Vegan Vs Plant Based

November is World Vegan Month

I just want to bring awareness about the difference between plant based vs vegan because these two terms are used interchangeably. They are similar but yet different. 

So when someone says they are vegan, they are either an ethical or dietary vegan. That means they both do not consume any animal products, so no meat, milk, eggs, or dairy. Ethical vegans don’t use anything that is from an animal, so basically no clothing, textiles, household products, cosmetics/personal products, etc. Dietary and ethical vegans will consume a lot of meat or plant based alternatives but unfortunately they tend to consume a lot of inflammatory or processed foods and foods that have a lot of sugar. So sometimes they don’t necessarily eat the healthiest, but there are vegans out there that primarily focus on whole plant foods. If you are going that route, definitely focus more on whole foods and less on processed foods. 

That is where the difference comes in with someone who is plant based, the primary focus is whole plant foods and reducing/avoiding processed foods and sugar. However, there are people that are plant based that will still use animal products such as leather clothing and furniture.  So that is the main difference between plant based and vegan.

Can you be healthy with a plant based or vegan lifestyle? Absolutely! I definitely recommend getting your important nutrients checked such as Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and Iodine because those come from animal products. If you’re not consuming animal products, you may want to supplement with these vitamins. But depending on what your levels look like, depends on how much you need to supplement and the right form as well so before taking any supplements follow up with a Functional Medicine practitioner to guide you to optimize your nutrients. As long as you are getting blood work at least once a year, supplementing with right nutrients, and eating whole, variety of plant foods, you can definitely live a healthy plant based lifestyle!

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