Limiting animal-derived foods is only part of the story.
Image: © AnnaPustynnikova/Thinkstock
If you're not totally sure what constitutes a plant-based diet, you're not alone. Many people believe a plant-based diet means a vegetarian diet — a family of eating patterns that omits some or all foods that come from animals (see "Vegetarian variations").
But plant-based diets don't necessarily exclude animal-derived foods. While the main focus is on plants — grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes (dried beans and peanuts), and nuts — these diets may include limited amounts of fish, meat, poultry, and dairy products.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.