Dairy-free and vegan diets restrict the animal derivatives an individual can have. By animal derivatives, we mean products derived from animals. There are similarities between the two diets, and these tend to be viewed as the same. However, there are distinctions between the two. Here, we will compare both diets, explaining in what way to discover which food items belong to the two categories.
What Does Veganism Mean?
Veganism has to do with both food items and lifestyle. Somebody who chooses to go vegan does not use goods made from animals. So, the diet comprises fully plant-based food items, like fresh produce, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds. It does not have fish, meat, eggs, dairy products, other kinds of seafood, and certain seemingly vegan options such as honey. Most of the above-mentioned products have substitutes, like plant-based meat for real meat to name one.
An individual may have fully plant-based food items for their concerns about animal welfare, the environment, and/or personal health. Vegan ways of life often exclude consumer goods that have other animal-based components or that are tested on some animals. Some of the examples are personal care products, clothing, and some beauty products.
What A Dairy-Free Diet Is
As the name implies, this is the diet without any dairy item in it. This means it does not contain livestock milk, and any item made from the milk, like butter, cream, yogurt, and cheese.
Even so, individuals who are on the diet may have non-vegetarian items such as fish, shellfish, eggs, and meat. People follow the diet for health causes, like lactose intolerance and livestock milk allergy. The intolerance is an issue where the sugar in milk, namely lactose, is indigestible for the human body, which causes gas and diarrhea after one consumes dairy.
Some individuals may be on the diet for purely ethical reasons too.
Tips For Choosing The Right Food Items
When shopping for grocery, you may wish to understand whether an item is devoid of dairy ingredients and/or is vegan-friendly. The following tips will aid you in making well-informed choices at that time.
Look At The Label
Goods that are apt for one of these two diets tend to be labeled ‘dairy-free’ or ‘vegan’. Some products are likely to have ‘certified vegan’ seals, which ensure that these have not been through animal tests and contain no animal derivative or byproduct.
Moreover, the label parve, denoted by the letter ‘P’, will aid you in identifying dairy-free merchandise. The Yiddish word denotes that the item does not contain dairy and meat. That said, a product with the parve label is likely to have animal-derived components, such as eggs. This is to say, not every parve food item is vegan-friendly.
Check The List Of Ingredients
In the event of a label not being apparent, you could look at the list of components. Milk is among the top 8 allergens, alongside tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soy, eggs, fish, and shellfish. Producers must identify the ingredients clearly on the merchandise list to warn buyers of the presence of these. So, manufacturers tend to have these printed on the product packaging in bold.
An item free of products derived from milk or milk itself is classified as ‘dairy-free’. Fully plant-based food items are not supposed to have animal ingredients, but you should look at the list to ensure that these meet the criteria of yours.
Certain vegan food items are likely to be produced in plants that handle meat and other non-vegetarian products. Therefore, the packaging should have a statement that the item may have negligible quantities of animal derivatives, like eggs or milk, owing to possible cross-contamination.
Vegan Dairy Products
These items are broadly available in the market, and they include milk produced with soy, peas, oats, plus cheeses made of coconut or cashews. The aforesaid food items are vegan-friendly and are appropriate for dairy-free diet followers, plus these have texture and taste similar to dairy items.
The best-known dairy substitutes include the following products.
- Cheese: Slices and shreds derived from coconut, cashews, pea, or soy protein
- Butter: Produced with cashews, pea protein, or vegetable oil
- Milk: Derived from hemp, oats, soy, peas, rice, almonds, sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts, or cashews
- Ice cream: Derived from oats, cashews, coconut or soy milk
In stores, the aforementioned groups of items are likely to be arranged alongside standard dairy products.
Dairy-free and vegan diets may have similarities, but these are far from being synonymous. The latter diet excludes every animal derivative, whereas the former disallows the use of dairy items but not other animal derivatives.
Every vegan food item is dairy-free, but all dairy-free product is not vegan-friendly. Reading the list of ingredients and the label is the best possible way of determining whether an item is dairy-free and/or vegan-friendly.