Is it me, or is it the year of the Vegan? I don’t know about you, but I’ve lost count of the amount of vegan related posts during January.
It seems ‘Veganuary’ was definitely a thing! However, the trend still seems to be going strong. So what’s it all about?
What is a Vegan?
Veganism is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy products plus all other animal-derived ingredients. Many vegans also do not eat foods that are processed using animal products, such as refined white sugar and some wines. ‘Vegan’ refers to a person who follows this way of eating.
Sounding impossible? Well hold that thought…
Is it healthy?
A vegan diet includes all grains, beans, legumes, vegetables and fruits. Vegans can still eat highly nutritional and yummy meals! For example, most popular meals can be converted easily to a vegan version. Take a vegetarian Thai curry- when this is made with coconut milk it’s vegan – no meat, no dairy. It’s safe to say that many of our go-to foods are still on the menu including chips, bread, green salad, pasta and baked beans!
In addition, many substitutes are available such as; soy milk, dairy free yoghurts, veggie burgers even vegan free mayonnaise to help pave the way to the vegan lifestyle. Like any diet or lifestyle choice it is important not to exclude a needed food group completely. So as long as you are sourcing your needed nutrients from a substitute you can remain healthy.
Well-planned plant-based diets are rich in protein, iron, calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals. The plant-based sources of these nutrients tend to be low in saturated fat, high in fibre and packed with antioxidants, helping fight some of the modern world’s biggest health issues like obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
But it’s not just you that you’re helping…
Other reasons for Veganism…
The benefits are for all, starting with the most obvious, animal welfare.
Preventing the exploitation of animals is not the only reason for becoming vegan, but for many it remains a key factor in their decision to go vegan and stay vegan. Specifics aside, avoiding animal products is one of the most obvious ways you can take a stand against animal cruelty and animal exploitation everywhere.
And another thing…
Why is meat and dairy so bad for the environment? The production of meat and other animal products places a heavy burden on the environment – from crops and water required to feed the animals, to the transport and other processes involved in getting the product to our plate. A plant-based diet requires only one third of the land needed to support a meat and dairy diet as considerably lower quantities of crops and water are required to sustain a vegan diet. Switching to veganism could be one of the most effective ways to reduce our impact on the environment.
Food for thought I guess! But are you persuaded?
Maybe it’s not a lifestyle change you’re completely ready to commit to. After all it would take some serious dedication. But if you fancy making the change just a few times a week, it all makes a difference.
Follow me on Twitter @rubyslifestyle. My book is available now on Amazon! www.amazon.co.uk-Loyal-Liar-Ruby-Reed