A vegan is an individual who avoids all animal products. Most of what they eat and do not eat will likely be obvious to you, for example, meat and dairy. However, there are plenty of sneaky ingredients in modern-day foods, such as sweeteners or additives, that are unsuitable for vegans. There are also non-vegan ingredients lurking in foods that you might not expect them to be in, such as brioche buns or wine. So it's always best to be clear on things!
Want to learn more about what vegans can eat? Read this article next!
Like vegetarians, vegans avoid all animal-based meat products, including beef, poultry, and lamb. However, you can easily replace these foods with plant-based alternatives. Brands like Beyond Meat and Future Farm are creating some of the most realistic, high-quality meat replacements on the market to help people eat less animal protein.
Avoiding seafood is another thing that vegans and vegetarians have in common; this includes all sea creatures, from mussels to salmon. Instead of real fish and seafood, you can create plant-based alternatives, for example, carrot salmon (it tastes better than it sounds)! Brands like Good Catch are creating incredible vegan seafood packed with nutrition.
This is where the similarity between vegans and vegetarians end. As dairy is derived from cows, that makes it unsuitable for vegans. However, that doesn't mean that vegans can't drink milk or eat cheese. On the contrary, there's been a massive increase in plant-based dairy alternatives recently, with brands like Violife and Oatly creating products that both vegans and non-vegans alike can enjoy.
Mainly consumed for their high protein content and low-calorie content, eggs, are not quite as healthy as we've all been led to believe–which is where vegan alternatives come in! Vegan versions of egg products are free from cholesterol yet full of nutrition, like vitamin B12 and protein. You can also make your own vegan alternatives using ingredients like tofu (you have to try scrambled tofu if scrambled egg is your go-to breakfast recipe).
Vegans don't consume anything that comes from an animal, which includes bees! Bees make honey for themselves, and vegans don't believe in exploiting their labour. Fortunately, there are numerous natural alternatives, such as agave syrup and maple syrup, that do not support honey production!
It's not always easy to tell what foods have animal products in them. Some things you learn from experience or research, for example, certain additives, vitamins, and flavourings, are not suitable for vegans, but it's not always clear on the labelling. A vegan that is sticking to a wholefoods diet will find it a lot easier to differentiate between vegan and non-vegan products, as this diet mainly includes fresh, natural foods.
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