What Is and Isn’t Vegan: Complete Guide [List]

W

This is a huge list of ingredients and food products that are and aren’t vegan.

There’s a link to a detailed explanation of why each item is or isn’t vegan, but also a short answer if you’re in a rush.

It’s ongoing, so I’m probably missing some things. If you think of any that are missing, leave me a comment at the bottom and I’ll add them.

Otherwise, I highly recommend using “Ctrl + f” (find) if you’re looking for a specific ingredient.

Note that if something says it “might” be vegan, that’s because there are controversial ingredients in it that some vegans are okay with, and others are not.

Food Ingredients

Anything that is usually found on an ingredients label that a vegan might not be sure about fell into this category.

If something says “Usually Vegan”, that means that most vegans can be comfortable assuming that it is vegan when they see it on an ingredients list.

IngredientVerdictExplanation
CaramelUsually VeganIs Caramel Vegan?
Caramel ColorUsually VeganIs Caramel Color Vegan?
Cocoa PowderUsually VeganIs Cocoa Powder Vegan?
Food Coloring (e.g. Red 40, Blue 1, etc.)ControversialAre Artificial Flavors Vegan?
Glycerol (Glycerin)Sometimes VeganIs Glycerol Vegan?
Gum BaseSometimes VeganIs Gum Base Vegan?
LactaseUsually VeganIs Lactase Enzyme Vegan?
LecithinSometimes VeganIs Lecithin Vegan?
Mono- and DiglyceridesSometimes VeganAre Monoglycerides and Diglycerides Vegan? (E471)
Natural Butter FlavorSometimes VeganIs Natural Butter Flavor Vegan?
Natural FlavorsSometimes VeganAre Natural Flavors Vegan
ShellacNot VeganIs Shellac Vegan?
Sodium CaseinateNot VeganSodium Caseinate is NOT Vegan
Sodium Stearoyl LactylateSometimes VeganIs Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate Vegan?
TapiocaVeganIs Tapioca in Bubble Tea Vegetarian or Vegan?
Vanilla ExtractVeganIs Vanilla Extract Vegan?
Xanthan GumUsually VeganIs Xanthan Gum Vegan

Packaged Foods

This section includes foods you can buy off the shelf in grocery stores.

There are quite a few foods in this section, so I’ve divided it into a few smaller sections to make it a bit more manageable.

Cereals

Many cereals are close to being vegan, but unfortunately have vitamin D from an animal source (here’s why vitamin D3 isn’t vegan).

You may be interested in my guide to vegan cereals with B12.

IngredientVerdictExplanation
Captain CrunchMight Be VeganIs Captain Crunch Vegan?
Cocoa PebblesNot VeganAre Cocoa Pebbles Vegan?
Cocoa PuffsNot VeganAre Cocoa Puffs Vegan?
Frosted FlakesNot VeganAre Frosted Flakes Vegan?
Fruit LoopsNot VeganAre Fruit Loops Vegan?
Fruity PebblesNot VeganAre Fruity Pebbles Vegan?
Kashi CerealsMany Flavors Are VeganWhich Kashi Cereals Are Vegan?
Raisin BranNot VeganIs Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Cereal Vegan?
Reese’s PuffsNot VeganIs Reese’s Puffs Cereal Vegan?
Special KNot VeganIs Special K Cereal Vegan?

Drinks

I’ve only looked at popular drinks you can buy at stores. See my guide to vegan energy drinks if you’re not interested in the specific ones below.

IngredientVerdictExplanation
Bubble TeaCan Be Made VeganIs Bubble Tea Vegan?
Monster EnergyMany Flavors Are Likely VeganIs Monster Energy Drink Vegan?
Red BullMight Be VeganIs Red Bull Vegan?
Soda (e.g. Pepsi, Mountain Dew, etc.)Many Sodas Are Likely VeganIs Soda Vegan?

Chips

The most basic chip is just made from potato, so whether or not a brand of chips are vegan depends on what else they add.

IngredientVerdictExplanation
Chex MixA Few Flavors Might Be VeganIs Chex Mix Vegan?
DoritosSome Flavors Are VeganWhich Doritos Are Vegan?
Lay’sSome Flavors Are VeganAre Lay’s Vegan?
Miss VickiesMost Flavors Are Not VeganAre Miss Vickie’s Chips Vegan?
PringlesMost Flavors Are Not VeganAre Pringles Vegan?
TostitosMany Flavors Are VeganAre Tostitos Vegan?

Candy

If you’re not strict about things like bone char in sugar and artificial colors, you’ll consider many candies to be vegan.

Otherwise, you’ll want to look for companies that specifically make candy that’s vegan-friendly.

I’ve also written a vegan jelly bean guide since they can be hard to find.

IngredientVerdictExplanation
Candy CanesMost Are Not VeganAre Candy Canes Vegan?
Chips Ahoy!Not VeganAre Chips Ahoy Vegan?
DonutsMost Are Not VeganAre Donuts Typically Vegan? 
Lindt Dark ChocolateSome Bars Are VeganIs Lindt Dark Chocolate Vegan?
MentosMost Flavors Are Not VeganAre Mentos Products Vegan?
NerdsMight Be VeganAre Nerds Vegan?
OreosMight Be VeganAre Oreos Vegan?
Salt Water TaffySome Is VeganIs Salt Water Taffy Vegan?
SkittlesMight Be VeganAre Skittles Vegan?
SnickersNot VeganAre Snickers Vegan or Vegetarian?
Swedish FishMight Be VeganAre Swedish Fish Vegan?
Sour Patch KidsMight Be VeganAre Sour Patch Kids Vegan?
TwizzlersProbably Not VeganAre Twizzlers Vegan? 

