What foods can you eat on a vegan diet? | A list of 14 food groups

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chia seed pudding, protein bowl, salad

People tend to ask vegans: "What do you eat?" 

But as you'll read in this blog post, the answer is much more exciting and versatile than you ever thought, because vegan food is far from being a diet, niche or fad.

What is a vegan?

A vegan is someone who doesn't eat, use or wear any products made from animals. Vegans also don't support the use of animals for entertainment.

This sounds restrictive to many people. But if you only ate eggs, meat, milk, butter cheese or seafood—or honey for that matter—what foods could you possibly eat?

Think about it this way: you can have a pizza without cheese or pepperoni, but can you have a pizza without zesty tomato sauce, dough, basil, or veggie toppings? No!

Why go vegan?

Vegans are motivated by three main concerns: to improve their health, to preserve the environment, and to alleviate the suffering of animals on farms.

What do vegans eat?

The list is super long, but we'll try to keep it short!

1. Fruits 

Think bananas, apples, oranges, mangoes, tomatoes, watermelon, pineapple, papaya, grapes, guavas, pomegranates, and custard apples!

2. Vegetables

What is Indian cuisine without carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, garlic, ginger, brinjal, green beans, okra, onions, peppers, radishes, palak, squash, and beets?

3. Herbs

Coriander, curry leaves, fenugreek leaves, mint, dill, basil, thyme, oregano, and rosemary are all so important in making food look and taste delicious!

4. Cereals & millets

Wheat, paddy, sorghum, barnyard millets, barley, maize, rice, rye, and quinoa are commonly consumed cereals and millets in India and all over the world.

5. Pulses (beans, peas, and dals)

Rajma, lobiya, kabuli chana, black gram, red gram, moong dal, bengal gram, masoor dal, and matar are some of the most commonly grown and consumed pulses in India. 

6. Nuts

Cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, and even a coconut is considered a nut (but can also be referred to as a fruit or seed).

7. Seeds

Cumin, mustard, fenugreek, carom, sesame, fennel, flax, chia, basil seeds, poppy, coriander, and onion seeds are all open for vegans and vegetarians alike!

8. Tofu, tempeh & soya chunks

This is an important food group for vegans and vegetarians because tofu, tempeh, and soya chunks provide complete plant-based protein in high amounts - and they’re quite tasty. So instead of chicken, try using lean proteins like tofu or soya chunks the next time you make a spicy gravy.

9. Vegan dairy

Vegans also eat dairy, but it’s the better dairy option because it’s cruelty-free and healthy. We sell vegan milk, vegan curd, vegan chocolate milk, vegan mayo, vegan butter, vegan ranch, vegan butter, and even vegan paneer!

10. Mock meats

Similar to vegan dairy, vegan meats are much more sustainable, environmentally friendly, and compassionate. We sell vegan chicken nuggets and a vegan burger patty.

11. Fats & oils

Vegans can get healthy fats from butter fruit, extra virgin olive oil, and dark chocolate which is naturally vegan! Oils like sunflower oil, soybean oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil, rapeseed oil, peanut oil, and sesame oil are all vegan and super tasty.

In addition, we sell vegan ghee and vegan butter if you prefer something with a bit more taste and texture!

12. Sugar & jaggery

Most sugar from the sugarcane in India is vegan. Sugar isn’t vegan when bone char is used to make the sugar white in colour. Some brown sugars even use bone char, so just check with the supplier to be sure!

Are desserts vegan? They are if you use vegan sugar, vegan milk, and vegan butter! It’s really that simple! 

All of these ingredients can even be made at home, if that’s how you prefer to consume these substitutes. 

13. Potatoes

We thought potatoes should be their own food group. Think about it: where would we be without fries, mashed potatoes, aloo gobi, samosa, aloo chaat, aloo parathas, or masala dosas?

14. Pastas & noodles

There’s so many different kinds of pastas and noodles, it’s overwhelming!

There’s spaghetti, rotini, fettuccini, penne, orzo, elbow noodles, lasagna noodles, linguini, udon, soba, and rice noodles are all traditionally vegan. Any noodle or pasta that isn’t vegan can easily be made vegan.

If you went through this list, it’s possible that you’re now hungry, because you probably thought about all your favourite snacks and dishes made with these plant-based ingredients. The scope of vegan foods is truly so vast, vegans often can’t believe they’re asked so often what they eat!

If you liked this blog post, you’ll probably enjoy some of our other blog posts about vegan food:

  • Are there different types of vegan diets? 6 types types explained!
  • Paneer VS tofu: which is better?
  • Top 9 VEGAN & vegan-friendly restaurants in Chennai
  • What is the difference between veganism and vegetarianism?
  • What is the size of the vegan food market in India?
  • Top 5 most vegan friendly cities in India 
  • Top 4 restaurants you have to try in Bangalore, plus the best vegan options

    • One Good: November 17, 2022

      Hi Sumita,

      Thank you for pointing that out! We have changed it.

      We’re so happy you enjoyed reading this article. Stay tuned for more :)

    • Sumita Pai: November 17, 2022

      Hi ! Nice article and a perfect response to that oft-repeated query – “what do you eat?” – which gets posed to a vegan !

      Thank you for your blog and of course, your vegan products :)

      Do edit your post with this correction – peanuts are NOT nuts, they are actually legumes. :-) You can cross check with the SHARAN team, from whom I learnt this fact. :)


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