Foods Not Allowed On A Vegan Diet

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If we follow a vegan diet it is important to make sure that we do not consume any product of animal origin that includes some additives that perhaps you may not know.

People who follow a vegan diet are those who reject the consumption of foods of animal origin. The term was coined in 1941 by Donald Watson, founder of the Vegan Society.

The so-called ‘vegans’ are distinguished from those who practice vegetarianism. Not only do they not eat meat or fish, but they do not use industrialized products whose origin is animal. This type of category includes cleaning or hygiene items or cosmetics, among many others.

Although some foods are clearly of animal origin, there are others in which the presence of products of animal origin is not evident to most.

If you are considering becoming a vegan, whether for ethical, environmental, or dietary reasons, this article will help you discover what foods and food additives are prohibited in this diet .

Foods and additives that are not allowed in a vegan diet

Many of the foods and products that you consume every day have added ingredients that are usually of animal origin. If you want to become a vegan, it is important that you always read the labels of the food and any other product you intend to buy, to know exactly what ingredients they contain.

Below we explain what seasonings are usually of animal origin so you know how to avoid them.

Animal fats

A vegan will refrain from buying foods whose nutritional labeling indicates that they come from animal fats. But keep in mind that often many products present them as “edible fat”.

  • You can find animal fats in bakery and pastry items – most are made up of eggs and milk.

Food Additives

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines additives as “substances that are added to foods to preserve them, make them safer or improve their flavor, freshness, appearance or texture”.

There are both additives of plant and animal origin. The additive most frequently used in everyday consumer products is E441. It is a gelatin that comes from the treatment with alkalis or acids from skins, tissues or bones of animals, particularly pigs.

Also the additive E120, known as carminic acid. It is obtained from the insect Dactylopius coccus Costa, a type of cochineal. The substance is combined with ammonia, aluminum or calcium, to extract the shades of red.


During the process of clarification of wine or beer, it is usually used a natural collagen that comes from the swim bladder of fish, gelatin, chitin (which comes from crabs) or dried blood. Also of the proteins found in milk and eggs.


This food contains collagen, which in most cases is extracted from the skin of the ox or pig. Marshmallows and other jellybeans also contain gelatin of animal origin, unless otherwise specified.

If you need gelatin to cook, an ideal vegan option is agar agar , a type of vegetable gelatin derived from algae.


 It is a molded gelatin preparation that comes from animals (either meat or fish). Any dish that has this additive is excluded from a vegan diet.

English sauce

Generally, the companies that produce English sauce use anchovies, one of the best known blue fish in the world gastronomy.

Natural flavors and condiments

Some of the condiments or natural flavorings have ingredients of animal origin. A clear example of this is the castoreum. It is a stabilizer that comes from the secretions of anal glands in beavers. Castoreum is not on the list of food additives authorized by the European Union.

It is used to flavor certain foods, especially those that taste like vanilla.

L-Cysteine ​​or E-920

This amino acid is used as a softening agent, and often comes from the feathers of poultry and pigs. Some products that are present in bakeries, such as donuts and breads, contain cysteine.


In addition to the foods listed above, the vegan diet also excludes products derived from honey, and candies and sweets made with shellac or shellac, a substance secreted by the lacquer worm. Instead, opt for the vegan option.

As you can see, sticking strictly to a vegan diet is not so easy if you buy processed foods. Pay attention to the ingredients of everything you buy in the supermarket to make sure it does not contain additives of animal origin.

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