Vegan dieting and lifestyle.
A vegan diet is one that excludes all animal products and it is a plant based diet. When followed properly, it becomes highly nutritious and reduces the risk of chronic disease and aids weight loss. It is rich in nutrients and low in saturated fats, and a researches have suggested that it can improve heart health, protect against cancer and it helps to reduce the risks of type 2 diabetes. The animal products include, meat, dairy and eggs. Some people choose to induldge in the vegan lifestyle due to health reasons or humanitarian reasons to reduce animal cruelty.
Vegan diets tend to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds. Eating a variety of these provides the body with a range of important vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fats.
Benefits of vegan diets
- Vegan diets have all the nutrients that a person would need and in help in maintaing healthy living.
- It boosts the heart health.
- Weight loss
- Reduces the risk of cancer
- Lowers the risk for type 2 diabetes.
Vegan vs vegetarian
Although vegetarians do not eat meat, they consume dairy products, eggs or both while a vegan diet excludes them all. A vegan diet is more restrictive, so vegans need to source out for their daily dietary requirements and how it can be met to be healthy.
What vegans can eat
- Fruits and vegetables
- Breads, rice and pasta
- Diary alternatives such as soymilk, coconut milk, and almond milk.
- Legumes which includes peas, beans and lentils
Foods not included in a vegan diet.
- Beef, pork, lamb and other red meat.
- Chicken, duck, and poultry.
- Cheese, butter
- Fish or shellfish
- Dairy products, Milk, cream, ice cream and others
Substitutes of the essential nutrients in plant based foods.
When embarking on a vegan diet, planning is essential in order to avoid the nutritional deficiencies. Nutritionist recommend a blood test every year or two just to make sure everything is fine.
- Protein: soya beans, quinoa, nuts.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: plant based supplements, flaxseeds, vegetable oils.
- Calcium: fortified orange juice, kale, soy milk
- Iron: tofu, spinach, peanut.
Some supplements vegans might consider.
- Vitamin D: they can get most of this from the sunlight and the vitamin D supplement because much of it is found in milk and fish.
- Zinc: this is found in shellfish, but since vegans do not eat this, they can get the supplement or soy products, whole grains and legumes.
- Vitamin B12: this is naturally in animal products, but cereals are now fortified with B12 to help vegans and help prevent lack of concentration and dementia.
Being a vegan is not just about the diet, it applies to every aspect of life. A plant based lifestyle includes avoiding clothes which contain animal derived products such as fur or leather. Fortunately for them has been a range of vegan clothing animal free cosmetics. Another great thing is if you want to lose weight, vegan diet is the way to go.