If you’re new to veganism, you might be wondering which foods are okay to eat, and what foods you need to refrain from.
When it comes to veganism, there is a lot of information out there – and a lot of opinions too – but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some vegan diet tips for beginners to make sure you’re starting off on the right foot!
What is a vegan diet?
A vegan diet is a diet that excludes all animal products. This means that you can eat any type of food, as long as it’s not made from (or by) animals.
People go vegan for a lot of different reasons, personal and political, but the main reason tends to be the desire to lead a cruelty-free lifestyle.
There are many different types of vegan diets, so it can be a little overwhelming for someone new to the concept. According to Happiful Magazine, the vegan diet can be split into 5 categories:
- Environmentally conscious
However, these 5 categories don’t fully cover the broad range of veganism either. People opt to go vegan for a lot of reasons, whether it’s health motivated, cruelty influenced or encouraged by their religion.
On top of that, some people choose to lead a completely vegan lifestyle where they don’t just eat plant-based; but only buy items and clothing that are animal-free too.
What are the benefits of a vegan diet?
A vegan diet is healthy and nutritious – so long as you eat the right food in the right moderation.
It’s packed with nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber! Furthermore, vegan diets have actually been linked to lower blood sugar and decreasing the risk of heart disease.
The only downside is that certain minerals, such as iron, can be more difficult to meet your daily recommended intake on a vegan diet. A lot of plants do provide iron, however, the type of iron they provide us with is not as easily absorbed and circulated around the bloodstream compared to meat-acquired iron.
That’s why it’s important to monitor and plan your diet if you choose to go vegan and to be open to using various good greens supplements to help bolster your vitamin and mineral intake.
How do I make the switch to a vegan diet?
When you’re looking to make the switch to a vegan diet, it can be difficult to figure out which foods are okay to eat.
You might be surprised to hear that – surely it’s just meat and dairy, right?
Well, the problem is that so many food items contain animal products that you might not be aware of.
One of the biggest perpetrators of this is gelatin. Gelatin can be found in various sweets and candy, and is actually made from boiled animal bones and tendons.
Candy may not sound so sweet anymore!
You’ll want to make sure that you do thorough research into what can and can’t be eaten as a vegan. You’d be surprised by which foods aren’t vegan, so be prepared to find alternatives to some of your favorite snacks!
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when transitioning to a vegan diet:
1. Take It Easy
Making any lifestyle and dietary change is going to be difficult, but going vegan is a whole other level. You’ll possibly be ridiculed (but just remember that millions of others are making the same choices as you), and might struggle with the initial switch.
You could try to ease yourself into the diet by introducing more vegan food in tandem with non-vegan options, and slowly swapping out those non-vegan foods more and more to help your body adjust to the new diet.
Also, don’t be too hard on yourself if you do slip up and eat something that isn’t vegan, we’re only human and make mistakes!
2. Be Informed
Make sure you read up on veganism and if possible, talk to your doctor regarding your interest in switching to the diet.
They can help advise you on how you can ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need to be healthy and thrive.
You should also use all the help available to you online – there are tonnes of apps designed to help vegans with their lifestyle by including things like vegan recipes, vegan brands, and lists of vegan-friendly foods.
You can even find apps that help track your nutritional intake, which really cannot be stressed enough for its importance when going vegan.
3. Don’t Be Caught Out by Fake Outs
In recent years, it’s become a trend for popular brands to make vegan alternatives of meat-based dishes so vegans have more variety to cook up at home.
This is great because it helps alleviate the stress of meal-prepping, especially if you are a busy person.
Whilst it may help you maintain the vegan diet, however, don’t be tricked into thinking that all of these processed vegan options are healthy!
Processed food generally isn’t good for you, and studies are showing that regardless of being animal-based or plant; junk food is junk food!
Veganism is a great way to live a healthy lifestyle, but there are some important things to take into consideration before making the switch.
The key to succeeding in any lifestyle change is to be open-minded, research, probably fail, do more research, and eventually succeed!
If you still aren’t sure that a vegan diet is right for you but want to eat healthier, check out Food For Thought: Tips To Support Healthy Eating Habits for some great tools to manage your diet and keep your body happy!