The vegan diet has become increasingly popular in recent years. Some researchers say that vegan diets have become accepted in the sports, health and fitness industry because of social media. The results of being on a vegan diet are optimistic. (x)
More people have decided to go vegan for health, environmental, religious and ethical reasons. If done the right way, vegan diets may have many health benefits. These advantages often include improved blood sugar control and a slimmer waistline. Nevertheless, when you base your diet on plant foods only, you may create nutritional deficiencies at first. However, vegans will argue that they get plenty of nutrients and feel exceedingly healthy.
What is the Vegan Diet?
Vegan diet is basically no consumption of animal food or by-products. It’s strictly a plant-based diet. Now, veganism is a lifestyle that attempts to remove all forms of animal cruelty and exploitation, typically in both foods and clothing. In turn, a vegan diet will be devoid of all products derived from animals, which may include meat, dairy and eggs — including honey as bees make it.
What Don’t Vegans Eat?
Vegans don’t eat any animal products. They avoid such food products as yogurt, lobster, shrimp, fish sauce, cheese, chicken, butter and bee pollen.
What is the Vegan Food Pyramid?
Busy-Vegan created a vegan food pyramid to mirror the conventional food pyramid. A vegan food pyramid helps one select the types of foods necessary to create a well-balanced and healthy diet. (x)
Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition also created a Double Pyramid Model that shows the environmental impact of three diets: vegan, vegetarian and Omnivore. The pyramid also offers daily menus that might help you as a new vegan — though they are super simple. (x)
Studying these pyramids and organizing a menu of sorts will help you adjust to the new diet. Or, if you are vegan, then the vegan pyramid offers ideas that are new to you.
Essential Elements of a Vegan Food Pyramid
Summarizing the Vegan Food Pyramid helps you see what a vegan diet consists of:
A vegan will need a serving of about 180-230 g of carbohydrates daily — 50% of your caloric intake. However, if the goal is to lose weight, only 20-70 g is necessary. Carbs are not just grains. They are vegetables, fruits, and leafy greens are excellent sources of carbs.
Vegans usually require less protein than meat eaters because the protein sources are absorbed more efficiently. Around 20-50 g daily is okay for vegans. There are many options for protein, from quinoa to hemp.
When it comes to consuming enough fiber, vegans have an edge. The fiber requirement daily is 25-35 g.
Vegans will only require 30-35 g of fat daily.
- Calcium and Other Minerals
Calcium has always been of great concern when it comes to vegan diets. However, lots of plant-based foods supply even more calcium than dairy products. The daily requirement is 1,000-1,500 g.
- Vitamins B12 and D
B12 and D vitamins are one source of nutrition that vegans may lack. Consuming a host of fruits and other plant-based diets will supply the vitamins needed. It is a good idea to find a fortifying source for both B12 and D vitamins, but talk it over with your physician.
Vegan Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is a diet plan that limits meat consumption and focuses more on vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. However, those who are on this diet will occasionally eat dairy and eggs. (x) For this reason, the diet is suitable for vegans, or you can modify it to suit a vegan diet. Foods a vegan can incorporate into their diet include beans, tofu, nuts, seeds, whole grains and fibers and nut-based cheeses.
A plant-based vegan diet is a diet mainly based on vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains. This kind of diet excludes all types of animal products and focuses more on plants.
One of the most beneficial diets for a vegan is the green diet. It includes meals with greens only, such as avocado, broccoli, spinach, kiwi, green apples, green juices, barley grass, asparagus, mustard, mung beans, basil, dill and parsley. The green diet is more for improving your health concerns like heart disease and obesity. (x)
What to Eat When Trying a Vegan Diet
Vegans try as much as possible to limit their diets to plant-based foods only and avoid any foods that come from animals. If you are planning on starting a vegan diet, the restrictions on the food to avoid may seem daunting at first, but the acceptable foods include dried fruits and vegetables, roots and whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds.
Foods to Avoid as a Vegan
Vegans avoid all foods containing animal products, including fish, meat, eggs, honey and dairy products. Healthy vegans will generally consume foods such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
Is Milk Vegan?
Vegans do not consume any products derived from animals, including milk and all kinds of dairy, such as butter and cheese. Vegetarians can still consider eating milk products, but not vegans.
Are Rice Cakes Vegan?
Look at the ingredients on a package of rice cakes and notice there are two items listed: rice and salt. Rice cake manufacturers offer many variants, such as corn, quinoa, soy sauce, seaweed, pepper paste, garlic and onions with sesame oil. With this kind of formulation, vegans can consume it as part of their meal. On the other hand, fish sauce is a variant that you avoid by all means.
How To Get Protein Without Meat?
