Veganism is one of the most talked about subject of the recent times and all of it can be attributed to the growing awareness of leading a greener and organic lifestyle. It won’t be wrong if we say that, veganism is not only a prerogative of the celebrities and famous. It has now developed as one of the most preferred lifestyle choices of today.
Saying so, you all must now be wondering that what is so special about going vegan and why has it turned as the best choice?
Discovering all of it, the first thing we want to know –
what is vegan?
A vegan diet is also referred as the plant based diet, animal friendly diet, animal free diet and meat and dairy free diet.
A vegan is a person who chooses to omit all animal based products and also its by-products from his or her diet.
This simply means removing all meat and meat products, fish and seafood and even eggs, cheese, milk, honey, cream and butter. Anything that is somehow related to animal origin.
Vegetarians and vegans are almost similar, except that a vegan also excludes any sort of animal based products (eggs, dairy products etc.) from their diet.
What is the major reason that people choose to turn vegan?
There could be various reasons for a person to turn vegan from social to lifestyle and many. But, the main reasons that promoted as vegan diet are:
- For the purpose of detoxification.
- Veganism has been associated with many health benefits like weight loss, skin toning, relief from allergies and many others.
- For the prevention and treatment of many chronic health issues like diabetes, arthritis, cancers, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
- It promotes longevity.
- It makes you look younger by enhancing certain features like skin, hair and nails and eyes.
- People who are associated with a animal rights and protection.
- To create awareness and concerns on environmental issues.
- It tastes better.
- It is cheaper and accessible than non-vegetarian food.
What is the difference between vegan and vegetarian?
Explaining and understanding the difference between a vegan and vegetarian diet is not difficult.
A vegan diet is the one that does not includes any animal products in any form whatsoever. They exclude all dairy and such things like honey that comes from animal sources. Some vegans are so extreme in their beliefs that they don’t even use or wear any fabrics that made out of animal skin or fur like wool. They are the more extreme types as compared to vegetarians.
A vegetarian diet is the one that does not include and meat or poultry or fish.
Even vegetarians are categorized into three more categories.
These are ovo vegetarians, lacto vegetarians and lacto-ovo vegetarians.
- Ovo vegetarians: are the ones who does not consume any dairy or dairy products, but they eat eggs.
- Lacto vegetarians: are the ones who do not even eat eggs too.
- Lacto ovo vegetarians: are the ones who does not eats meats, poultry and fish, but they eat dairy and eggs.
Weather vegan or vegetarian, both have their own benefits when followed in the correct manner. It has been observed that people who follow either vegan or vegetarian diet, have lower cholesterols, have healthier body weight and have better heart health.
What are the best vegan foods?
By now we know that vegans do not eat animal or animal by products at all and these could be due to environmental, health or ethical values. But, the crux is that what you are and what you follow, the main aim is to eat and stay healthy.
Noted below are some best vegan foods that all of u can enjoy apart from vegans:
One of the major problems that vegans in general face is that they get deprived of proteins. It is because there are very few or less sources of plant proteins that are complete proteins. Legumes are the best options to fill up your requirements of proteins and iron.
More to legumes, they’re also excellent sources of fiber, slow digesting carbohydrates, iron, folate, manganese, zinc, antioxidants and other health-promoting plant compounds.
Whole Grains and Cereals
Whole grains and cereals are rich sources of complex carbs, fiber, and iron, as well as B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium. These are also high in proteins and provide the right kind of nutrients that the body needs to flourish.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are the best ways to replace your favorite meals with vitamin- and mineral-rich fruits and vegetables instead. A good alternative to animal based foods, fruits and vegetables have all the essential nutrients to optimally let the body function.
As vegans avoid all foods of animal origin, they can be deprived of certain nutrients as compared to others. A well-planned plant based diet is the only solution to avoid any sort of nutritional deficiency.
Ms. Sheela Seharawat
Dietician and Founder Member – Diet Clinic
(10 Best Startups in Fitness, 2017)