Inviting a vegan guest over dinner but not completely sure of which food items to include and which ones to exclude? You have to check the menu carefully to ensure that the meal follows two basic rules- foods from plants are okay, but foods from animals are a big no (including common ingredients like eggs, cheese, milk, and honey). Still not a popular concept, many people have adapted to a vegan lifestyle in order to improve their health in the last few years. A plant-based diet lowers the risk of various diseases. There are others also who don’t consume meat because they don’t want to harm animals or want to protect the environment.
Vegans don’t eat animal foods for environmental, ethical, or health reasons. Unfortunately, eating a diet based exclusively on plants may cause certain nutrient deficiencies. This is especially true when you don’t plan your vegan diet. If you want to lead a healthy lifestyle while being a vegan, then you should consume a nutrient-rich diet with whole and fortified foods. There are certain foods and food groups that should be part of a healthy vegan diet.
Are you also thinking of going vegan but wondering whether this way of eating is right for you? However, it is a fact that there are several advantages of going meatless, but there are a few challenges as well.
Food items you can eat
You can eat foods made from plants while you are on a vegan diet. Such food items are as follows:
- Vegetable oils
- Nuts and seeds
- Fruits and vegetables
- Breads, rice, and pasta
- Legumes like peas, beans, and lentils
- Dairy alternatives such as soymilk, coconut milk, and almond milk
Food items you cannot eat
Vegans cannot consume any food made from animals. Such food items are mentioned below:
- Cheese and butter
- Chicken, duck, and other poultry
- Beef, pork, lamb, and other red meat
- Mayonnaise (because it includes egg yolks)
- Milk, cream, ice cream, and other dairy products
- Fish or shellfish such as crabs, clams, and mussels
Health benefits of vegan diets
Studies have shown that vegans have better heart health and lower odds of having certain diseases. When you are not eating meat, then you have lesser chances of becoming obese or getting heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. If you are a vegan, then you are less likely to get diabetes and some kinds of cancer, especially cancers of the GI tract and the breast, ovaries, and uterus in women.
A vegan lifestyle might help you live longer, especially if you reduce your daily calories as well. One reason for all of these health benefits may be better weight control. Vegans have a lower body mass index (BMI) as compared to those who eat animal-based products. Another perk is good nutrition. The staples of vegan diets are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts. These food items are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and compounds that protect against diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
Providing reliable information and updating both vegans and aspiring vegans, The Vegan Indians (TVI) is a one-stop destination for those compassionate people who are concerned about Mother Earth and Animals. A humble effort by Supriya Mishra, TVI is engaged in helping people understand veganism and encouraging them to adopt this ethical, cruelty-free, and sustainable lifestyle. She wants to reach out to the Indian vegan community through The Vegan Indians and use this platform to present their innovations and stories. Stay updated with all the latest vegan news with TVI.