Vegan: No animal products, even honey. An orthodox vegan does not wear or use any animal product, such as leather or make-up or products tested on animals.
Reasons for choosing a vegan diet are varied but many people choose it for health and/or because of ethical/moral/religious reasons (many Hindus are vegetarian and vegan, for example).
Now as for the factions of veganism, here are some of the main ones:
Sprouting, juicing, and “green smoothies” are the staples to many raw vegans. A variety of milks are made from nuts (such as almond and cashews) or coconuts and “breads” are made by dehydrating sprouted grains, seeds, and vegetables.
Within the raw world there are so many variations to the raw diet (surprising, I know, you wouldn’t think there would be much to chose from).
Essentially a fruitarian, as most of their caloric intake comes from fruit and greens. Their diet, calorically is essentially 80-10-10 (80% carbohydrates, 10% protein, 10% fat). No added oils, only occasionally high-fat plant foods such as nuts and avocados.
Includes a small amount of cooked foods such as yams, sweet potatoes, and sprouted grain bread. Made up of mostly greens, vegetables, fruits, high-quality oils, nuts and seeds. Dehydrated crackers, breads, and fruit are also included.
Same as above, except they only eat raw foods (uncooked foods), 100% of the time. Most are vegan, although some consume raw goat’s milk and cheese, and a some even include raw meat (I wouldn’t recommend this!). Some 100% raw vegans don’t consume anything dehydrated, or heated at any temperature, including dried fruits.
The Low-fat, Plant-Based Diet Crowd
Dr. Ornish, Dr. McDougall, among others such as Dr. Pritkin and Dr. Esselstyn, use this diets as part of a program to reverse heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. The Engine 2 Diet also fits in this category. No oils (this includes things like Earth Balance, or other non-dairy butters). No nuts/seeds, olives, coconut, avocado, peanut butter, or any other high fat plant food if you have heart disease, diabetes, or obesity.
Dr. Dean Ornish Diet
Not a pure vegan, rather a low-fat vegetarian. He allows for a very small amount of non-fat dairy products (non-fat yogurt, non-fat milk) and on occasion, a very limited amount of lower fat animal products such as shrimp. No oils and limited high-plant foods. Dr. Nathan Pritkin has a similar diet.
Dr. McDougall Diet
Low-fat vegan. No animal products, oils. A limited amount of higher fat plant foods such as nuts, seeds, olives, and avocados are permitted. Refined sugars and flours are used on special occasions. Dr. McDougall stresses the importance of starches (complex carbohydrates) as the center of every meal (oatmeal for breakfast, rice for lunch, potatoes for dinner, for example) with the inclusion of vegetables and legumes as side dishes or accents to the meal. With his plan for maximum weight loss, fruits are restricted to 2-3 per day, and no flour products are allowed.
Dr. Joel Furhman
Beans, fruit, and greens are supreme in this diet. Eat all you want of the previous foods, and you will lose weight. No refined foods of any sort (no sugar or white flour) or juices. Flour products are to be avoided, and starches limited. 1 TBS. of ground flax seed a day and 1 oz. of raw nuts daily is also included.
No oils (because it’s not a “whole” food). Instead, nuts and things like coconut milk are used to replace oils in recipes. White flour, white rice, refined sugar, and anything processed is a no-no.
Staples besides obvious grains, vegetables, and fruits include things like tofu, tempeh (a fermented soy product), rice/soy/almond/oat milks, meat alternatives (like veggie dogs, or soy cuts), cheese alternatives. Some vegans do not eat any soy products.
What kind of vegan am I?