Why You Need To Watch Out For Glycerin As An Ingredient If You're Vegan

Veganism is a conscious lifestyle choice that many individuals across the globe are increasingly considering and adopting nowadays. People decide to go vegan for several reasons. For example, some opt for it to stay healthy as research shows that those on a vegan diet reported experiencing many health benefits, including lower blood pressure and cholesterol, reduced chances of type 2 diabetes, and lower rates of heart disease (via The Vegan Society).

Others avoid or eliminate meat and animal-based products from their diets due to religious reasons, to stand against animal cruelty, and to protect the environment. Some people also adopt a vegan lifestyle for the sake of a more sustainable way of food consumption. 

According to All Y'Alls Foods, there are 9.7 million people in the United States who consume a vegetarian diet, out of which one million are vegans. Per the publication, a gender-wise distribution shows that 59% of those who opt for a plant-based diet are females, while 41% are males.

Foods vegans cannot eat

As listed by WebMD, vegans can eat a variety of food items including fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, legumes — such as lentils and beans — and wheat-based products such as rice, bread, and pasta. They can also consume dairy-free alternatives, such as soy milk, almond milk, and coconut milk. Moreover, vegans can also use vegetable oils to cook their food.

On the other hand, they must avoid certain food items if they want to stick to their vegan philosophy. This means that they have to eliminate all types of meats, poultry, and seafood, including shellfish, from their diet. Vegans cannot have butter, cheese, ice cream, and mayonnaise because they all contain milk. Additionally, they cannot consume any honey as it comes from bees. Lastly, vegans must not eat eggs due to obvious reasons (via WebMD).

While it is easier to avoid all the aforementioned food items, certain animal by-products or meat and animal derivatives, such as gelatin and rennet, are included in packaged and pre-cooked food products. Vegans also have to watch out for these ingredients.

Avoid glycerin as an ingredient

Irrespective of the reasons people choose a vegan diet, finding and purchasing vegan food is not always easy. Many products have hidden non-vegan ingredients, such as glycerin, which people are not aware of. Therefore, consuming such food products can sabotage their goals.

As explained by Healthier Steps, glycerin, whose scientific name is glycerol, is an "alcohol that occurs naturally in animal and vegetable fats." If not made up of plants, glycerin is obtained by heating tallow (fat from mutton or beef). It is included in gelatin, antifreeze, and many processed food products, such as dried or canned fruits and vegetables, pre cooked veggies, precooked pasta, cereals, rice, rolled oats, and tapioca pudding, batters and breading, and baked goods, among others (via Twin River Technologies). Aside from food products, glycerin is also used in soaps, moisturizers, hair color, and more.

So, if you're vegan, make sure that if you're buying a product containing glycerin, it is plant-based glycerin as that's the only one which is suitable for vegans to consume (via Medicine Net).