How to Go Vegan: A Beginner’s Guide to Veganism
You’ve been wanting to become a vegan, but you don’t know where to start. Fret not, we got you!
Veganism is a way of living in which you avoid, as much as possible, all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty. Therefore, veganism covers beyond your diet and includes any form of consumption relating to the use of animals. It’s a way of life.
Did you know? The number of people following a vegan diet has increased by 350% over the last decade.
It might feel refreshing to try something new like a vegan diet but it’s essential to know the ethics surrounding veganism. In other words, it’s best to know why it’s practiced.
Why do people go vegan?
1.True vegans believe that all creatures have a right to life and freedom. Simply because, they believe all conscious beings don’t want to endure any suffering, both psychological and physical.
Therefore, vegan consumption doesn’t only extend to meat but also to the animals’ milk, eggs, honey, silk, etc.
2. Some opt for vegan food for its health benefits. Generally, diets high in meat are linked to various diseases like cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, etc. Whereas plant-based meals are proven to be helpful to prevent these chronic diseases. Not just that, vegan food also comes with benefits like improved digestion, prevention of Alzheimer, hormone-related conditions and obesity.
Having said that, a vegan diet can also reduce the chance of consuming a range of key nutrients like vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, iron, iodine, etc. This is why it’s key to talk to a nutritionist to help you plan better. This way, you have a healthier vegan lifestyle, with all the benefits included.
We have listed some of the highly valued nutritionists in the country on ODoc. To connect with them at your most convenient times, download the ODoc app here.
Meanwhile, this is our guide to improving your vegan diet in the meantime.
Simple Tips to Improve your Vegan Diet
Finding vegan food can feel like an extreme sport at times. Especially, due to the price hikes and less availability of vegan ingredients.
In the beginning, you may feel your vegan diet is restrictive. It’s okay, all you need is a perspective shift. Instead of thinking about what you are not eating, always ask yourself: What else can I eat?
Here are some of our recommendations:
- Vegetables are your best friend. Generally, veggies are packed with vitamins (A, K and C), minerals like potassium. The key is to consume high protein vegetables, they help you reach your calorie count easily and are usually high in fiber. A win-win in all sides. Some examples are green peas, spinach, artichokes, sweet corn, avocado, mushrooms, kale, potatoes, the list goes on!
- Make sure your meals include ALL the important nutrition like the vegan protein, carbs, fats, vitamins, minerals and water (the forgotten nutrient). You should eat produce from all colours of the rainbow. For instance, red tomatoes help against prostate cancer, orange fruits help protect your immune system and greens like broccoli help to clear toxins from the body.
- Pick whole grains. Replace your refined grains like white bread for whole grains, such as brown rice and quinoa. This brings more iron and B vitamins to your diet. Not just that, whole grains come with a better fiber content, this means it’s more satisfying too.
- Find new plant-based vegan proteins. It’s advisable for women to have a daily consumption of 46g of protein and for men, it’s 56g. Since a vegan diet eliminates the common sources of protein that include red meat, eggs and dairy, you have some exploring to do. In a way, it’s amazing because finding new plant-based protein is generally a healthier choice. You could start with tofu, lentils, chickpeas, beans, almonds, sunflower seeds and so much more!
- Beware of processed vegan foods. These are usually made with saturated-fat-laden palm oil and coconut oil. Instead, pick whole, nutritious foods with vegan ingredients such as carrots and hummus, nuts and dried fruit, whole-grain tortilla chips with guacamole.
- Don’t miss out on vegan omega-3 fatty acids. They are essential for many bodily functions including, heart health and brain development. However, omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish like tuna and salmon. Having said that, there are vegan sources such as walnut, soymilk, canola oil, etc.
- Prioritise vitamin B1, iron and vitamin D: These are another set of very important contents for healthy living, and these are usually found in animal-based produce. But again, there are plenty of healthier, vegan alternatives like legumes, energy bars, mushrooms.
With the help of a nutritionist, a better vegan balanced diet and extensive meal options are highly accessible. Speak to a nutritionist for more details from the safety and comfort of your home via oDoc today!
- Vegan Society
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