Is Vegan Food Dairy Free? - Pacific Foods (2023)

Are you trying to stick to a vegan or dairy-free diet? If so, you might be wondering if vegan food contains dairy. The answer: vegan food is always dairy-free and below, we get into how and why that is.

By Definition, Vegan Food is Dairy-Free

By the most traditional definition, vegan food includes no dairy. That’s because vegan foods have no substances derived from animals in them, and since the dawn of time (or at least since the dawn of cows, sheep, and goats) dairy has always been derived from animals. Bottom line: choosing vegan food means you’re choosing dairy-free products.

Is Dairy-Free Food Vegan?

Not always. Dairy-free food can still contain ingredients derived from an animal source such as honey or eggs. For a product to be truly vegan, it must be completely plant-based without any ingredient derived from animals.

What About Lactose-Free Dairy?

Lactose-free dairy isn’t vegan. Foods labeled as “lactose-free,” which are still made from real dairy, have enzymes added to them to break down the lactose so your body doesn’t have to. This means lactose-free milk still has milk in it. As a result, it’s not a vegan option.

How to Know if Foods are Vegan, Dairy-Free, or Neither

Your search for vegan and/or dairy-free foods can be accomplished in four ways:

  1. Look at the front of the package.
  2. Read the ingredients.
  3. Check the allergen disclosure statement.
  4. Find companies you can trust.

Look for Terms Such as “Vegan,” “Dairy-Free,” and “Plant-Based”

First things first, you should choose a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains which are always vegan, dairy-free, and plant-based. Yet, if you’re looking for more options in your grocery aisle, start your search by looking at the label, ingredients, and allergen statements.

Check the Ingredient List

You’ll want to then check the ingredient list for any animal-derived ingredients, especially when considering vegan or dairy-free options.

Check the Allergen Disclosure Statement

If you have health reasons for avoiding dairy, your best bet may be to look directly at the allergen disclosure statement. Sometimes products that might not seem like they have dairy in them may have dairy ingredients. Be sure to check the ingredient list and allergen disclosure statement to make sure a product is truly dairy-free.

Again, if you’re lactose intolerant, you might still be able to consume these products without problems. If you’re allergic to milk or animal dairy, avoid them.

Find Companies You Can Trust

A company with unclear or contradictory labeling practices is not worthy of your trust. Instead, try to source products from companies you know you can trust to provide clear, accurate, and transparent ingredient information.

You Can Trust Pacific Foods Products

We invite you to look closely at Pacific Foods’ product labels to see whether we pass the simplicity test. While not every ingredient comes straight from the garden, all of our ingredients will be familiar to you. To find Pacific Foods at a retailer near you, shop now.


Does 100% vegan mean dairy-free? ›

Vegan diets ban all animal-derived products, such as dairy, eggs, meat, and fish. Dairy-free diets exclude dairy but may allow other animal foods. While all vegan food is dairy-free, not all dairy-free food is vegan.

Is vegan OK for dairy-free? ›

By Definition, Vegan Food is Dairy-Free

That's because vegan foods have no substances derived from animals in them, and since the dawn of time (or at least since the dawn of cows, sheep, and goats) dairy has always been derived from animals. Bottom line: choosing vegan food means you're choosing dairy-free products.

What foods are vegan and dairy-free? ›

On a vegan diet, you can eat foods made from plants, including:
  • Fruits and vegetables.
  • Legumes such as peas, beans, and lentils.
  • Nuts and seeds.
  • Breads, rice, and pasta.
  • Dairy alternatives such as soymilk, coconut milk, and almond milk.
  • Vegetable oils.

Is vegan food enough? ›

Vegetarian and vegan diets can be healthy, but they can lack certain nutrients. You may have to use a little creativity to ensure you get enough protein, calcium, iron, and vitamin B12. You can find many of these nutrients in eggs and dairy if you're vegetarian, and from plant sources if you're vegan.

