What is a Vegan Diet?
Also referred to as veganism, a vegan diet refers to a variation of a vegetarian diet, which does not include the intake of dairy products, eggs, meat, and other ingredients derived from animals. Most of those who follow the principles of veganism do not consume foods processed and manufactured using animal-based products, like wines and refined white sugar.
If you want to follow the vegan diet then among the foods that you can eat are beans, grains, fruits, veggies, and legumes. You can also find vegan versions of familiar and favorite foods, like vegan ice cream non-dairy yogurt, vegan mayonnaise, vegan cheese, and vegan hotdog. There are even versions of chicken recipes, burgers, salads, pasta and chips, among many others, that follow the principles of veganism.
This means that contrary to what many people believe, the vegan diet is not boring at all. You can still eat a lot of tasty foods from this diet plan. Following the vegan diet also allows you to enjoy several favorable benefits, including:
- Supplies your body with a lot of nutrients – Switching to a vegan diet from the usual Western diet will cause you to get rid of meat and other animal-based products from your meal plans. With such a switch, you will start depending more on other nutritious foods.
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If you stick to the whole foods vegan diet, for instance, then you will need to replace some unhealthy foods with fruits, whole grains, seeds, nuts, peas, and beans. This is great because most of the foods that you can take when trying to switch to a vegan diet are rich in beneficial nutrients, including Vitamins A, C, and E, folate, magnesium, potassium, antioxidants, and fiber.
Just make sure that you carefully plan your vegan meals. Base your meal or diet plans around fortified foods and whole plants rich in nutrients. Supplementing with Vitamin B12 can also further maximize the positive effects of veganism on your body.
- Supports weight loss – Another thing that a vegan diet can do for you is to help you shed your excess weight. It helps lessen your intake of calories, which can subsequently result in weight loss without having to focus actively on counting and cutting calories. Vegans are also known for being thinner and slimmer and having lower body mass indexes compared to non-vegans. This just proves how this diet plan works effectively in shedding those excess pounds.
- Reduces your consumption of unhealthy animal fats – The problem with the fats from animals is that they can be linked to various conditions and illnesses – among which are cancer, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. By removing foods based on animals from your diet, you can also prevent your intake of unhealthy fats, subsequently lowering your risk of suffering from several health issues.
You can choose healthy and plant-based fats and oils as replacements for them, like olive oil. These healthy replacements can supply your body with healthy fatty acids without increasing the bad cholesterol within your body.
Apart from the mentioned benefits, going vegan also helps you contribute to saving animals and the environment. Note, however, that while a diet plan based entirely on plants carries low health risks, you still need to do careful planning, especially on your meals. Careful meal planning is necessary to ensure proper nutritional balance and prevent any deficiency in certain nutrients.
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