Vegan Vs Plant-based Diet

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Due to the increase in the occurrence of ‘modern’ diseases and conditions many people are addressing the way they eat and choosing to eat more plant-based ingredients.  There is now ample evidence-based information that the increase in the consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes can have many health benefits. Today we are going to be looking at two different diets that have many similarities and are a result of the move towards a plant-based diet.   

These diets are the vegan diet and the plant-based diet. In our diet comparisons, we look at the pros and cons of each and then highlight how the use of meal kit services can be beneficial when embarking on either diet.

The vegan diet avoids all animal products whatsoever. This includes any meats, seafood, fish, dairy and animal-based sauces such as fish sauce and chicken salt etc.  The vegan diet is purely plant-based with protein being derived from green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts and soy products.   The vegan diet is based on the philosophy that any animal product should not be included in your diet.

The plant-based diet in comparison is centered on whole foods and unrefined or minimally refined plant-based ingredients.  It is a diet that is typically based on fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole-grains. The diet also either excludes or minimizes the consumption of meat (including chicken and seafood), dairy products, eggs, and processed foods such as bleached flours, refined sugars and oils.

Terra kitchen vegan plan
Terra's Kitchen Vegan Plan

Main pros of the vegan diet:

  • There are numerous health benefits associated with a vegan diet which include a reduction in the risk of developing many diseases such as cancer, auto-immune diseases, heart disease and diabetes.
  • Generally lower in saturated fat which can result in many health benefits.
  • Can reduce the risk of developing obesity.
  • The vegan diet is known as a kind diet and is one that is often focused on animal welfare.
  • It is linked to many environmental issues and a diet that results in the least amount of impact on the environment.

Main pros of the plant-based diet:

  • There are numerous health benefits associated with a plant-based diet which include a reduction in the risk of developing many diseases such as cancer, auto-immune diseases, heart disease and diabetes.
  • Generally lower in saturated fat which can result in many health benefits.
  • Can assist with weight management.
  • With the emphasis on the reduction of refined products and animal-based products the plant-based diet is also very much a clean eating diet.  

Main cons of the vegan diet:

  • Need to be very aware of your nutritional intake and may need to consider supplementation especially when it comes to vitamin B12.
  • You need to ensure you are getting enough calcium.
  • You need to ensure you are getting enough protein.  
  • The term ‘vegan’ can, unfortunately, be a source of negative comments from others, so this is something to be aware of.
  • Just because you are consuming products that are not animal-based does not necessarily mean they are healthy.  It is important to be aware of the nutritional benefits of the foods that you are consuming.

Main cons of the plant-based diet:

  • Need to be aware of the nutritional values of what you are eating and look at vitamin supplementation especially vitamin B12
  • Due to the emphasis on reducing processed foods, one needs to allow time for additional food preparation, especially in social situations as takeout and convenience foods are generally not a part of this diet
  • You need to ensure that you are getting the protein that your body needs.
  • Need to be aware of where your calcium is coming from
  • Can at times, especially initially, be restrictive

How can meal kits help to maintain your vegan and plant-based diets?

When embracing a new diet such as the vegan or plant-based diet, initially the whole concept of creating weekly menus that cater to these diets can be overwhelming.    

It can be a challenge embracing a completely new diet when it comes to meal planning, grocery shopping, and meal preparation. This is where meal kits come in handy as they do all the hard work for you by providing portion controlled delicious weekly meal choices.

Both the vegan and plant-based diets offer some challenges with the fact that you do need to ensure you are still eating well-balanced meals that provide all the nutrients you need.  Meal kits address this issue, by having weekly menus that contain dishes that taste great and are well balanced and nutritious. By using a meal kit service, you will find that following your vegan or plant-based dietary lifestyle is not only easy but also filled with delicious choices!

To further read about the best meal kit services available for the vegan diet please click here.

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