What is the meaning of 100% vegan? ›

Vegans don't eat any foods that contain animal products. That means their diets exclude all meat, seafood, poultry, and dairy, as well as honey or foods with additives that come from animals, such as gelatin (from cows and pigs) or whey (from milk).

What makes a product 100% vegan? ›

Vegan: If a product is labeled vegan, it does not contain any ingredients made from animals or by animals. In skincare products, honey and beeswax are common animal by-products. The labels “vegan-friendly” and “100% vegan” mean the same thing—absolutely no animal-based ingredients.

Are eggs considered dairy? ›

Eggs are classified as poultry products, not dairy products. Poultry products include chicken, duck, and turkey eggs, while dairy products are made from the milk of mammals. Eggs are considered to be a separate food group, distinct from dairy products.

What is a vegan who eats dairy? ›

A lacto-vegetarian diet is a plant-based diet that includes dairy products, as the “lacto” prefix suggests. This variation includes dairy products like cow's milk and foods made with it.

Is vegan Mayo dairy-free? ›

Plant-based: Vegan mayo is purely plant-based. It contains neither egg nor cow's milk and is therefore suitable for people who eat vegan. Lactose-free: Vegan mayo contains no milk, so no lactose.

What are 6 food with no dairy? ›

Many foods can be enjoyed as part of a healthy, lactose-free diet, including:
  • Fruits: apples, oranges, berries, peaches, plums, grapes, pineapples, mangoes.
  • Vegetables: onions, garlic, broccoli, kale, spinach, arugula, collard greens, zucchini, carrots.
  • Meat: beef, lamb, pork, veal.
  • Poultry: chicken, turkey, goose, duck.
Mar 24, 2020

What are the 5 most important rules of a vegan diet? ›

5 diet rules vegans get right
  • Eat foods that are in season. This isn't a steadfast vegan "rule," but many people who consciously choose to eat vegan are also making other conscious (or even unconscious) decisions. ...
  • Fill up with fiber. ...
  • Plant your protein. ...
  • Eat those good-for-you fats. ...
  • You may need to supplement.
Aug 24, 2017

Can vegans have pasta? ›

Is pasta vegan? Most packaged pasta—including spaghetti, rotini, and any other type—is 100 percent vegan. To know for sure, simply check the ingredients on your package! Sometimes, you might see “egg” listed as an ingredient in “fresh” pastas, so avoid those—but generally, pasta contains no animal-derived ingredients.

What happens to your body when you become vegan? ›

You're likely to notice changes if you decide to go vegan and abstain from non-plant foods. If you stick with healthy food choices, you'll likely lose weight and snack less. You may also see improvements in your skin and energy levels.

What can vegans eat for breakfast? ›

Some popular choices include oatmeal with fruit, tofu scramble, avocado toast, chia pudding, smoothie bowls, and plant-based yogurt with granola and fruit. Vegans also often enjoy traditional breakfast foods made with plant-based ingredients such as vegan pancakes, waffles, and french toast.

Can you be 100 percent vegan? ›

Contrary to what some people think, veganism is not about living a life that's absolutely 100% free of animal products. Rather, veganism is about minimizing harm to other sentient creatures and avoiding animal products as much as possible.

What does 80% vegan mean? ›

The 80/20 vegan diet is a diet whereby 80 percent of the time you follow a strict vegan lifestyle, and the other 20 percent of the time you indulge yourself in a vegetarian diet. 80/20 diets are designed to have realistic form of moderation that makes them easy to maintain, and promotes a balanced lifestyle.

What does 100 lactose free mean? ›

So, when a product says that it is lactose free, it usually means that it is still a dairy product (i.e. cow's milk), but that it has the enzyme lactase added to the product. Lactose-free dairy products may include milk, cream cheese, sour cream, yogurt, kefir and butter.

Does 100% vegan mean gluten-free? ›

While a vegan diet involves all and any plant-based food, a gluten-free diet focuses on avoiding plant foods containing gluten. This means all vegan diets are plant-based, but not all plant-based foods are gluten-free. So a vegan can either eat everything plant-based or choose to exclude gluten-containing foods.

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