What Is a Vegan?

  • The term “vegan" was coined in 1944 by a small group of vegetarians who broke away from the Leicester Vegetarian Society to form the Vegan Society.
  • These people chose not to consume dairy, eggs or any other products of animal origin, in addition to not eating meat like the vegetarians.
  • Therefore, they felt the need to form a society that better represented their views.
  • The term vegan was chosen by combining the first and last letters of the word vegetarian. Veganism was originally defined as “the principle of emancipation of animals from exploitation by man."
  • In 1979, the Vegan Society became a registered charity and updated that definition.
  • Veganism is currently defined as a way of living that attempts to exclude all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty, be it for food, clothing or any other purpose.

Foods That Vegans Avoid:-

  • Vegans avoid all foods of animal origin. These include:
    • Meat
    • Chicken
    • Fish
    • Shellfish
    • Eggs
    • Dairy
    • Honey
  • Moreover, vegans avoid foods containing any ingredients that come from animals.
  • This includes albumin, casein, carmine, gelatin, lactic acid, pepsin, shellac, vitamin D3, whey or certain animal-derived E-numbers.
  • Foods containing these ingredients can include some types of beer and wine, marshmallows, frosted mini-wheats, certain gummy candies and chewing gums.

Foods That Vegans Choose to Eat Instead:-

  • Avoiding animal products doesn’t mean you must survive on veggies and tofu alone.
  • In fact, many common dishes are already vegan or can be adjusted easily.
  • Some examples include bean burritos, veggie burgers, tomato pizzas, smoothies, nachos with salsa and guacamole, hummus wraps, sandwiches and pasta dishes.
  • Meat-based entrees are generally swapped for meals containing the following:
    • Beans
    • Lentils
    • Tofu
    • Seitan
    • Tempeh
    • Nuts
    • Seeds
  • Dairy products are usually replaced with plant milks. Scrambled eggs can be swapped for scrambled tofu, whereas raw eggs can be replaced with flaxseeds or chia seeds in various recipes.
  • Honey can be swapped for plant-based sweeteners, such as molasses or maple or rice syrups. In addition, vegans tend to consume a variety of whole grains, as well as a wide array of fruits and vegetable.
  • Finally, vegans can also choose from an ever increasing selection of ready-made vegan products, including vegan meats, fortified plant milks, vegan cheeses and even vegan versions of your favorite desserts.

List of Foods That Vegans Eat:-


Protein is an important nutrient for skin, bone, muscle, and organ health. Since vegans do not eat meat, eggs, or dairy products that are rich in protein, they must eat a variety of plant-based foods to meet their daily protein requirements. Some vegan foods that are high in protein include soybeans, soy-based meat substitutes, soy milk, tofu, black beans, chickpeas, lentils, almonds, peanut butter, other nuts and seeds, and whole grain products.


Calcium is a mineral essential for the health of teeth and bones. Vegans can get enough calcium even without consuming milk and other dairy products. Some plant-based foods that are high in calcium include spinach, kale, broccoli, collard greens, blackstrap molasses, and calcium-fortified products like soy milk, tofu, cereal, and juice.


Iron is an essential mineral necessary for red blood cells and the transportation of oxygen in our body. Some vegan foods that are good sources of iron include dried fruits, dried beans and peas, dark leafy green vegetables, whole grains, and enriched cereals. In addition to eating these foods, vegans can enhance the absorption of iron by also consuming foods high in vitamin C, such as citrus juices and tomatoes.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin essential for the production of red blood cells. Vitamin B12 is virtually only present in animal products, so vegans must make sure they eat foods with added vitamin B12. These foods include nutritional yeast, fortified cereals, or fortified soy milk. Vegans may also take a vitamin B12 supplement.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids needed for brain and heart health. Vegans should eat flaxseed oil, flaxseeds, walnuts, canola oil and soybeans for a healthful diet.

Vegan products list

  • Alternative milks: Almond, soy, rice or hemp milk.
  • Buttery spread: Look for non-hydrogenated versions, like Earth Balance.
  • Dairy-free cheese: Daiya melts and doesn’t taste like plastic.
  • Cream cheese: Tofutti makes a reasonable mock cream cheese.
  • Sour cream: Again, Tofutti.
  • Soy yogurt: Good for probiotics.
  • Tofurkey: If you can’t live without a “roast."
  • Tofu: Silken for smoothies and puddings; medium or firm for cooking.
  • Tempeh: Soybean-based meat substitute.
  • Seitan: Meat substitute made from wheat gluten; great texture, great protein.
  • Frozen vegetable burgers: Making your own is better, but these are convenient in a pinch.
  • Edamame: Fresh (frozen) soy beans are a great high-protein snack or side.
  • Beans: Dried and home-cooked are cheap and the healthiest.
  • Chickpeas: In addition to beans, because they’re so versatile.
  • Seeds: Sesame, sunflower, poppy, pumpkin, chia … all high in protein and healthy fats.
  • Nuts: Because, protein.
  • Nut butters: Because, peanut butter!
  • Cashews: In addition to nuts, because they can be soaked and used in so many ways.
  • Brown rice: Ditch the white for more-nutritious brown.
  • Quinoa: One of the few plant-based perfect proteins.
  • Steel-cut oats: Good for breakfast.
  • Whole grain grits: Because they’re filling and delicious.
  • Whole-wheat couscous: More nutritious than regular.
  • Multigrain pasta: Whole-wheat or legume mixes offer more nutrients and don’t all taste like cardboard.
  • Sprouted bread and tortillas: Food for Life products are nutrient-rich and altogether lovely.
  • Agar agar: Vegan substitute for gelatin.
  • Nutritional yeast: A must for B12 and very palatable; use like Parmesan cheese.
  • Miso paste: Excellent for adding umami to vegetables, and it’s a great anchovy substitute.
  • Vegetable broth: Go for organic, and watch the sodium.
  • Vegetable bouillon: Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base works well.
  • Dried mushrooms: Like porcini, to add a meaty component to soups and stews.
  • Tomato paste: Great (surprising) source of iron.
  • Sun-dried tomatoes: Fantastic for adding texture and flavor.
  • Capers: Great for adding a punch of flavor.
  • Flax seeds: To make a viable egg substitute for baking.
  • Chia seeds: For nutritious puddings and egg substitute.
  • Vital wheat gluten: A great binder that also adds protein.
  • Coconut oil: Great for replacing butter in some recipes.
  • Vegetable shortening: Non-hydrogenated, like Spectrum.
  • Agave syrup: Instead of honey.
  • Maple syrup: Instead of honey.
  • Blackstrap molasses: Fantastic source of iron.
  • Mayonnaise: Vegenaise tastes most like traditional mayo, Spectrum is a bit sweeter.
  • Bragg Liquid Aminos: Liquid protein concentrate, delicious soy-sauce taste.
  • Sriracha: Or other favorite hot sauces.
  • Harissa: Tunisian hot pepper paste makes anything taste good.
  • Tahini: Sesame paste can be used as a condiment or in preparing Middle Eastern recipes.
  • Sauerkraut: A surprising source of health benefits.