Plant-Based vs. Vegan Diet - Everything You Need to Know

Plant-based and vegan diets are becoming increasingly popular, as more people are adopting a lifestyle that is healthier for their bodies and the planet. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they are actually not the same thing. In this article, we will discuss the differences between plant-based and vegan diets, as well as the benefits and potential challenges of each.

What is a Plant-Based Diet?

A plant-based diet emphasizes the consumption of whole, unprocessed plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Plant-based diets can also include some animal products, such as fish, eggs, and dairy, but these are consumed in smaller quantities than in a typical Western diet. The emphasis is on plant foods, but no food is completely restricted.

The focus of a plant-based diet is on consuming foods that are minimally processed, high in fiber, and rich in nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 

plant-based diet

What is a Vegan Diet?

A vegan diet excludes all animal products, including meat, dairy, eggs, and honey. The focus of a vegan diet is on consuming plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Easy vegan meals can be both healthy and delicious.

Veganism is often a lifestyle choice, rather than just a dietary preference. Vegans may choose to avoid all animal products, including those in clothing, cosmetics, and other household items. Many people adopt a vegan lifestyle for ethical or environmental reasons in addition to the health benefits.

Dr. John McDougall, MD, one of the founding fathers of natural wellness, has been working for decades to educate people about the vegan diet. Here at Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods, we’re proud to offer 100% vegan products to make this diet accessible to everyone. 

vegan diet

Differences Between Plant-Based and Vegan Diets

The main difference between plant-based and vegan diets is the inclusion of animal products. A plant-based diet may include small amounts of animal products, while a vegan diet excludes them completely.

Another difference is the motivation behind the diet. While a plant-based diet may be chosen for health reasons, a vegan diet is often chosen for ethical and environmental reasons as well.

Benefits of Plant-Based and Vegan Diets

Both plant-based and vegan diets have numerous health benefits. Research has shown that these diets can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases. They are also typically lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, which can help lower blood pressure and improve overall heart health.

Plant-based and vegan diets are also rich in fiber, which can help improve digestion and prevent constipation. They are also typically higher in antioxidants and phytonutrients, which can help reduce inflammation and improve overall immune function.

Additionally, these diets can be more sustainable and environmentally friendly, as they require fewer resources to produce than a diet that includes large amounts of animal products.

The good news is, even just cutting down your consumption of animal products can make a big difference for your health and the environment. Try doing plant-based Mondays or aim for one vegan meal a day. Then, you can work up to going mostly or completely plant-based. Plus, you can save money on groceries by buying whole foods like vegetables and simple proteins rather than meat and dairy.

If you need some more guidance, here’s our guide on how to go plant-based.

Potential Challenges of Plant-Based and Vegan Diets

While plant-based and vegan diets have many benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider. One potential issue is that these diets may be low in certain nutrients, such as vitamin B12, iron, and zinc. Vegans may need to take supplements or carefully plan their diets to ensure that they are getting enough of these nutrients.

Another potential issue is that these diets can be more restrictive and difficult to follow, especially in social situations where it may be challenging to find vegan or plant-based options. It can also be more difficult to get enough protein on a plant-based or vegan diet, especially for athletes or those with high protein needs.

For times when you want a quick and easy vegan meal, a trusted vegan brand like Right Foods makes your life so much simpler. We carry a variety of instant soups and noodles, including high-protein options to fuel you throughout your busy day.

Right Foods items


In summary, plant-based and vegan diets have numerous health benefits and can be more sustainable and environmentally friendly than a diet that includes large amounts of animal products. While they may have some potential drawbacks, these can be managed through careful planning and supplementation.

Plus, 100% vegan brands like Right Foods ensure that you’ll always have an easy vegan meal readily available that tastes delicious. From our famous vegan ramen cups made with organic ramen noodles to our organic lower sodium ready-to-serve soups, we make something for everyone.

McDougall’s Right Foods products are all vegan, non-GMO, and made with whole foods. We care about your health and the health of the planet, so our paper cups are made with packaging from certified sustainably-managed forests.

We hope you enjoyed these easy vegan soup recipes. If you made your own creation, snap a picture and tag us on Instagram so we can see your masterpiece for ourselves!

Peruse our other amazing Dr. McDougall’s recipes on our recipe page.