Vegan and a plant-based diet is taking over the health foods niche due to the ethical pattern of nutrition, as well as the power-packed robust benefits.
Now, plant-based meals are not the same as a vegan meal.
Vegan meals are effective for those with multiple food allergies (lactose-intolerance) and are also deemed to be fit for ethical consumption. These do not contain any animal products and strive to substitute meat and milk-based items with equally-nutritive choices.
On the other hand, plant-based food includes nutrition from minimally-processed ingredients. These would be nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and whole-grains.
It is beneficial for those choosing to or allergic to meat-based diets, as it is rich in protein and other nutrients.
Hence, a vegan and plant-based diet system can help people stay healthier.
What are the Benefits of Going Vegan?
The health benefits of going vegan are plentiful. According to reports from 2017, about 6% of Americans have turned to vegan meals for sustenance.
While some choose to do so from their love for animals and against animal cruelty, most vegan individuals opt for health benefits.
Vegan Diets are More Effective for Weight Loss
According to researches, those following vegan diets have lower BMI. Meaning, a diet with vegan meals can turn out effective for those aiming at a fitter and healthier body.
Vegan Diets are Nutritious
The replacements of meats in vegan diets are rich in nutrition, affordable, and can benefit your health.
You can receive your daily health benefits from:
- Whole grains
- And a plethora of vegetables.
Every ingredient in a vegan diet can incorporate itself into meals and make them as equally nutritious as a meat-based meal.
Moreover, studies also suggest vegan meals to be rich in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins. Meaning, they provide energy while helping keep the body fit and strong.
Vegan Diet = Lesser Stress
Studies find that having plant-based diets can help reduce and balance stress levels. Our cortisol hormone is the stress hormone, which in excess can be potentially harmful to our minds and body.
A stressed mind can gain weight and have heart issues. Hence, dark chocolate, dark green leafy veggies, and fruits can help reduce stress and stay fit through and through.
Ultimate Brain Food
Vegan ingredients are the ultimate brain foods that can energize both body and mind. It is rich in vitamins and antioxidants that can help the brain function properly. Moreover, its high-fiber and carb content can help you ideate your plans throughout the day.
Which Foods to Give Up When Going Vegan?
While milk, cheese, and butter are common non-vegan ingredients, there are a few more products that you might need to remove from the shelf:
- All meat, and meat-based products such as lard (pork fat used for frying)
- Ice cream and heavy creams
- Mayo, as it contains eggs
- All poultry products
- Shellfish, such as clams and mussels, and more!
Of course, the downside of a vegan diet gone wrong would be the inclusion of vegan-based junk food. These would be
- Potato chips
- processed almond milk
- Peanut butter (it can lead to weight gain)
- Fried corn chips
While going vegan, make sure to choose vegan snacks that can be healthy for your mind and body.
Vegan Meals can be Sustainable and Eco-Friendly
Meat-based meals, while healthy in moderation, can be harmful to the body, as well the world. With global warming on the rise, meat diets lead to more carbon dioxide in the air as well as nitrous oxide and methane.
These are greenhouse gases that trap solar energy and heats up the earth’s surface.
However, a vegan diet does not contribute to global warming, and rather makes green living, an ideal situation for all. With lesser people falling sick, lesser animal slaughter, the world can stay away from the harmful impacts of global warming.
How to Start a Vegan Diet?
The following steps can be crucial in starting a vegan diet. These are:
- Start by having semi-vegetarian meals, such as egg salads. You can proceed slowly by leaving out the eggs from the meals.
- Use meat as a garnish, not the centerpiece. When you choose it as an extra option, it can become easy to leave.
- Keep your breakfast healthy with oats and fruits. Doing so can help build an appetite throughout the day.
- Keep dessert options surrounding fruits. Granola bars with cherries, apples, and oranges can help with the sweet tooth cravings.
These are nifty ways to start off and opt for a vegan and plant-based diet. You can check our next article in the vegan series for a comprehensive guide for beginners.