37 Foods to avoid on a vegan diet

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Foods to avoid on a vegan diet: Vegans keep away from eating foods of animal origin.

There are a selection of causes for following a vegan diet, including moral, health or environmental issues.

Some of the foods vegans ought to keep away from are obvious, but others could shock you. What’s extra, not all vegan foods are nutritious and some are best prevented.

This article lists 37 foods and ingredients it is best to keep away from on a vegan diet.

1–6: Animal Foods (Foods to avoid on a vegan diet)

Veganism is a way of dwelling that makes an attempt to exclude all kinds of animal exploitation and cruelty, be it for food or every other function.

For this purpose, vegans keep away from eating foods of animal origin, such as:

  1. Meat: Beef, lamb, pork, veal, horse, organ meat, wild meat, and many others.
  2. Poultry: Chicken, turkey, goose, duck, quail, and many others.
  3. Fish and seafood: All types of fish, anchovies, shrimp, squid, scallops, calamari, mussels, crab, lobster and fish sauce.
  4. Dairy: Milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, cream, ice cream, and many others.
  5. Eggs: From chickens, quails, ostriches and fish.
  6. Bee products: Honey, bee pollen, royal jelly, and many others.


Vegans keep away from eating animal flesh and animal by-products. These include meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs and foods made by bees.

7–15: Ingredients or Additives Derived From Animals

Many foods contain animal-derived ingredients or additives that the majority people don’t learn about. For this purpose, vegans also keep away from consuming foods containing:

  1. Certain additives: Several food additives may be derived from animal products. Examples include E120, E322, E422, E 471, E542, E631, E901 and E904.
  2. Cochineal or carmine: Ground cochineal scale bugs are used to make carmine, a pure dye used to give a red shade to many food products.
  3. Gelatin: This thickening agent comes from the skin, bones and connective tissues of cows and pigs.
  4. Isinglass: This gelatin-like substance is derived from fish bladders. It’s typically used in the making of beer or wine.
  5. Natural flavorings: Some of these ingredients are animal-based. One instance is castoreum, a food flavoring that comes from the secretions of beavers’ anal scent glands (1Trusted Source).
  6. Omega-3 fatty acids: Many products which can be enriched with omega-3s should not vegan, since most omega-3s come from fish. Omega-3s derived from algae are vegan options.
  7. Shellac: This is a substance secreted by the female lac insect. It’s sometimes used to make a food glaze for sweet or a wax coating for fresh produce.
  8. Vitamin D3: Most vitamin D3 is derived from fish oil or the lanolin found in sheep’s wool. Vitamin D2 and D3 from lichen are vegan options.
  9. Dairy ingredients: Whey, casein and lactose are all derived from dairy.

These ingredients and additives may be found in a wide selection of totally different processed foods. It is essential that you just verify ingredients lists rigorously.


Vegans ought to verify food labels to be sure products don’t contain the ingredients listed above.

16–32: Foods That Sometimes (but Not Always) Contain Animal Ingredients

Some foods you may count on to be 100% vegan sometimes contain a number of animal-derived ingredients.

For this purpose, vegans looking for to keep away from all products of animal origin should use a important eye when deciding whether or not to devour or keep away from the next foods:

  1. Bread products: Some bakery products, such as bagels and breads, contain L-cysteine. This amino acid is used as a softening agent and typically comes from poultry feathers.
  2. Beer and wine: Some producers use egg white albumen, gelatin or casein in the beer brewing or winemaking course of. Others sometimes use isinglass, a substance collected from fish bladders, to make clear their closing product.
  3. Caesar dressing: Certain varieties of Caesar dressing use anchovy paste as one of their ingredients.
  4. Candy: Some varieties of Jell-O, marshmallows, gummy bears and chewing gum contain gelatin. Others are coated in shellac or contain a red dye known as carmine, which is made from cochineal bugs.
  5. French fries: Some varieties are fried in animal fat.
  6. Olive tapenade: Many varieties of olive tapenade contain anchovies.
  7. Deep-fried foods: The batter used to make deep-fried foods like onion rings or vegetable tempura sometimes contains eggs.
  8. Pesto: Many varieties of store-bought pesto contain Parmesan cheese.
  9. Some bean products: Most baked bean recipes contain lard or ham.
  10. Non-dairy creamer: Many of these “non-dairy” creamers truly contain casein, a protein derived from milk.
  11. Pasta: Some types of pasta, particularly fresh pasta, contain eggs.
  12. Potato chips: Some potato chips are flavored with powdered cheese or contain different dairy ingredients such as casein, whey or animal-derived enzymes.
  13. Refined sugar: Manufacturers sometimes lighten sugar with bone char (typically referred to as pure carbon), which is made from the bones of cattle. Organic sugar or evaporated cane juice are vegan options.
  14. Roasted peanuts: Gelatin is sometimes used when manufacturing roasted peanuts in order to assist salt and spices stick to the peanuts better.
  15. Some dark chocolate: Dark chocolate is normally vegan. However, some varieties contain animal-derived products such as whey, milk fat, milk solids, clarified butter or nonfat milk powder.
  16. Some produce: Some fresh fruits and veggies are coated with wax. The wax may be petroleum- or palm-based, but could also be made using beeswax or shellac. When in doubt, ask your grocer which wax is used.
  17. Worcestershire sauce: Many varieties contain anchovies.


Animal-based ingredients may be found in foods you wouldn’t count on to see them in. Make positive to verify your labels to keep away from any surprises.

33–37: Vegan Foods You May Want to Limit

Just as a result of a food is vegan doesn’t imply it’s healthy or nutritious.

Therefore, vegans wanting to improve their health ought to stick to minimally processed plant foods and restrict their use of the next products:

  1. Vegan junk food: Vegan ice cream, sweet, cookies, chips and sauces typically contain simply as much added sugar and fat as their non-vegan counterparts. Plus, they contain virtually no vitamins, minerals and helpful plant compounds.
  2. Vegan sweeteners: Vegan or not, molasses, agave syrup, date syrup and maple syrup are still added sugars. Eating too much of them could increase your risk of developing medical points such as heart disease and weight problems (2Trusted Source3Trusted Source4Trusted Source5Trusted Source).
  3. Mock meats and cheeses: These processed foods typically contain tons of additives. They also offer you far fewer vitamins and minerals than whole, protein-rich plant foods like beans, lentils, peas, nuts and seeds.
  4. Some dairy-free milks: Sweetened dairy-free milks typically contain a good amount of added sugar. Opt for the unsweetened variations instead.
  5. Vegan protein bars: Most vegan protein bars contain high amounts of refined sugar. What’s extra, they normally contain an remoted kind of protein, which lacks the nutrients you’d discover in the plant it was extracted from.


Vegans who need to optimize their health ought to restrict processed foods. Instead, select foods that may be consumed in their authentic kind at any time when possible.

Take Home Message

Vegans try to keep away from all foods of animal origin.

This includes animal and meat products, as properly as foods that contain any ingredient that’s derived from an animal.

That said, not all foods made from plant-only ingredients are healthy and nutritious. Vegan junk food is still junk food. (Foods to avoid on a vegan diet)

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