Are you planning to go vegan? You are not alone. Research on healthy diet shows that many people are moving towards vegan diets now than before. Among the reasons for going vegan are related to health, animal welfare and environmental concerns.
It is not surprising that vegan diets tend to be rich in essential nutrients and significantly low in saturated fats. It is a diet and lifestyle known to improve heart health, lower risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer, etc.
This is making veganism more than just feeding on a plant-based diet. It is a purposeful lifestyle that also involves the conservation of nature. So, if you are about to go vegan, let us give you a few fundamentals that you should know.
What veganism means
Veganism is a way of living that involves the exclusion of all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty. In essence, it means that you will abscond the use of all animal products. You avoid consuming animal products such as meat, milk, or animal fats. Besides, it means that you will not wear clothing or use products made of animal products. In essence, veganism lifestyle entails advocacy for better coexistence with animals for reasons ranging from ethics, health and environmental concerns.
The Vegan diet
As a vegan, your diet will comprise exclusively of plant-based products. Your diet will tend to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, etc. There are a variety of diets that you can choose from. They include the following:
-Whole-food vegan diet– this diet is based on a wide range of whole plant food They include fruit, vegetables, and whole grains
-Raw-food vegan diet– this diet is based on raw fruit, vegetables, or seeds. The gourmet raw diet is more on the fatty side, including cold-pressed oils, nut-based desserts, and heavy sauces. More importantly, the food is not cooked above 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
-The starch solution– this includes low-fat high-carb and involves cooked starches like rice, potatoes, and corn.
-Junk-food vegan diet– this diet relies heavily on mock meats and cheeses. It also includes fries and vegan dessert, among other heavily processed vegan foods.
How to go vegan
If you want to become vegan, there are several things you should be aware of. They include:
-Vegan diet– you will need to decide the diet that will replace meat and other animal products.
-Find a B12 supplement– B12 is an essential vitamin that keeps the body’s nerves and blood cells healthy. It occurs naturally only in animal foods. Going on a vegan diet means that you will give up on animal products. As such, you will want to stock up on a variety of B12-fortified foods and B-12 supplements.
-Be ready for criticisms– be ready to deal with criticism and sometimes negative responses from meat-loving family and friends. Since veganism is a lifestyle, it is likely that those close to you will see the changes. However, not all of them will be willing to support you and understand your profound reasons for going vegan. So, before you talk all about Veganuary and the likes, you should prepare to stand strong. It will help if you treat the critics of your new lifestyle with kindness. Also, try and be empathetic towards people expressing negative attitudes. That way, they will get to understand your choices and maybe support you at it.
-Find new sources of protein– You should get over the common myth that it’s difficult to get protein from plant foods. It is actually possible to get all essential protein building blocks known as amino acids. Some good sources include beans, lentils, chickpeas, soya products, and peanut butter.
After setting the pace for your change in lifestyle, it is now time to decide the kind of vegan you want to be. This may be influenced by your beliefs, or the diet you will adopt. The types of vegans include:
-Ethical vegan– here, you will choose not to be involved in any form of animal cruelty.
-Environmental vegan– you will live a greener lifestyle, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, minimize contribution to deforestation, and reduce the population by not supporting animal agriculture.
-Health vegan– if you choose to maintain a healthy life and reduce the chances of getting cancer and type 2 diabetes, this is the lifestyle to choose.
-Religious vegan– you may choose to be a vegan due to your religious beliefs.
Now that you have chosen the kind of vegan to be, you can reap the benefits of your new lifestyle. Research has linked a vegan diet with a range of health benefits. They include:
-Better heart health
-Lower cancer risk
-Excess weight loss
-Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
Choosing a vegan lifestyle is all a matter of choice. It could be due to health reasons, ethical or even environmental concerns, among others. For whatever reason, you now know a thing or two about a lifestyle that’s growing in popularity around the world.