Vegan and plant-based diets are actually very different things — you can technically be plant-based and still eat animal products. A plant-based diet is focused on whole foods. Processed foods are avoided, but for the most part meat, eggs and dairy aren’t consumed. The main goal of this diet is to reduce your carbon footprint and eat healthier.
Veganism is a way of life that excludes all forms of animal cruelty. Vegans avoid all animal foods and animal products, like leather of things tested on animals. So, for example, vegans would be able to eat Oreos because they don’t contain any animal products, but the cookie is processed and doesn’t come from a plant so plant-based dieters would avoid them. A plant-based dieter probably wouldn’t eat French fries either, whereas some vegans would be fine eating vegan-friendly fries.
Plant-based dieters focus on fruits, veggies, whole grains and legumes. They usually exclude bleached flour, refined sugar and oil. It’s possible to be plant-based and vegan at the same time — but if you are looking for the proper food to eat, don’t assume everything that’s vegan is also plant-based. Both diets require quite a bit of research and discipline, but are by no means impossible to maintain.