Meat is not the only source of protein, although the quality of the protein in meat is relatively high. Conversely, there are other sources of protein that vegans can use to get enough protein requirements. Protein is in seeds, beans, nuts and legumes, but each source may not have all the essential amino acids needed for your body.
Some vegan dishes as examples of what you can eat:
- Cauliflower Spaghetti with Plant-based Meat Crumbles
- Quinoa, Tofu and Broccoli Stir Fry
- Vegan Coleslaw with Peanuts
- Veggie Rice Bowl with Tempe
- Vegan Burrito Bowl
- Hummus and Veggie Wrap
- Vegan Granola with Almond Milk
- Avocado Toast
Vegan Diet Benefits
Apart from the fact that it has a beneficial effect on the planet, vegan-based diets are also suitable for human health. This is because plant-based diets are not as costly as animal-based diets, and plant-based ones have low-risk interventions, which go a long way in maintaining and improving health. Such benefits include:
- Lower Rate of Obesity
A vegan diet has proven to be highly effective in combating weight gain in both adults and children. In addition, basing your diet strictly on plants will not usually require you to exercise to lose excess weight, except maybe to stay fit.
With a vegan diet, after your meals, you will burn more calories. It is not the case in non-vegan diets, which may have fewer calories burned as most foods become stored as fats.
- Prevention of Diabetes
According to reports, vegans are at a lower risk of developing diabetes than non-vegans. When a diet is plant-based, there is a higher chance of preventing and treating diabetes. As a result, there is often an improvement in insulin sensitivity and a decline in insulin resistance. In clinical trials, vegan and even vegetarian diets proved effective in helping diabetics to achieve weight loss and reverse the buildup of fatty materials on the walls of the arteries (atherosclerosis). (x)
- Lower Risk of Heart Disease
Heart diseases can start in children, especially when parents and their children don’t monitor their obesity at that stage of their lives. However, a plant-based diet can help reduce the risk of developing heart diseases in adults and children.
- Lower Blood Pressure
Plant-based diets prove to reduce blood pressure in adults. A study revealed that adults on vegan diets have healthier blood pressure. Vegans have the lowest incidents of abnormally high blood pressure, hypertension. (x)
Studies show low meat intake is associated with a low rate of mortality in humans. (x) High intake of red meat has caused health issues, leading to mortality in most cases. Focusing on plant-based meals may help you live longer than if you were on a non-vegan diet.
Dangers of Plant-Based Diets
Some people believe that plant-based diets do not pose any form of health danger to humans as plants do not contain most of the anti-nutritional factors seen in animal-based products.
Some experts argue that we can get all the essential minerals and vitamins that we need to survive when we eat vegetables and fruits, and their potent antioxidants may ward off cancer and aging. In addition, the fiber from these foods cleans our arteries and keeps them and intestines clean.
Still, though, humans may experience some deficiencies when their diets limit to only plants.
A vegan diet can benefit your health, but your body might lack some nutrients when you decide to omit animal products altogether. The most common nutritional deficiencies caused by a vegan diet:
Anemia has come up in some vegans, and it is because of the avoidance of all animal products, which leads to vitamin B12 deficiency, a precursor for anemia. (x) Though, vegetables and fruit contain some valuable B vitamins. You may still need to take a vegan B12 supplement. It’s best to talk with your health care professional about supplementing your diet.
Where to Buy Supplements for a Vegan Diet?
You can purchase these powders and supplements for being on a vegan diet at BulkSupplements.com. The company is an industry-leading manufacturer and distributor of pure dietary supplements.
BulkSupplements.com is not just a consumer brand. It also supplies pure ingredients to other food and supplement brands to make their products. All products at BulkSupplements.com are manufactured and tested according to current and proper manufacturing practices.
Are you interested in trying any of these supplements mentioned in this article as a possible solution for supplementing your vegan diet? Contact BulkSupplements.com to place an order today.
Most people become vegans to lose excess body weight. This is because plant foods have a lot of fiber, which makes them filling and low in calories. But when you consume extra calories from any fruits, vegetables, or other foods, this increase may prompt body weight gain. It is also important to note that not all vegan foods are low in calories.
The Bottom Line
A vegan diet is a total vegetarian diet devoid of meat and other animal-derived products, including milk, honey, eggs and gelatin. People choose to go for a vegan diet because it’s healthier than most other diets, and some believe it is unethical to eat animals for food. Others, however, become vegan for religious reasons.
Vegan diets are healthy and help with longevity because of the reduced rate of meat consumption. It also has its dangers, though, as some essential nutrients are not abundant in plants. But, if you are vegan, you can easily learn how to modify your diet and supplemental intake to ensure you are at the best of health and well-being.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.