Shifting to a Plant-Based Diet soon? Here’s some info you need to know [Video]

  • Veganism refers to the practice of not consuming animal products in one’s diet.
  • Some things we are hearing about being vegan are not all facts; some are only myths.
  • There are health benefits of following a plant-based diet, too.

Veganism

Many people are becoming vegans due to health, environmental, and ethical reasons. There are different kinds of vegans according to the extent to which how they exclude consuming or using meat in their diet and everyday living.

Dietary vegans exclude from their diet all animal products such as meat, eggs, and dairy products. Environmental vegan avoids consuming animal products because they believe that the way the animals are raised, and farmed is damaging to the environment. Ethical vegans, on the other hand, do not consume animal products as well as disagrees with using animals for any purpose.

Being a vegan can be good for health and the environment. And if you are planning to be one, you might want to know some things about veganism first.

Vegans do not eat any animal by-products.

People following a strict vegan diet only consume food coming from plants and no products coming from animals such as eggs, dairies, and even honey.

A vegan diet needs to be supplemented.

Vitamin B12, which is responsible for cell division and cell maintenance, can only be found in animal products. So, if you are into a plant-based diet, you may be lacking in this vitamin. Other nutrients like iron, calcium, and fatty acids can also be low in a vegan, and a quality supplement may be needed to meet this need.

Vegans are not protein-deficient.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Meat is high in proteins, and so people may think that people into plant-based diets lack proteins. On the contrary, plants are also good sources of proteins. Beans, nuts, quinoa, seeds, and soy foods are rich in proteins.

A vegan diet leads to weight loss.

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Not always. It still depends on what plant-based food you are eating.

According to a study, people consuming fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans in their diet for an entire year, became lighter by five pounds.

Meat alternatives can be healthier than meats.

Sweet Thai Chili Tofu. Photo Credit: Kirbie’s Cravings

It is not always true. There are meat substitutes such as veggie burgers that contain a lot of sodium, which can elevate blood pressure.

So better check the labels first before choosing any meat alternatives, and it might be better to consume animal-free whole foods rather than processed ones.

Health Benefits

There are many health benefits of following a plant-based diet. Plants are rich in fiber and anti-oxidant, which, according to studies, can lower the risk of cancer.

A meatless diet can also improve blood pressure, lower the risk for heart diseases, and minimize the possibility of developing type 2 diabetes.

Meatless Recipes to Start With

Here are some animal-free recipes you can try if you are starting your vegan journey.

  • Farro and White Bean Veggie Burgers

Farro and other beans are good substitutes for a patty. They are not only healthy but also nutritious.

  • Crispy Tofu Nuggets

Tofu or bean curd comes from soy milk. It can be cooked with different spices and seasonings according to your preference. Nutritional yeast is used as flakes instead of parmesan cheese.

  • Red Lentil Pasta with Vegan Basil-Pistachio Pesto

The ingredients used here are all nutrient-packed. The pasta, while gluten-free, is rich in protein. The pistachio is fiber and protein-rich, while the pesto is flavorful.

Source: NBC News



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