Baking and Cooking

Here’s a mix of ingredients typically used for cooking, and packaged foods that you buy and still have to cook.

IngredientVerdictExplanation
Balsamic VinegarSome Types Are VeganIs Balsamic Vinegar Vegan?
Betty Crocker Cake MixSome Flavors Might Be VeganIs Betty Crocker Cake Mix Vegan?
Country Crock ButterSome Flavors Might Be VeganA List of Vegan Country Crock Butters
MolassesSome Brands Are VeganIs Molasses Vegan?
ShorteningVegetable Shortening Might Be VeganIs Shortening Vegan?
Smart Balance ButterSome Flavors Might Be VeganIs Smart Balance Butter Vegan and Dairy-Free?
Sugar (White and Brown) – See Bone Char-Free Sugar BrandsMight Be VeganIs White or Brown Sugar Vegan?
SweetexMight Be VeganIs Sweetex Vegan?
Teriyaki SauceSome Brands Are VeganIs Teriyaki Sauce Usually Vegan?
Wheat FlourVeganIs Regular Wheat Flour Vegan?

General

These are foods that don’t fit into any of the above categories.

IngredientVerdictExplanation
Barbecue SauceMany Brands Are VeganIs Barbecue Sauce Vegan?
Chow MeinNoodles Vegan, but Typical Sauce Isn’tAre Chow Mein Noodles Vegan?
Clif BarsMany Flavors Are VeganVegan Clif Bars: Flavors That Are Vegan
Graham CrackersNot VeganAre Graham Crackers Typically Vegan?
GumList of Vegan BrandsVegan Gum Brands
Hoisin SauceUsually VeganIs Hoisin Sauce Vegan?
HP Brown SauceVeganIs HP Brown Sauce Vegan?
Jelly/JamSome Brands Are VeganIs Jelly Or Jam Vegan?
K CupsMany Flavors Are VeganAre All K Cups Vegan? [List]
KIND BarsMany Flavors Are VeganAre KIND Granola Bars and Products Vegan?
Luna BarsSome Flavors Might Be VeganVegan Luna Bars
Nature Valley Granola BarsSome Flavors Might Be VeganAre Nature Valley Granola Bars Vegan?
Palm OilMight Be VeganIs Palm Oil Vegan?
Pop TartsSome Flavors Might Be VeganAre Pop Tarts Vegan?
Quaker Instant OatmealSome Flavors Are VeganIs Quaker Instant Oatmeal Vegan?
Ritz CrackersSome Flavors Might Be VeganAre Ritz Crackers Vegan?
SrirachaMight Be VeganIs Sriracha Sauce Vegan?
Top RamenSome Flavors Might Be VeganIs Top Ramen Vegan?
Wonder White BreadProbably Not VeganIs Wonder Bread Vegan and Dairy-Free?

Eating Out

The final food section is a small collection of posts I’ve written about foods at restaurants.

If there’s anything you’d really like to see added, just let me know.

IngredientVerdictExplanation
Burger King FriesMight Be VeganAre Burger King Fries Vegan?
Fast Food French Fries Which Fast Food French Fries Are Vegan? [List]
Movie Theatre PopcornSome Movie Theatre Popcorn Is VeganIs Movie Theater Popcorn Vegan? (AMC, Regal, etc.)
Onion RingsSome Onion Rings Are VeganAre Onion Rings Usually Vegan?
Pizza DoughSome Crusts Are VeganIs Pizza Dough Vegan? (Dominos, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, etc.)
Salad DressingSome Dressings Are VeganIs Salad Dressings At Restaurants Vegan?

Non Food Items

And here’s…everything non-edible that I’ve looked at before.

You’ll notice that medicine in general is given a little leeway in what’s considered vegan. But some medicine is more vegan than others. For examples, see my guide to vegan sore throat lozenges and cough drops.

IngredientVerdictExplanation
BeanoProbably Not VeganIs Beano Vegan?
BlistexNot VeganIs Blistex Lip Balm Vegan?
Carmex Lip BalmNot VeganIs Carmex Lip Balm Vegan and Cruelty-Free?
ChapstickNot VeganIs ChapStick Vegan and Cruelty-Free?
Cough MedicineSome Are More Vegan Than OthersVegan Cold and Flu Medicine Guide
Crest ToothpasteNot VeganIs Crest Toothpaste Vegan?
Emergen-C VeganSome Products Are VeganIs Emergen-C Vegan? [Updated]
EOS Lip BalmSome Products Are VeganIs EOS Lip Balm Vegan and Cruelty-Free?
GlueUsually VeganIs Glue Vegan?
Hand SanitizerProbably VeganIs Hand Sanitizer Vegan? (Purell, Dettol)
Laundry DetergentSometimes VeganIs Laundry Detergent Vegan?
Merino WoolNot VeganIs Merino Wool Vegan?
PU LeatherUsually VeganWhat is PU Leather, and is it Vegan?
ToothpasteSometimes VeganIs Toothpaste Vegan?
VaselineProbably VeganIs Vaseline Vegan?

Beauty Products

These are mainly collections of good vegan skin and hair products.

Clothing

I’ve created guides to certain types of clothing and accessories that it can be hard to find vegan versions for.

ProductResources
BootsHere are a few guides to specific types of boots:

ShoesI’ve created a few different guides to shoes:

Camera StrapsThe Best Vegan Camera Straps
Messenger BagsVegan Laptop Messenger Bags
Workout ClothesVegan Workout Clothing Brands