Surely you have heard a friend rejecting a barbecue because they say they follow a vegan diet. If you are familiar with these situations, you should have some idea of what vegan nutrition consists of. Is it a diet? Is it a lifestyle?
The following article will answer these questions; we will know what a vegan diet consists of, its differences from a vegetarian diet, and what you should consume if you want to follow this lifestyle.
- 1 Vegan nutrition: what is it and how not to die trying.
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What is veganism nutrition?
Veganism is a diet characterized by completely excluding all animal origin foods, including products that involve an animal process, such as honey or eggs, from the list of food they consume daily.
Vegans believe that the human being is not above any other animal species. In this way, they reject any animal product. However, many vegans consider that this option goes beyond a diet and also constitutes a way of thinking and acting on a day-to-day basis. For this reason, there are different types of vegans.
Is it the same as a vegetarian diet? What's the difference?
Vegetarians accept animal derivatives, such as eggs and milk, but vegans avoid these products by supplementing them with seeds and herbs.
Veganism is not only a way of eating; it is, besides, a lifestyle that implies not consuming products of animal origin, be it food, a garment, or a shoe. The vegan diet does not include the following products: milk, butter, eggs, cheese, any other dairy, or honey.
Therefore, we can affirm that veganism is an ethical and philosophical position that focuses not only on food.
Benefits of a vegan nutrition
The main reason to become vegan should not be a selfish reason. It is not a lifestyle designed to lose weight or to look better. The heart of the vegan movement is to promote respect for the environment and the rest of the living beings on the planet.
However, there are physical benefits that the body will appreciate, such as:
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- Decreases hypertension
- Helps to lose weight
- Reduces the risk of some types of cancer
- Helps lower blood sugar levels (Type II Diabetes)
- Improves kidney function
- May reduce arthritis pain
Tips to start the lifestyle.
A radical diet change is never recommended. The first step to leaving processed meat and entering the world of veganism is to visit a nutritionist. In this way we will learn about our body and what we must do to achieve the goal.
The most recommended is to start the transformation gradually. It is not necessary to abandon all meats, eggs and milk from day one. The body will know when it has done the total transformation.
Some general tips:
- Eat whenever you feel hungry and until you feel full.
- Drink enough water daily.
- Exercise daily.
- Make sure you get all necessary and vitamin sources. (more tips on this later)
Getting the vegan sources of vitamins and minerals
Contrary to what many people think, it is easy to meet and exceed your protein needs with a vegetarian diet.
The consumption of legumes, cereals, or pseudo-cereals such as quinoa, derived from soybeans such as tofu or tempeh, as well as vegetable drinks and nuts will make it have a quality varied supply of proteins. And in the case of diets that include eggs and dairy, we will also add these good protein sources.
The sources of iron are mainly vegetables. Although its assimilation is less than iron from meat, if consumed in the same meal together with foods high in vitamin C and avoid the intake of foods rich in calcium, it will improve the absorption of iron.
In vegan diets where dairy is not included, this nutrient can be obtained from green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and spinach as well as white beans, kale, chickpeas, soybeans, and their derivatives such as tofu.
They also have vegetable drinks that are enriched with calcium that can be consumed in the vegan diet.
Along with calcium, it must be ensured the presence of vitamin D since it regulates calcium passage to the bone. Vitamin D is found in fats, and in a vegetarian diet, its central intake is in beverages enriched with this vitamin.
Vegans must supplement vitamin B12. The most comfortable way to do this is through a weekly supplement of vitamin B12 with a contribution of 2000 micrograms.
Contained in oily fish in the vegetarian diet, vegans will obtain them from the consumption of olive oil, 3-4 walnuts, and 6-8g of crushed flax.
As you have seen, committing to vegan nutrition is not as difficult as it may sound. It is only a matter of making the decision, rejecting certain foods, finding their respective alternatives and starting a healthier life for both you and the environment.
Don’t forget to read more articles on nutrition and mental health to continue researching and improving your personal life. Pranayama and the importance of breathing exercises. Meditation: What is it, and how it can highlight the body.
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