What is the difference between “plant-based” and “vegan”?

A plant-based diet is made up primarily of foods derived from plants which includes vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fruits and nuts. Those who follow a plant-based diet are not expected to cut out all animal products, but to center their diet largely around more foods from plant sources. The term plant based addresses a wider audience who are making dietary choices for a wide variety of reasons. A vegan diet is similar but abstains from eating any animal products and connotates a specific lifestyle choice and is often assumed to be connected to a specific set of ethos.

Why do some products have multiple certifications?

A product with Global Plant Based Certified may also have certification logos announcing that the product is Halal, Kosher, Gluten Free and/or a variety of other special dietary qualifications because these are guarantees of different dietary standards.

Why does an item need certification if there is a list of ingredients on the package?

Product information is increasingly difficult for consumers to understand by simply reading the ingredient list. You might be surprised to learn that some common ingredients are, in fact, animal by-products. Here are five common additives you may not have recognized:

  1. Gelatin: Is a protein substance derived from collagen, present in the tendons, ligaments, and tissues of mammals.  It is used to thicken or solidify food products. Foods that may contain gelatin: marshmallows, some yogurts, frosted cereals, gelatin-containing desserts.
  2. Castoreum: A secretion produced by beavers, commonly used as a food additive. This FDA approved food additive, is labeled as a “natural flavor”. Foods that may contain castoreum: strawberry/vanilla/raspberry ice-creams, confections, alcoholic beverages, baked goods.
  3. Carmine (aka cochineal, cochineal extract): A red pigment from the crushed female cochineal insect used in red dye or food coloring.  Foods that may contain carmine: confections, juices, baked goods, ice cream, fruit fillings.
  4. Casein:  A milk derivative. Foods that may contain casein: Meal replacement drinks.
  5. L-Cysteine: An additive made from an amino acid derived from human or animal sources such as duck feathers and human hair.  Foods that may contain L-Cysteine: bakery products.
Do plant-based diets help prevent chronic disease?

It is well accepted that a strongly implemented plant-based diet is associated with lower rates of heart disease, obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.

Can you get enough protein from plants?

Protein deficiency is extremely unlikely. To get all of your amino acids focus on eating a variety of protein packed plants., including, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, and plant based milks.

How will I get calcium?

There are endless plant-based foods rich in calcium, such as chia seeds, sesame seeds, molasses, beans, bok choy and figs. This may be hard to get your head around, but it is actually proven in most cultures that the less dairy is consumed, the more calcium is absorbed by the body.

How will I get iron?

You need to be a bit more cautious to make sure you’re consuming enough of plant-based sources such as: dark leafy greens, lentils, tofu, quinoa, oats, pumpkin seed swiss chard, prune juice, and more.

Are plant-based diets nutritionally suitable for all?

Plant-based diets, when well-planned, are recognized by the largest network of dietitians in the world (The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics) as being healthful and nutritionally adequate for people of all ages and lifecycle stages. This means that, when carried out correctly, anyone can get all of the nutrients they need from eating exclusively plant-based foods.

A plant-based diet is nutritious and doesn’t have to be boring.

Despite common myths, following a plant-based diet can provide you with adequate macronutrients, and doesn’t have to be bland or cost you the contents of your entire paycheck. So, if you’re still considering a plant-based diet, it’s time to write out a grocery list, invest in a recipe book (or two) and start cooking!

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