What foods do vegans avoid?

Let’s begin by looking at what vegans do not eat. They do not consume anything of animal origin. They do not eat animal flesh, including the flesh of fishes or chickens; they do not consume eggs (or foods that contain egg ingredients such as some confectionery, non-vegan mayonnaise, some biscuits, cakes and deserts; and many processed vegetarian foods). Vegans do not consume dairy products (i.e. milk and milk products such as cheese, yogurt, ice cream, milk chocolate etc). This includes avoidance of dairy products made from the milk of sheep and goats. Vegans also avoid honey.

What do Vegans Eat?

Vegans eat plants. Although a vegan diet is frequently caricatured as being comprised of raw vegetables and salads, in fact it can be more varied, palatable and satisfying than a non-vegan diet.

Vegans eat much the same as non-vegans, but their meals are 100% plant based. They eat ‘veganised’ versions of  bread, breakfast cereal, soup, sandwiches, curry, spaghetti bolognese, lasagne, casserole, chocolate, cake, ice cream etc. Many of the recipes that people are already familiar with are vegan. They include traditional British, Irish, Italian, Indian, Chinese, and Mexican dishes.

If your favourite food is not vegan, with a little creativity you can create amost the same taste minus the animal. Investigate and experiment with vegan versions of your favourite recipes. 

How do I know it’s vegan?

The easiest way to ensure that your diet is 100% plant based is to eat wholefoods. This is also the healthiest way to eat. However, many people choose to include processed foods in their diet. If you are one of them, you need to become an avid label reader. Animal ingredients are frequently hidden in processed food. The most significant ones to watch out for are whey, lactose, egg white, preservatives and colours that are not derived from plants. Remember that animal ingredients sometimes lurk in drinks such as alcohol and orange juice (fortified juices may contain fish oils; some juices are dyed using insects). Allergy labels can be helpful alerts as to the contents of processed food. Food that is labelled vegetarian may, or may not, be suitable for vegans. Eggs and dairy are acceptable to vegetarians, but not to vegans.

Some products carry the Vegan Society Trademark.

Colin Clarke
Author: Colin Clarke