The vegan diet has become incredibly popular in the last decade or more. There are many reasons why this can be explained, be it ethics, environmental concerns, or simply, how healthy it is. Furthermore, there are some common misconceptions about the vegan diet that need to be debunked. This is why we’ve made a complete guide on the vegan diet for beginners to help you get started on this wonderful journey with no setbacks. Make sure you pay close attention to what we’re saying.
What is veganism?
Let’s start by saying that veganism is more than just a diet as many people think. Veganism is broadly defined as a way of living that focuses on excluding all forms of exploitation of animals, as well as cruelty, no matter if the reasons are food, clothing, or any other purpose (or most commonly a combination of these). This is why a vegan diet purposefully lacks any kind of animal products including eggs, dairy, and not only meat. There are many possible reasons why someone might choose to follow a vegan diet.
These usually range from environmental concerns to ethics, but they also often come from a desire to improve one’s health, or any combination of these. Whichever reason you have for starting a vegan diet, there are some obvious aspects in your diet you will have to replace or find a supplement so you could maintain proper nutrition. With the technology and marketing nowadays, all of this is made quite easy so you should have no problems starting your vegan diet. Here are some of the key takeaways you should have in mind if you are a beginner, or to simply refresh your memory.
Stock your kitchen with meal swaps and essentials
If you intend to be successful with your vegan diet plan and ultimately reap the health benefits that come with it, you should focus on loading your fridge and pantry with the staples. As a rule of thumb, you should keep plenty of fruits and vegetables on hand, all of which are loaded with necessary nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, that can boost the immune system. If you don’t visit the grocery store daily or have your garden it can be quite challenging to have a constant supply of fresh products. A helpful tip is to buy frozen versions and consider keeping staples that have a longer shelf life such as potatoes and apples.
Furthermore, it’s advised not to rely on faux meat products and dairy-free “cheese” which indeed, are technically vegan but aren’t the healthiest option out there. You should find whole plant foods with similar tastes and textures. For instance, portobello mushrooms have a meaty texture and an umami flavor that makes them a popular choice for substituting a classic burger. Mashed chickpeas are the perfect replacements for “tuna”. Other swaps include jackfruit which can be used to make barbecue pulled pork. Mashed lentils with chopped walnuts can be a great substitute for ground beef with the right spices.
You will also need these
In addition to staple foods you should always have on hand, you should also invest quality time into researching what kind of supplementation your vegan diet will need. The first thing we talk about when considering what key ingredients are missing is vitamin B12 which is usually found in red meat. The lack of this vitamin can cause serious health problems because it plays an important role in the nervous system and the formation of red blood cells. Furthermore, you should pay attention to vitamin D which also influences many other bodily processes such as memory, mood, and muscle recovery.
Additional key supplements you will need are iodine, magnesium, to name the least. The professionals from omvits.com suggest all of these ingredients are key to prevent some of the common deficiencies usually associated but not exclusive to a vegan diet. Furthermore, they emphasize the importance of keeping the right balance and maintaining a daily intake, which is now made possible with carefully balanced multivitamin supplements that can support the body and all its functions. These are also highly regulated to stay within the right limits for each specific ingredient, and generally a lifesaver when it comes down to calculating how much of which ingredient you’ll need because it’s already been done for you.
As we’ve previously mentioned, a vegan diet purposefully lacks all kinds of animal products, but you will often encounter people who refer to themselves as vegans but aren’t exactly compliant with the stable veganism principles. Another common misconception stems from the fact that people use certain types of diets interchangeably with the vegan diet, which are not the same. To clarify these types of diets, and ensure you are on the right path, let’s see some of the main distinctions between the ones. A vegan diet completely excludes animal products including meat, fish, eggs, honey, dairy, and any supplements or additives which are derived from animal products.
A vegetarian meal plan generally has a few variations which we’ll discuss. Ovo-vegetarians have an eating plan that excludes meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy but allows eggs. Pescatarians allow fish and lacto-vegetarians allow dairy. In addition to this, it’s important to make a distinction between a vegan diet and a plant-based one which is primarily based on whole plant foods, but allows for meat, fish, eggs, and dairy in moderation. If you’re truly set on starting a vegan diet, these are the most important dieting and ingredient distinctions to keep you on the right track to success.
Embarking on a vegan diet is a truly wonderful journey that is both ethical and incredibly healthy. This complete guide focused on important distinctions about what makes up a vegan diet, more specifically what doesn’t. Furthermore, we’ve discussed the importance of a properly stocked kitchen, as well as the right supplements to keep you healthy throughout the diet. However healthy a vegan diet might be, there are some vitamins and minerals that people usually lack, but which can, fortunately, be taken up in the form of a pill with carefully determined daily doses. Remember all of this and you’re good to go!