There has been a tremendous increase in the number of vegans over the years. Restaurants have a completely new menu catering to the needs of vegans. This brings the question “What is vegan food all about?” All these years based on our eating habits, we have only been classified as vegetarians and non- vegetarians. A sudden spurt of vegans has left us confused about what they eat and how they are different from vegetarians.
What is a vegan?
A vegan is someone who doesn’t resort to any form of animal exploitation. You may wonder that’s what vegetarians do as well; but, veganism is something beyond vegetariansim. In simpler words, it’s the strictest form of vegetarianism where all products and by-products derived from animals like milk, curd, eggs, refined sugar, honey, cheese etc., are also excluded from their diet. Some of them go a step ahead and restrict the usage of personal products that involve torturing animals like leather, silk and wool.
What do vegans eat?
A vegan diet isn’t sorcery. Vegans do eat the typical food you eat on a daily basis from pulses, to rice, to breads. But they replace animal products with plant substitutes. In fact there is a vegan recipe for every food including ice creams, cakes and meats. Soy products are usually the common replacement for a non-vegan food.
Vegetables, fruits and cereals play a prominent role in a vegan kitchen and give them the required nutrition.
Milk is usually replaced by coconut, almond or soy milk. A vegan tea, coffee, ice cream or milkshake is made of any of this milk.
One of the most interesting ingredients in a vegan’s kitchen is tofu. Tofu is a form of cheese made by curdling soy milk. Since vegans stay away from meat, they get their dose of proteins through tofu. It is lower in calorie and is also a rich source of calcium, potassium, selenium, zinc and iron. Having tofu gives all the nutrients the body requires, which they are otherwise likely to be devoid of. It is also a versatile ingredient that can be had in place of eggs or meat.
There are also various forms of mock meats made of plant proteins that taste like meat, exclusively designed for those who like to have the flavour of meat in their food.
Vegans aren’t limited with choices or devoid of the delicious food people normally eat. The vegan substitute for every dish leaves them with numerous choices of dishes in their menu, which they can choose from.
Is vegan food healthy?
There is a misconception that non-meat eaters are less healthy and nutritious. Plants offer equal amount of nutrition that we can get from meat. In fact, getting your required amount of nutrition from plants is better, because it is free of side effects.
Since vegan food consists of only fruits, vegetables, cereals and nuts; you are open to different kinds of natural products and are sure to reap all the benefits from them.
You are not likely to consume unhealthy fats or cholesterol; hence, it is great in maintaining a healthy body.
Why go vegan?
There are several reasons for people to adopt veganism. Some of them become vegans to abstain from any form of animal cruelty; while others do to reap the benefits of a vegan diet. Vegan diet is one of the popular diet plans known to aid in weight loss and enhance your health in the long run. It is an eco-friendly and healthy diet that does wonders for you.
Benefits of vegan food
- Detoxifies your body from time to time
Since meat is completely eliminated from the vegan diet, there is no chance of retention of animal fat in your body. The goodness of plant based products naturally flushes out the toxins from your body that in turn lowers your blood sugar and cholesterol levels and improves the function of kidney.
- Helps in maintaining a healthy figure
A vegan diet reduces your calorie intake and helps you shed the excess fat. Studies also state the vegans tend to have a lower BMI than non-vegans. This is a healthy diet plan to promote weight loss.
- Protects you from the risk of heart diseases
Vegans tend to consume more whole grains and nuts to meet their protein needs. An addition of large quantities of nuts and grains to your diet is great for your heart. This diet is an effective way to lower blood sugar and LDL cholesterol level to protect you from any form of heart diseases
- Highly nutritious
Since a vegan diet relies wholly on plant based products, you inevitably get a higher dose of beneficial nutrients. Studies show that vegan food gives you an abundance of plant compounds, fibre, antioxidants, folate, potassium, magnesium and vitamins.
If you want to go vegan try to cut down your meat and dairy products gradually. An immediate loss of meat can leave you feeling frustrated. Remember, an unbalanced vegan diet is bad for your health. Make sure you choose your food the right way to give your body its necessary nutrients.