan” has made its way into modern society’s vocabulary, the phrase “plant-based” is still confusing for some. As more and more people become interested in a plant-based diet, big cities are adjusting to the demand, and now people can even eat in “plant-based restaurants.” Depending on your area, you can also order meals through a delivery system like our PlantXModernMeat in Vancouver! If you live in the Vancouver area, make sure to check out our delicious 100% plant-based meat alternatives delivered right to your door.
But what exactly is the difference between vegan and plant-based nutrition?
Strict vegans do not eat animal products, i.e., they do not eat meat, fish, eggs, milk, honey, or gelatin. Not only that, but they also reject all products that are derived from animal products such as clothing made from fur, leather, or wool. The motivation behind veganism is to reduce the torturing and killing of animals. But there are other reasons for a vegan lifestyle. A vegan lifestyle can also have significant benefits for the environment. The byproduct of a diet that doesn’t rely on animal products creates less greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental toxins. Some people may also choose a vegan diet for health reasons. Many studies show that meat consumers have a higher risk of heart disease and are more likely to suffer from high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and some types of cancer.
What about the plant-based diet?
To understand the “Whole Plant-Based Diet”, it is easier to look at each word in detail. In this case, “whole food” stands for natural food, and “plant-based” means food that is “based on plants.” “Natural” means that the food can be consumed unprocessed and in its natural state.
Some plant-based foods include cereal products, fruits, berries, vegetables, and legumes. Therefore, “whole plant foods” include only minimally processed foods that are derived from plants.
The aim of a plant-based diet is primarily to improve one’s health. However, it is essential to understand that not everything plant-based is necessarily healthy and doesn’t always fit into this dietary style. French fries, for example, are plant-based but are rather unhealthy in terms of additives and ingredients. Nutrition aims to do something good for the body and to ensure that it is supplied with all the crucial nutrients and minerals.
So, what’s the difference?
With a purely plant-based diet, the personal health benefits are particularly important. Still, unlike a vegan diet, people who eat solely plant-based products don’t have the same ethical conflict when they eat something that is not 100% plant-based.
A precise definition of what constitutes a whole plant diet does not exist. Some people avoid all animal products while others may decide to include some sparingly in their diet. A plant-based diet is very nutritional and nourishing without the same renouncement of animal products that accompanies a vegan diet. Although vegans rely on purely plant-based nutrition, they also renounce all foods that contain animal products as well as animal manufactured clothes or cosmetics.
In addition, the topic of sustainability is vital for vegans because meat from factory farming and dairy products are a burden on the climate. You can find more detailed information about that topic on our other blog article, “Let’s Save The Planet”
Why are these diets so beneficial for us?
The vegan diet, as well as the whole plant-based food diet, both have incredible health benefits. In both diets, foods that are associated with the development of chronic diseases are entirely removed. Fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are the foundation of both diets, and these, in turn, provide essential vitamins, minerals, and secondary plant compounds.
The unique thing about these two diets is that both manage to create a menu that is rich in complex carbohydrates while also being low in fat. This means that someone who eats a vegan or purely plant-based recipe can stay full for longer while also making a positive impact on maintaining a healthy weight and figure. A large variety of healthy snacks, protein bars, and even cookies (yes, there are cookies you can eat as a vegan!) can be found in our PlantX shop.
It is proven that people who live according to these diets have a lower body fat percentage and lower blood pressure. Vegan and plant-based diets help prevent and even counteract cardiovascular diseases and high cholesterol levels. For example, beans, oats, and artichokes all help to lower cholesterol levels.
Even many athletes have now recognized the advantages of a vegan or plant-based diet. Many competitive sports athletes nourish themselves with a vegan diet to help them maintain the rugged and active lifestyle that comes with professional sports. One of the advantages of vegan nutrition is that plant-based foods can provide energy that metabolizes quickly, which is essential during athletic activities. Not only that, but the body is no longer occupied with digestion problems thanks to avoiding meat. This helps to contribute to a healthy intestinal flora that not only feels lighter but is also more concentrated and balanced.
The whole plant-based or vegan diet – what’s right for me?
The plant-based concept focuses on the idea of eating the right food to help you improve your health. It is not about removing certain foods entirely from the diet. So, if you like to eat meat and fish, you could eat them from time to time on a plant-based diet. If avoiding animal products and meat is natural for you, then it is also possible to do a purely vegan diet. But, it is essential that you still include all healthy food groups in your diet according to the plant-based concept. Look up foods with plant proteins to make sure that you don’t miss out on any necessary nutrients. If you are not sure what to cook check out our yummy, healthy, and nutritious recipes for some inspiration.
Whether you’re going vegan or plant-based – it’s about time to be part of our movement, so come and join our community!