What does it mean to be Vegan?

You probably know someone, if not yourself, that is a vegan or vegetarian. These nutritional preferences have become quite mainstream for either ethical, environmental or health reasons. While they may share certain principles and some guidelines, they are not the same and certainly not interchangeable. Vegetarianism is a broad title for a variety of dietary preferences that exclude meat (some vegetarians may eat fish, eggs, or dairy products, for example), where veganism doesn’t have as much room for variance. A vegan diet avoids all animal products and products processed or filtered using animal parts; a vegan lifestyle can actually go much deeper than just dietary guidelines.

November 1st is #WorldVeganDay, so in honor of our vegan friends everywhere, we thought we would take some time to talk about what it means to be vegan.

Diet
Veganism means more than saying no to the double bacon cheeseburger, it means evaluating all foods not only for their ingredients but also for how they’re processed. Meat, eggs, and dairy products are all obviously not part of a vegan diet, but also things such as whey, gelatin, casein, and vitamin D3. Although the vegan diet is a little more cut-and-dry than the vegetarian diet, there are some disputable food items like honey.

Although maintaining a vegan diet requires a lot of planning and careful research, the growing push for a wider variety of vegan products has made it easier to eat a balanced diet. There are numerous vegan substitutes on the market for many non-vegan food favorites, such as ice cream, burgers, milk, and cheese. The key to a healthy vegan diet is accounting for all necessary nutrients, and sometimes taking a vegan multivitamin for additional support. (Psst, checkout our vegan and vegetarian vitamins and supplements!).

The Vegan Lifestyle
Because the cornerstone of veganism is abstinence of products derived from animals, veganism does extend past dietary restrictions. Most vegans do not use any products that are animal-derived, meaning they are mindful of all products they purchase. This ranges from health and beauty products to clothing, even home décor, and daily use products.

A vegan lifestyle can be difficult to maintain, but many studies have supported the benefits of consuming a more plant-based diet. If you are interested in learning more about the vegan lifestyle, www.vegansociety.com is a great resource for more information.

This blog is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice. Content is for informational purposes only. Please consult with a physician or other healthcare professional regarding any medical or health related diagnosis or treatment options.