Plant-based diets and Veganism can get easily confused. There are so many different diets, that it is easy to understand why. The main difference is the motivations behind the diet.
The Plant-Based Diet
A Plant based diet is as it says on the tin. It is a diet that is based on plants – which mainly consists of fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. The diet will contain foods with a high nutritional level with vitamins and minerals.
The main motivation behind the plant-based diet is to improve health and to live a healthier lifestyle.
The health benefits of this diet is a lower risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, lung and liver disease. These are the top five causes of premature death in the UK. A plant-based diet can also lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, reduce blood sugar and encourage weight loss. This will help improve the quality of life and extend a person’s life expectancy.
The plant-based diet can also consist of some animal products such as honey where there are health benefits.
The vegan diet in comparison to a plant-based diet can be very similar. It is still a plant-based diet. The health benefits can be the same. Although the vegan diet can be very healthy and also very unhealthy. The reason for this is that there is a vegan alternative to every non-vegan food, whether it is a healthy choice or not.
The vegan diet is different to a plant-based diet as it does not contain any animal products. Whilst a plant-based diet may have animal products such as honey for the health benefits, the vegan diet is not just a diet, it is a lifestyle.
The motivation behind the vegan diet is to not to contribute to the suffering and mistreatment of animals. A vegan lives their life in a way that does not cause any harm to animals. Vegans do not wear clothes, eat or participate in any sort of activity that could cause pain and suffering to animals.
Someone who is following a Plant-based diet may not necessarily follow this lifestyle and so therefore cannot called themselves a vegan. There are fundamental differences between the two ways of life.