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List of Foods That Vegans Eat

author image Owen Pearson
Owen Pearson is a freelance writer who began writing professionally in 2001, focusing on nutritional and health topics. After selling abstract art online for five years, Pearson published a nonfiction book detailing the process of building a successful online art business. Pearson obtained a bachelor's degree in art from the University of Rio Grande in 1997.
List of Foods That Vegans Eat
Vegans eat more than just fruits and vegetables. Photo Credit Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images


Many who follow the standard American diet or another meat-based diet often believe that veganism is highly restrictive. It can be difficult to understand why someone would embrace a diet that does not include meat, eggs, or dairy products. However, there are many healthy foods that vegans can consume to obtain all the protein, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients needed for optimal health.

Fruits and Vegetables

List of Foods That Vegans Eat
Fruits and vegetables are staples of the vegan diet. Photo Credit William Berry/iStock/Getty Images

As many omnivores or meat eaters would guess, fruits and vegetables are staples of the vegan diet. Vegans eat them in salads, casseroles, stir fry dishes and with dips such as hummus and baba ghannouj. All vegetables and fruits are considered vegan in their natural, raw states.

Beans and Legumes

List of Foods That Vegans Eat
Beans and legumes are important sources of protein. Photo Credit Monkey Business Images/Monkey Business/Getty Images

Because vegans do not derive protein from meat, dairy or eggs, beans and legumes are important sources of protein for many vegans. These foods include black beans, chickpeas, lentils, navy beans and kidney beans. These foods also provide dietary fiber in the vegan diet.

Soy Products

List of Foods That Vegans Eat
Soy products make good meat and dairy replacements. Photo Credit EnlightenedMedia/iStock/Getty Images

Soy products are commonly used as meat and dairy replacements in the vegan diet. Soy milk can be used in any recipe that calls for cow's milk, and it can also be used in cereals or by itself. Tofu, which is made from soybean curds, appears in vegan sandwiches, casseroles and stir fry dishes. Some large supermarkets and health food stores also carry vegan soy versions of yogurt, shredded cheese, sour cream and cheese slices.

Grain Products

List of Foods That Vegans Eat
Vegans typically rely on grain products for dietary fiber. Photo Credit YelenaYemchuk/iStock/Getty Images

Vegans typically rely on grain products such as oatmeal, tortillas, breads and pastas for carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Most vegans choose whole-grain products, which do not contain processed and refined flours, because they offer more nutrients than white flour products.

Packaged Meat Replacements

List of Foods That Vegans Eat
Vegan versions of products are usually available in stores. Photo Credit kzenon/iStock/Getty Images

Vegan versions of foods designed to imitate the color, texture and flavor of meat products are available in some large grocery stores. These include vegan faux chicken strips, bacon, lunch meat, beef crumbles, burgers, sausage patties and chorizo. However, some vegans avoid these products because they tend to be highly processed and are typically high in preservatives and sodium.

Other Foods

List of Foods That Vegans Eat
Nuts, seeds and sprouts are tasty foods for vegans. Photo Credit razmarinka/iStock/Getty Images

There are many other foods considered acceptable in a vegan diet. These include nuts, seeds, sprouts and popcorn. Baba ghannouj, a roasted eggplant dip, and hummus, a garbanzo bean dip, are popular among vegans because they provide plenty of protein and can be enjoyed with a variety of crudites and other dipping foods. Thai and Indian curries are also commonly enjoyed by vegans. There are South Indian and Thai restaurants in the United States that cater to vegans and vegetarians.


List of Foods That Vegans Eat
Vitamin B-12 is commonly missing from a vegan diet. Photo Credit Iromaya Images/Iromaya/Getty Images

While vegans partake of a healthy diet that is rich in nutrients, it is lacking in one vitamin in particular -- vitamin B-12. Vitamin B-12 is naturally available in animal products, but vegans need to get B-12 from other sources. The McKinley Health Center at Illinois University suggests that vegans get vitamin B-12 from yeasts, fortified foods or dietary supplements.

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