Vegan & Gluten-Free – What’s The Difference


Veganism and Gluten-Free are two different types of diets which may be adopted for either medical or personal reasons.

A vegan can be gluten-free and therefore gluten-free diet can be vegan, however, the exact diet and their principles are not the same. As a result, can be a vegan without following a gluten-free diet, and you can follow a gluten-free diet without being a vegan.

In this article, we’ll be looking at the major differences between the two (including examples) as well as reviewing why someone might choose to follow one of these diets.

What Is Veganism?

Veganism is the practice of making sure that your entire diet is completely free from both animal products and animal-derived products.

This means that, as with a vegetarian diet, a vegan cannot eat any meat or fish. However, in addition to this, vegans must steer clear of animal-derived products, for example, milk, cheese, and eggs. These ingredients all come from animals, and therefore they are unsuitable for a vegan diet.

An often-forgotten animal-derived ingredient is honey, which is, of course, produced by bees. Instead of having honey in their porridge, someone with a vegan diet may opt for maple or agave syrup. Of course, many people may make their porridge with milk, while a vegan diet would mean that someone has to opt for water or plant-based milk.

Something that a lot of people forget about veganism is that it isn’t purely about your diet. It’s also about living your life in line with the vegan ethos. A vegan will typically make sure that they don’t use any animal-derived products in their life, from leather shoes to animal-fat based soap.

What Is Gluten-Free?

A gluten-free diet is a diet which excludes gluten. Gluten is a mixture of proteins that are found in grains and cereals, for example, barley or rye. This means that someone with a gluten-free diet may avoid eating or drinking things that have cereals involved in the ingredients.

A common example of something to be avoided on a gluten-free diet is bread, as the number one ingredient is flour: a milled grain, typically wheat.

A lesser-known example of something that may need to be excluded as part of a gluten-free diet is some drinks, for example, beer. Beer involves grains and cereals during the manufacturing process, so nowadays it’s relatively common to find gluten-free beer which accommodates people aiming for a gluten-free diet.

What’s The Difference Between Vegan And Gluten-Free?

A vegan diet and a gluten-free diet are similar in one major way: they both involve cutting certain foodstuffs out of your regular diet.

The key difference is the reason most people aim to achieve these diets: veganism is often ethically driven, while a gluten-free diet is often medically driven.

The main ethical viewpoint that’s common among people with vegan diets is that during the manufacturing of animal products, animals can be treated badly. In order to avoid supporting this industry which may treat animals cruelly and with little respect, people may aim for a vegan diet, thereby boycotting any animal-derived products.

On the other hand, the driving force behind a gluten-free diet is commonly a medical one. There are lots of people out there who have noticed that after eating gluten, they may suffer from adverse effects. This is often medically diagnosed as coeliac disease. 

In a nutshell, coeliac disease is where your immune system reacts badly to gluten, and in so doing, damages your gut.

The only cure for coeliac is to remove wheat, barley, and rye from your diet: thereby removing gluten. Once someone medically diagnosed with coeliac disease has switched to a gluten-free diet, they will often notice a marked improvement in their overall health.

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