Vegan Diet: Everything You Need To Know
The Vegan Diet consists of a lot of mouth-watering dishes that can be easily cooked without taking a lot of time. Read on.
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Veganism is a lifestyle choice that is being pursued by a lot of people around the world to make the world a better place to live. People who follow veganism are popularly known as vegans. Vegans do not consume any kind of meat, be it chicken, fish or mutton, etc. They also do not use any product that is made from animal products or by-products like milk, ghee, paneer or cheese.
People go vegan for three main reasons. They are:
- To have a more ethical lifestyle, that is, they believe all lives matter and animals shouldn’t be killed for human consumption.
- Another aspect for people going vegan is that they want to have a healthier and better lifestyle than what they are currently following.
- Lastly, the reason for people following a vegan lifestyle is for environmental causes. The use of an animal product that is derived from animal agriculture leads to a lot of environmental damages. This is because the products that are obtained from animals need a lot of natural resources for processing. The natural resources that are used in processing animal products could be used for some fruitful purpose than making processed meats or dairy products.
A vegan diet mostly consists of vegetables, fruits, lentils, pulses, grains, beans, etc. A vegan diet is a far healthier choice than most of the other diets because it has a proper balance of all the nutrients. In some diets, there is an excess of one nutrient and almost zero percentage of other nutrients. A vegan diet can give a person the same amount of proteins that a non-vegetarian or vegetarian diet can provide. The vegan diet also consists of a lot of mouth-watering dishes that can be easily cooked without taking a lot of time.
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Benefits Of A Vegan Diet
People are usually scared of going vegan because they believe they will have to get rid of a lot of food ingredients that they use in their day to day lives. Some of the best examples of ingredients that people do not want to give up are dairy products, meat products, fish products, eggs, etc. They usually think that these ingredients do not have a vegan substitute. That is one of the major reasons why people find it hard to become vegan.
However, it is very easy to find vegan substitutes for all the non-vegetarian products that were mentioned above. Another major misinformation is that people can attain the proper protein intake only by going on a non-vegetarian diet. This is not true. A lot of people find it hard to convert to a vegan lifestyle because of their love for meat products.
Here are a few compelling reasons that will convince you to become a vegan soon:
A vegan diet is not only a good lifestyle choice to be a contributor for a better tomorrow; it is also one of the best ways to have a healthy body. A vegan diet helps in having blood sugar levels under control, lowering cholesterol levels and helping people in the process of weight reduction. Going vegan also helps people stay away from the risk of type 2 diabetes. People who are planning to adapt to a healthy diet routine can opt for a vegan diet because of its numerous health benefits.
A vegan diet is easily prepared and needs a lot less time than any other type of diet. A lot of people have a misconception that vegans sustain only on salads and smoothies. That is not true! Just like there is a wide variety of food options available for vegetarians and non-vegetarians, vegans also have a diverse range of food options to choose from, daily.
Ideas For Interesting Vegan Meals
Vegan Breakfast Ideas:
One of the basic and easy to make vegan items is vegetable and fruit salads. They can be easily done by chopping the vegetables or fruits depending upon the salad one is making. Then one needs to add a vegan dressing, which is usually olive oil with herbs, salt and pepper and lime juice to salads.
Another interesting and healthy vegan breakfast option is teff porridge that is made out of an ancient grain called teff. This grain makes you feel comfortable and full all day long.
Slow cooker cinnamon rolls can also be made with vegan ingredients like tube vegan cinnamon rolls, soy yogurt as a substitute for egg and cashew cream instead of the dairy cream. Smoothies that are made with vegetables, fruits and soy milk, oatmeal, vegan breakfast sandwich, etc. make for interesting choices when you don’t have time to cook elaborate dishes.
Vegan Lunch Ideas:
Vegan lunches are simple to make because lots of dishes can be made from a vegan curry and grilled vegetable patty burgers along with vegan bread. Some of the options available for vegan lunches are vegan banh mi, cheesy vegan scones, bean tomato, and watercress salad, vegan chickpea curry jacket potatoes, beetroot, and lentil tabbouleh, veggie olive wraps with mustard vinaigrette, etc. The cheesy vegan scones are made out of nutritional yeast that gives a cheesy and nutty taste and not real cheese. Meal prepping is easier with a vegan diet because the vegetables can be reheated and would not have any weird taste.
Vegan food is made out of vegetables and fruits; so, they have a very colorful appearance, which makes it visually very appealing. To make the food look vibrant, one has to buy different colored vegetables like red, yellow and green bell peppers. One can also buy potatoes in different colors like yellow, purple, red, etc.
Likewise, instead of buying just a green cabbage, one can opt to buy half of the green and purple cabbage. The best part about using vegetables is that nothing will be wasted while cooking. The skin and remaining vegetables can be put together in a zip-lock bag into the freezer. This can be later used to make vegetable stock, which can be used for making soups, noodles, etc. It can also be added to curries etc.
Vegan Dinner Ideas:
Some exciting and mouth-watering vegan dinner options are vegan mac and cheese, which is made out of vegan macaroni. For making the cheese, people usually boil starchy vegetables and mash them to form a cheese-like consistency. Sugar snap pea and carrot soba noodles and vegetable noodles are also good dinner options. These are made by cutting vegetables into thin strips like noodles and then adding flavors & stock to make it one complete dish.
Foods allowed in a vegan diet
If you are planning to become vegan anytime soon, you should know the different types of foods that are allowed in the vegan lifestyle.
Here is an exhaustive list of foods allowed in a vegan diet:
- Protein substitutes to non-vegetarian foods (tofu, tempeh, and seitan are allowed)
- Legumes (all types of beans, peas, and lentils
- Nuts & Nut butter – Nut butter made from unroasted & unblanched nuts
- Seeds – All types of edible seeds (such as hemp, flaxseeds, etc.)
- Milk and yogurts that are fortified with calcium, Vitamin D and B12
- Edible algae such as chlorella & spirulina that are rich in protein
- Nutrient-rich yeasts and yeasts fortified with Vitamin B12
- Whole grains & cereals – Pseudocereals such as spelt, teff, etc.
- Plant-based foods that are sprouted & fermented – examples are tempeh, miso, kimchi, natto, sauerkraut, etc.
- Fruits & Vegetables
Foods that aren’t allowed in the vegan diet
Stay away from these when you want to follow a vegan lifestyle:
- All types of meat
- Dairy products
- Products made from bees (such as honey)
- All animal-based products (such as lactose, whey protein, casein protein, gelatin, etc.)