Vegan bread includes many sandwich breads, buns, bagels and flatbreads. To see if a bread is vegan, check the ingredients for animal foods such as eggs, milk, whey, butter and casein.
Most breads are vegan.
Vegan Bread Options
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) reports that most breads are vegan. This includes bagels, English muffins, buns and many sandwich breads, such as whole wheat bread, found in supermarkets. In addition, the following brands carry specifically vegan breads: Trader Joe's, Cobblestone Bread Co., Thomas' and Food for Life.
Conversely, soft breads like challah and brioche are likely to contain butter and eggs. When looking for vegan bread or vegan buns, read labels and check to see if they list whey, casein, honey, eggs, milk or butter among the ingredients, says PETA.
Certain ingredients, such as lecithin, monoglycerides and diglycerides, can be derived from either plant or animal sources, so it isn't always possible to be sure that a bread is completely vegan. As a general rule, the less processed a bread is, the less likely it is to contain animal ingredients.
According to the Vegetarian Resource Group, the following Subway breads are vegan: Italian (White) Bread, Hearty Italian Bread, Sourdough Bread, Roasted Garlic Bread and the Wrap. The VeggieMax Patty contains calcium caseinate, which is a milk derivative, and egg whites, so it isn't vegan.
Vegan Vs. Vegetarian
How does a vegan diet differ from a vegetarian diet? Harvard Health Publishing states that vegans get all their food from plant sources, avoiding eggs, dairy products and meat. In contrast, vegetarians eat a plant-based diet, but they include food from animal sources.
Vegetarians can fall into three categories: lacto-ovo vegetarians, pescatarians and semi-vegetarians. Lacto-ovo vegetarians eat eggs and dairy food but exclude meat, poultry and fish from their diet. Pescatarians eat seafood and fish but avoid poultry and meat. Many semi-vegetarians eat fish and poultry, but not red meat.
While these diets are all healthy, sometimes people who follow them can lack certain nutrients, notes Harvard Health. Vitamin B12 is only present in animal foods, so vegans may consider taking a supplement to be sure their intake is adequate. Another possible deficiency involves omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in both fish and flax seeds. Vegans should also be sure to get enough protein, calcium and iron.
Vegan Health Benefits
Research shows an array of health benefits associated with vegan diets, reports the International Food Information Council Foundation. An April, 2015 clinical trial published in The Journal of Pediatrics looked at the effect of a plant-based diet on cardiovascular risk in 30 children and their parents. Although the study was small, it's worth mentioning because of the results. Both children and parents on the vegan diet had lower blood pressure, total cholesterol and body mass index.
A June 2016 study published in PLOS ONE explored the effect of the vegan diet on blood sugar control. The clinical trial involved fewer than 100 participants, but it merits notice because of what it portends. Dietary guidelines for type 2 diabetics should include a vegan eating plan for high blood sugar management and treatment, according to the conclusion of the study's authors.
Health benefits of a vegan diet may also include some protection from cancer. A November, 2017 study published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition examined the research to date on the eating plan's wellness effects. The findings showed that a vegan diet was linked to a 15 percent reduction in cancer risk.
- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals: "Is Bread Vegan?"
- Vegetarian Resource Group: "Vegan Menu Options at Subway"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Is a Vegetarian or Vegan Diet for You?"
- International Food Information Council Foundation: "The Basics of a Vegan Diet"
- The Journal of Pediatrics: "Plant-Based, No-Added-Fat or American Heart Association Diets: Impact on Cardiovascular Risk in Obese Children With Hypercholesterolemia and Their Parents"
- PLOS ONE: "Effect of a Brown Rice Based Vegan Diet and Conventional Diabetic Diet on Glycemic Control of Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: A 12-Week Randomized Clinical Trial"
- Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition: "Vegetarian, Vegan Diets and Multiple Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies"