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World Vegan Month
November is World Vegan Month, a diet you probably will have heard a lot about in recent months. It has been deemed the new ‘trendy’ diet – but what does a vegan diet actually entail? And how can one still get all their essential vitamins, minerals and protein? Let’s take a look and answer some of these burning questions!
WHAT IS A VEGAN DIET?
A vegan diet excludes all products produced or made from animals. So, of course, this includes all meat and fish, but vegans also don’t consume dairy products, eggs and honey. There are many reasons why a person might be vegan, including ethical and moral reasons, and health reasons.
WHAT DO VEGANS EAT?
As vegans exclude all animal based products, they consume an all plant-based diet. This includes a wide range of fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, seeds, beans and pulses. A vegan can essentially still create many meals enjoyed by a person eating a full diet, but replace ingredients with plant based alternatives.
Pizzas with vegan cheese, curries and even dishes like lasagne can all be made vegan with some planning. In the supermarkets today, you’d be surprised to see the range of plant-based alternatives for almost every dairy product. And you can even scramble up tofu for an egg alternative!
HOW DO VEGANS MAINTAIN A HEALTHY AND NUTRITIOUS DIET?
The key to having a completely nutritiously sound diet whilst being vegan is planning. Indeed, many dieticians and nutritionists have confirmed that you can get all the nutrients you need if you plan ahead and know your food groups. For example, tofu, beans, lentils and soya-based products are a great source of protein and should be eaten with most meals to get enough protein. Red meat is attributed for its high iron content, but nuts, sesame seeds and leafy greens are good plant alternatives. It’s the calcium you need to watch out for when eating vegan – as dairy products are extremely calcium rich! Therefore eating foods like tofu, calcium fortified foods (like soya milk or butter), leafy greens and nuts are extremely important. Yeast extract is essential for Vitamin B 12 and of course; include grains for your carbohydrate hit.
CONSIDERING GOING VEGAN?
If you’re thinking of going vegan, do your research. It is perfectly possible to maintain a healthy diet, but it’s important to plan, know the facts and most importantly – get creative in the kitchen!
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