What is a Plant Based Diet
At first glance, the term “plant-based” seems pretty self-explanatory – a commitment to eating a diet that focuses around whole, plant foods. However, plant-based eating isn’t just about the addition of whole, plant foods such as fruits, veggies, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds, but also trying to eliminate animal products including meat, fish, eggs, dairy, gelatin and other animal byproducts from one’s diet. The primary objective of someone eating a plant based diet is they think its a healthier form of living for themselves. Who really can argue that natural whole plant foods are not the most important part of any food choice. As long as you eat a good variety of nutrient dense foods I'm sure you are probably going to live a pretty healthy life.
What is a Vegan Diet
Veganism is a philosophy deeply devoted to animal rights, and being a vegan is a lifestyle choice that involves diets, politics and ethics. Vegans not only eliminate animal products from their diet, but from all aspects of their lives. We’re talking – no leather, fur, wool or silk; products derived from insects (i.e. honey and beeswax); or toiletries that may be derived from and/or tested on animals. The primary objective of a vegan is to protect the animals first not their own health. When it comes to food a VEGAN diet just refers to no animal products not naturally healthy whole plants. Foods considered to be “vegan”. For example, French fries or Oreos are in essence vegan, but are not considered to be “plant-based”, as neither product resembles that of their original plant form. This is where I believe the problem starts if we just blame the animal products for every problem. If you remove the animal products and replace then with highly processed refined carbohydrate nutrient deficient food this is a potential for disaster.
Due to the elimination of animal products in a plant-based diet, it’s easy to see why one may consider plant-based diets to be vegan. On the flip side though a Vegan diet is definitely not a whole food plant based diet. If your looking for the health benefits for yourself and contemplating removing animal products be sure to replace them with a well balanced whole plant food approach or you might end up even more unhealthy than when you started.
These are just my thoughts I'm not a dietician or a nutritionist. I don't claim to have the answers but these are common mistakes I see or hear when people start getting confused from watching a documentary or listening to a podcast that might be very biased on the topic or have a hidden agenda.