Many people follow a vegan diet for a variety of reasons. However, any big change in eating habits can seem like a daunting prospect for some of us.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what a vegan diet entails, and why choosing a vegan diet isn’t actually as difficult as some people think.
What Is Vegan?
A vegan diet omits all foods produced using animals or animal products. As well as no meat, poultry, fish and seafood, a vegan diet also excludes any animal milk products, eggs and honey.
Many vegans also choose not to use any animal-derived products, clothing and other items produced from or tested on animals.
The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics advocate a vegan diet as generally suitable for the majority of people of any age (source).
Choosing a vegan diet means you think about the quality of what you eat and where your food originates from. A vegan diet brings with it some considerable health benefits.
Scientific research has shown that a vegan diet can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as decreasing the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer.
Some people also choose to be vegan to help protect the environment or to demonstrate their moral views and social justice regarding animal welfare (source).
1. Vegan Protein Sources are Abundant
The average sedentary man needs around 56 grams of protein per day. For women it’s about 46 grams.
One of the main worries many people have about going vegan is how they are going to get enough protein without including meat, poultry, fish, eggs or cheese in their diet.
In fact, there are many great vegan-friendly sources of protein that can provide your recommended daily amount.
Green vegetables are a good source, with french beans, boiled peas and spinach each providing 13 grams, 9 grams and 7 grams per cup respectively.
Hemp is another excellent source, providing 11 grams per 30 gram serving.
Lentils also deliver on the protein front – an impressive 18 grams per cup.
Other vegan sources of protein are nut butters, quinoa, tofu, beans and tempeh – or North Coast Natural’s range of products! There are plenty of protein sources to create a varied diet.
2. Dairy Substitutes Are Widely Available
Another concern high on the list is the omission of dairy products, as many people find it hard to imagine life without cheese.
In reality, many vegans say they don’t miss cheese anywhere near as much as they thought they would. Regardless, vegan cheeses made from soy are now more widely available than ever.
Dairy milk can be replaced with rice milk, soy milk, coconut milk and nut milks, like almond milk. Many stores now stock vegan butter substitutes too.
Whipped cream can be substituted with non-dairy alternatives, and yoghurt can still be eaten in the form of soy yoghurt.
If ice cream is non-negotiable for you, you can easily make your own from all-natural vegan ingredients, and non-dairy ice creams can be purchased.
3. A Vegan Diet Can Cut Living Costs
Fresh fruit and vegetables, tofu, tempeh, whole grains and nuts are all widely available from good quality sources.
In addition, they are usually considerably cheaper than meat or cheese. That means you can provide your family with high quality, wholesome food and have the added bonus of having more money to spend on other things!
4. Vegan Cooking is Easy and Fuss-Free
Many people say they only discovered their passion for cooking after they became vegan.
It’s a great opportunity to get creative in the kitchen with fantastic, natural whole food ingredients, and be 100% confident you are nurturing yourself and your family with top quality food.
There are more vegan recipes available now than ever before, and when you experience success with one recipe it can inspire you to be more creative next time around.
One of the only concerns about vegan diets is making sure you get all of the vitamins, minerals and macronutrients you need for good health.
It’s important to eat a wide variety of different foods, and it may be wise to consider taking a supplement to make sure you get everything your body needs.
Choosing a vegan diet usually isn’t as hard as it first appears. There is an ever-growing online community to support new vegans, and most people find not only do they feel healthier; it’s also fun to be vegan!
Thanks to Helen Sanders at Health Ambition (https://www.healthambition.com/) for sharing this amazing article!
Which vegan foods or supplements do you share at home? Share in the comments.
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