What's The Difference Between Vegan and Whole Food Plant Based?

Updated: 20 hours ago

Vegan and Whole Food Plant-Based (WFPB) are often used interchangeably, but there are a few key differences that separate these two lifestyle diets from each other.

Vegan refers to refraining from eating any food with an animal origin. Plant-based can also mean refraining from foods of animal origin, however, it can also mean simply adding more plants to your diet.

Vegans may eat vegan-friendly processed foods like potato chips, candy, cookies, cakes and vegan cheese or meats. Those following a whole food plant-based (WFPB) diet only eat whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. They typically avoid or minimally eat processed food.

In terms of lifestyle, vegans may also refrain from buying leather goods. Veganism refers to avoiding animal cruelty in any way—from clothes to skincare to home goods. WFPB may be rooted in this as well but is typically driven by a large emphasis on the health aspect. The two tend to overlap, but vegans may be more ethically-driven than WFPB.

Benefits of WFPB

Going WFPB may reverse or prevent many diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. It can also have positive lifestyle effects such as improved energy, digestion and sleep. Eating more plant-forward not only has great health benefits but is also a step in the right direction for reducing our carbon footprint. In fact, 20 servings of vegetables has fewer greenhouse gas emissions than 1 serving of beef. Whether it be for health, animals or the environment—eating more plants is beneficial.





My name is Margaret Peterson, and I am in the nutrition coordinated program at Georgia State University. I am earning a Master’s degree in Health Science, and completing supervised practice hours to become a Registered Dietitian. In my free time, I enjoy working out, going to concerts, and trying new spots around Atlanta. My goal is to start private practice when I finish my program, but I also have an interest in working in a clinical setting. I chose to pursue a career in nutrition because I believe the foundation of a healthy life starts with the diet. My goal is to help people find the best diet for them individually, in order to feel comfortable and confident with the nutrition aspect of overall wellness.


p: (609) 792-5231

e: nichole@purelyplanted.com

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