Vegan Diet: Everything you need to know
We have heard a lot about this diet and how people have been following it for various reasons. Here is your guide on what this diet is all about?
What is a vegan diet?
A vegan diet is essentially a diet which does not have any animal products.
What is a vegan lifestyle?
People who follow a vegan lifestyle, not only follow the vegan diet but also choose to not use any products that involve animals. E.g. Silk, leather, cosmetics tested on animals etc.
Why do people go vegan?
A lot of people go vegan because they care about the animals treated with cruelty for animal products. Some also follow a vegan diet since it is less harmful for the environment. Some do it for purely the health benefits of a vegan diet owing to the increased intake of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds etc.
What should one avoid on a vegan diet?
One must avoid all the animal products in a vegan diet. Animal products include milk and milk products (like curd, paneer, cheese, butter, ghee), eggs, chicken, meat, fish etc. Honey is also considered to be an animal product by some since it is collected by bees.
What can one eat on a vegan diet?
One can eat anything made from plant-based sources. A vegan diet includes plant-based items like grains, dals, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits. If you consider Indian meals, roti, sabzi, dal, rice, idli, poha, upma, dosa and many more vegetarian items that are made without any milk product are vegan. For cow or buffalo milk, there are a lot of substitutes like soy milk, almond milk etc. available.
What should one be careful about?
Since vegan diet restricts the intake of animal products, one must make sure that all the nutrients are obtained in the needed quality and quantities from the equivalent plant-based sources. Some of the nutrients that you need to carefully plan your intake for are Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3, Iron, Protein, Omega 3 fatty acids etc. If you have considered going on this diet for health benefits or any other reasons, it would be a good idea to consult a nutritionist to get it planned in a way that you don’t miss out on any nutrients.
- Vegan diet is devoid of animal products and includes only plant-based items.
- It offers a lot of benefits due to the increased intake of fruits, vegetables, dals, nuts etc.
- It may lack a few nutrients in appropriate quantities if not planned correctly.
- It is not inherently healthy or unhealthy. It depends upon the choices one makes.
Vada Pav and Samosa are vegan! Even though people think it is extremely healthy to go vegan, for any diet (not just vegan) it is ultimately up to the person who follows it to choose the right things. Some may choose to eat fresh vegetables, fruits and healthier meals while some may even end up eating Vada Pavs and Samosas. Hence just like any other diet, it requires you to make smart choices.