Vegan. Plant-based. Same-same, right? Well, that would explain why both are so often used as easy substitutes for each other. But not so fast. There’s a huge difference between the two. In this article, we pick them apart.
Think about all the diet and health posts you’ve come across in the past week or so. Now try to remember how many had the words ‘vegan’ or ‘plant-based’ in them. Chances are, both terms appeared side-by-side, as if one and the same. They’re not. And the fundamental difference is that veganism encompasses more than just a way of eating.
Veganism is a life choice that categorically declares, “I refuse to use animal products. Period.” And this extends beyond simply diet. We’re talking clothing, body care products and holding a firm ethical stance against product testing on animals in any form.
But let’s bring our focus back a little. To that of diet. And in this sense, ‘plant-based’ and ‘vegan’ are kindred spirits. Both abstain from eating animal products and instead eat plant foods in their most natural forms. I know some vegans can get caught up in the whole ‘processed food and vegan treats’ debate. So, for this post I’m calling it a ‘plant based vegan diet’ (PDVD).
And PDVDs have so much going for them. Let me count the ways:
Published studies that show women in countries where they eat very little meat and animal products have much lower rates of breast cancer. Studies into men with prostate cancer have also shown that early intervention with a vegan diet can result in a reversal or decrease in the progression of the cancer. And there have been several studies showing that people following a vegan diet live on average 3-6 years longer than those who are not.
So, exactly how do you implement a PBVD? Well, it all begins with the biggest fundamental of any diet: meeting your nutritional and caloric requirements. And that’s all about planning and understanding what your body needs.
People who find they do not thrive are usually the ones who skipped doing their research. Or avoided seeking professional help to make sure they are covering all their macro- and micronutrient requirements. Because if you are consuming a wide-enough variety and a large-enough quantity of plant foods, your nutritional needs can easily be met.
And the benefits are impressive. Increased energy. Clearer skin. A reduction in PMS, allergies and migraines. More information and research is becoming available almost daily on PBVD benefits. And with so much going for them, it’s small wonder people are switching to PBVDs at rates never previously seen.
If you’re interested in adopting a PBVD (but don’t know where to start) or you already eat this way (but aren’t entirely sure if it meets your entire dietary requirement), contact me for a consultation today.