Despite how hard it is to keep up with diet trends such as gluten-free, paleo, keto and more, there are two particularly trendy diet regimens: the vegan and plant-based diets. While a lot of people think that these two diets are the same, there are often some very important variations that differ between the two.
Plant-based and vegan diets are definitely not the same: "Plant-based can mean different things to different people," said Amanda Baker Lemein, a dietitian in a private practice located in Chicago. "Plant-based means incorporating more plant products and plant proteins into your daily diet without completely eliminating animal products."
Basically, a plant-based diet means adding more vegetables to your daily routine, and reducing animal product intake, or removing those products completely.
A vegan diet happens to be a lot more clear: "Vegan diets exclude all animal products," said Lemelin. "Vegan diets are much stricter and leave little room for interpretation, while plant-based diets may mean meat-free, but still include dairy for one person, while someone else might include a few meat products throughout a month's time but still focus the majority of meals on plants."
Essentially, a plant-based diet allows for increased grey areas when it comes to daily food intake.
Health benefits in both eating regimens are similar, as well as being quite established. "Eating more plants and cutting back on meat is almost always a good thing, as research tells us consuming a plant-based diet can help reduce our risk of developing chronic conditions like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease," said Julie Andrews, chef, and dietitian who founded The Gourmet RD.
Evidence also showed that rates of breast cancer happen to be lower in people who have a plant-based diet.
It is notable to mention that although something is vegan that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for your health. "My one concern about the modern vegan diet is the explosion of ubiquitous animal-free junk food, such as ice creams, burgers, and candies," said Julieanna Hever- dietitian, co-author of the book Plant-Based Nutrition. "These aren't much healthier than those containing animal products and are still contributing to chronic diseases."