The vegan way of living is increasingly becoming a popular lifestyle choice for those who’re trying to make a difference in these times when the very air that we breathe has become excessively polluted. We’re telling you all that you need to know if you’re curious about what it really means to be vegan. Say yes to a vegan salad!
First Things First
Vegans in addition to being vegetarian, neither consume meat, fish, poultry, and nor do they use other animal products and by-products such as eggs, dairy products, honey, leather, fur, silk, wool, cosmetics, and soaps derived from animal products.
Vegans are sometimes distinguished by different categories. Dietary vegans only refrain from ingesting animal products—which means that they don’t consume anything containing meat, and neither do they consume anything that contains eggs or dairy products, or even other animal-derived food products. Ethical vegans are those who extend this philosophy to their lives as well. They oppose the usage of animal products for any purpose. A third category is Environmental vegans who believe that using animal products harms the environment and is not sustainable.
The Vegan Diet
A nutritionally sound diet is imperative to the vegan lifestyle, and variety of ingredients is key. A healthy and varied diet would consist of fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, whole grain products, and legumes. It tends to be higher in dietary fibre but low in dietary energy. A vegan salad is the perfect way to start your day. In fact these are some vegan cafes in the city.
Avoiding Animal Products
Vegans do not eat any kind of meat, or even products like gelatin. Dietary vegans may use animal products in toiletries, clothing (leather, wool, fur, and silk), and other such uses. Vegans reject the commodifying of animals, and often even refrain from getting injections that may contain animal matter in them. It is argued that the vegan lifestyle is impractical and hard to follow.
The various vegan groups disagree about using products derived from insects. The Vegan Society and the American Vegan society do not consider honey, silk, and other insect products as items suitable for vegans; while Vegan Action and Vegan Outreach see it as a matter of personal choice. A popular alternative to honey is agave nectar.
Plant Milk and Plant Meats
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Meet analogues or mock meats are based on tofu that is derived from soybeans. Soybean is a complete protein, which means that it contains all the essential amino acids that the human body needs. Tofu (beancurd) comes in a variety of textures varying from extra firm for stews and stir-fry dishes, to silken for salads and shakes.
Plant milks—such as soy milk, almond milk, grain milks (oat milk and rice milk), hemp milk, and coconut milk—are used in place of cows’ or goats’ milk. It is not recommended for vegan parents to feed their child with soy milk, but commercially available baby formulas may be given.
Effects On Health
Veganism does appear to have many health benefits. Following the vegan diet, which is high in dietary fibre, and many other components aids weight loss and reduces the risk of chronic heart-related diseases and type 2 diabetes. However, completely removing all animal products from your regular diet can make you prone to deficiencies of vitamin B12 and D, omega-3 fatty acids, and calcium and so you’d be advised to have fortified foods or supplements. You may also be at a risk of low bone mineral density without supplements since zinc and iron are practically non-existent in the diet.
Featured Photo Courtesy Of: Wikimedia Commons
This article is part of the EatTreat campaign to eat better and live more consciously. We are creating the #EatEffect. Are you with us? #GreenIsTheNewBlack. Come see us at our event – The Great Winter Picnic.
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