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Plant Based Diet vs. Vegan Diet

I prefer plant-based nutrition for myself however my best friend is a hard-core vegan. What is the difference? Not like there isn’t enough confusing and conflicting nutritional information out there, trying to understand the difference between a Plant Based Diet and Vegan diet can be very confusing so here is the answer in a way that makes it easier to understand for those of you who are curious or wanting to make a healthier choice in your nutritional habits.

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Plant-based diet means you do not consume any animal products, dairy products including eggs, refined sugar, or highly processed foods. The plant-based diet centers around plants mostly in their natural form. This includes veggies, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, green leafy veggies, cruciferous veggies, and legumes or beans. It comes from the ground not a box. Most people who make the choice to eat plant-based do so for health reasons not emotional or moral driven reasons. Many large-scale studies show that plant-based eaters tend to be healthier and maintain healthier weight than omnivores (people who eat both plants and meat). Plant based nutrition is a lifestyle not a fad diet. It is often a lifelong commitment. Plant-based nutrition has been proven to prevent and, in some cases, reverse chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and aids in the prevention of many other diseases and cancers.

Veganism is the practice of abstaining from consuming any animal products in not only your diet but also rejects the use of any other products that come from any animal source, made with any animal source, or the exploitation of , and cruelty to animals for food, clothing, supplements, or any other reason. Vegans avoid animal -derived materials, products tested on animals, and avoid places that use animals for entertainment purposes with the intent to exploit the animal. To be vegan is a choice motivated by not only health related reasons but more an emotional and moral reasoning. The vegan diet is plant based with the exception they will also consume faux meats and cheesed that are plant-based product that have been highly processed and will eat refined sugary products such as cakes, donuts, and sweets if they are not made with any animal products. In my practice I have seen many healthy vegans but unfortunately many unhealthy vegans as some tend to eat a lot of sugar, starchy and processed foods which even can be unhealthy and lead to type 2 diabetes and digestive issues.  Veganism is a lifestyle choice and often a lifetime commitment as well.

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To sum it up the plant-based diet and the vegan diet are not the same even though there are many similarities. Choose for yourself what motivates you to eat a certain way. To be vegan or plant-based are healthy options if you have a clear understanding of what plant-based nutrition can do for the body.

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