Vegan Diet - The Ultimate Guide For Beginners

August 25, 2021
Vegan Diet - The Ultimate Guide For Beginners

Increasingly, there are several types of dietary lifestyles that appeal to many people. One such diet  which is currently enjoying a great deal of popularity is Veganism as people look for a diet that is healthy, helping them keep weight off amd fitter for longer. Plus the Vegan lifestyle also has many other benefits too. Here we look at what they are - as well as its disadvantages - and, ultimately, what exactly the Vegan diet is.

What is a Vegan Diet?

The Vegan diet essentially means that followers of it do not eat any animal products. Whereas Vegetarian diets allow advocates to eat cheese, eggs and other dairy products, Vegans will not even eat those. As a result, it is often referred to as a plant based diet given that the majority of what followers consume is all plant based. Followers therefore have to get all their body needs without the use of meat, fish, dairy or eggs - which can initially be difficult, especially for those that enjoy meals based around an animal derived protein like chicken or steak. 

What Are The Advantages of a Vegan Diet?

The advantages of a Vegan lifestyle are twofold. Firstly, eating a plant based diet can be very good for you if you ensure you ingest all the vitamins and minerals and other nutrients that your body needs. To a certain extent, because Vegans will most likely eat a larger quantity of vegetables or fruit, they are more likely to hit five portions a day - a UK government guideline. 

Additionally, going Vegan has been seen to be better for the planet. Given that we are all looking for ways to help tackle climate change, that is a massive benefit for many. The farming of livestock is a huge emitter of methane as not only are the practices of rearing and keeping livestock carbon emitting, the animals themselves also release a lot of harmful gases. While the farming of vegetables and fruit is also guilty of having a large carbon footprint, it is not nearly as bad as livestock farming.

What Are The Disadvantages of a Vegan Diet?

Following a Vegan diet does come with its drawbacks. Firstly, many find it difficult to get the broad range of dishes that a more traditional, omnivore diet can have. Often, Vegans will at first only have a very slim selection of dishes that they eat for lack of knowledge of anything else they can create. 

Also, Vegans miss out on an incredibly rich source of protein and amino acids as a consequence. Meat and fish provide the body with an easy way to access all 9 amino acids strains that the body needs to function optimally. However, fruits and vegetables or a plant based diet has to be very varied to ensure that all those amino acids are ingested in some way.

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Finally, it can be very tempting to eat a diet rich in any one of the Vegan replacement foods on the market. While some can be tasty, they hold little nutritional value. Yet, because they are Vegan, they are deemed to be healthy. While that can be the case, many are made with chemicals or similar so that they add nothing to your diet.

Tips to Becoming Vegan

Variety

As briefly mentioned above, a varied diet is one of the best ways that a Vegan can arm themselves with to have the best chance of eating all the vitamins and minerals they need. Importantly, it simply keeps followers enjoying their food too. When a diet is interesting, it is far more likely to keep a person’s taste buds happy. 

Planning

At first, a Vegan diet may be hard to follow to include that much needed variety. It therefore is highly beneficial to plan ahead and maybe even use a Vegan meal delivery services in UK. That way you can ensure you are trying out as many dishes, with a wide range of ingredients, that can help you eat all you need. 

Try New Foods

New superfoods are being promoted all the time. They may be a little intimidating to use at first for fear of producing an inedible dish. However, foods like quinoa or chia seeds can be a godsend for Vegans as these foods are rich in protein, fiber and fat that can be hard to source from a traditional salad or vegetable curry that are mainstays of a Vegan diet.

The Vegan Diet - Key Takeaways

Going Vegan is a big decision to make. Yet, when eaten correctly and leveraged, it can be a great diet to follow. For some, the best way to follow it is by eating Vegan three or four days a week so that they minimise their carbon footprint while still eating animal products on other days of the week to help access those all important nutrients like amino acids. Either way, it provides a fantastic opportunity to overhaul your diet and lifestyle.


Rachel Lee
Having worked at Morgan Stanley and BNYMellon for over 10 years in pensions and investments, Rachel now works as a full-time business and financial writer.

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