Vegan and vegetarian diets appear to be among the top food trends, but there is evidence that some people have been eating a predominantly plant-based or vegetarian diet for centuries. Essentially, individuals who follow a vegan diet have opted to remove all animal-based foods from their diet. Many choose vegan clothing, household items and personal care items as well. Most individuals who adopt a vegan diet are doing so for the perceived health benefits or to advocate for animal rights. Vegan diets are made up of only plant-based foods. This type of diet includes fruits, vegetables, soy, legumes, nuts and nut butters, plant-based dairy alternatives, sprouted or fermented plant foods and whole grains. They also are devoid of animal byproducts such as honey made by bees and lesser-known animal-based ingredients like whey, casein, lactose, egg white albumen, gelatin, carmine, shellac, animal-derived vitamin D3 and fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids. The foods emphasized in a vegan diet are rich in many nutrients like vitamins A, C, E and K, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients.
Plant-based or plant-forward eating patterns focus on foods primarily from plants. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans. Rather, you are proportionately choosing more of your foods from plant sources.
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. A vegan or plant-based diet excludes all animal products, including meat, dairy, and eggs. When people follow it correctly, a vegan diet can be highly nutritious, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and aid weight loss. Increasing numbers of people are moving toward vegan diets due to health, animal welfare, or environmental concerns. Vegan diets tend to be rich in nutrients and low in saturated fats. Research suggests that the diet can improve heart health, protect against cancer, and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, people eating only plant-based foods need to be more aware of how to obtain certain nutrients, including iron, calcium, and vitamin B, that usually come from an omnivorous diet. In this article, we take a close look at the vegan diet, including its health benefits and risks, as well as important things to consider before trying it out. We also provide recipe ideas and tips for following a vegan diet. A vegan diet involves eating only foods comprising plants. Those who follow this diet avoid all animal products, including meat, dairy, and eggs.
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