When people think of veganism, they automatically think about meat, dairy, and eggs. But going vegan means more than eliminating animal products. It also means eating a plant-based diet full of fruits and vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and tubers, as well as steering clear of animal byproducts so they do not eat/drink anything associated with an animal. Sometimes it can be difficult for people to adjust, but veganism does not have to be an intimidating lifestyle.
A lot of people mistake veganism for vegetarianism, but vegetarians do not always eat vegan-based foods.
What is Veganism?
The diet excludes all foods that contain animal products. Vegans use alternative forms of protein, such as beans, nuts, and grains. Substituting animal-based products with plant-based alternatives is a great way to help protect the environment and reduce animal suffering. Vegans are often interested in animal rights, which led them to this lifestyle.
Veganism, or vegetarianism, is a lifestyle of abstinence, and it is based on compassion. Some vegans, or vegetarians, also avoid wearing leather and fur.
If you are thinking about a vegan diet, there are several things you should consider:
- Other sources of nutrients
For starters, a vegan diet lacks the nutrients that meat provides, so you will need to ensure you are getting those nutrients from other sources: fruits, vegetables, and legumes are your options. You may also want to think about taking supplements for the vitamins you could be missing out on.
- More planning
Veganism requires a little more planning than other diets. Going vegan is not a decision made overnight. Before making the transition, you may want to take a week or two to educate yourself on the benefits of veganism, what it means to go vegan, the advantages and disadvantages of plant-based eating, and, most importantly, how to get started.
- Rethink eating habits
You will need to rethink your eating habits as well since most non-vegan foods contain animal products. When going vegan, it is only natural to think about what you eat and what you do not eat. You may not be eating enough vegetables or drinking enough water, and you probably are not eating enough fiber. A vegan diet with the right supplements is the only way to ensure you are getting all the nutrients you need for optimal health, so it is important to consider your eating habits first to see how you can change.
- Going vegan does not mean boring
Keep in mind: going vegan does not mean you have to eat boring carrots and celery. There are plenty of vegan recipes out there, many of which are tastier than their meat and dairy counterparts. Plus, there are now chocolates, sweets, and cakes that have been made with vegan ingredients, so you can indulge without worrying about the contents.
Here are the benefits of a vegan diet:
- Helps with weight loss
A vegan diet requires less food than a traditional diet, which translates to fewer calories consumed. Since a vegan diet eliminates animal products, it also requires cutting out a lot of salt and saturated fats.
- Promotes good health
A vegan diet can be healthier than a non-vegan diet because it does not contain cholesterol and saturated fats, which are unhealthy. Vegans are also less likely to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease.
- Healthy for the environment
Millions of farm animals are bred and slaughtered every year, and animal agriculture is a major contributor to greenhouse gases. Going vegan can help cut down on these emissions, especially with more people moving towards the vegan way of life.
The plant-based diet trend is on the rise. With so many options now available, going vegan has never been easier. From meat substitutes to ready-to-eat meals, the options are almost endless. Learning how to make vegan meals at home is easy, and when done right, it is not only healthy but delicious.
If you are thinking about making the switch to a vegan diet but are not sure where to start, then you are not alone, many people switch and are looking for the best way to do it, that is why there are tons of articles, recipes, blogs, etc. that delve into the vegan lifestyle and talk about how people can start their own journey.