What Is Veganism? And What Do Vegans Eat?
What Is Veganism:
- Veganism is more than just a diet – it’s an entire lifestyle that shuns the use of all animal products, even when they’re not food related.It goes beyond omitting meat and dairy from your diet, though.
- Vegans don’t wear leather or wool, they don’t use silk or fur, and they avoid products that are tested on animals such as cosmetics and household cleaners.
- On top of that, veganism extends to companies and products to which you might not think it applies at first glance.
The History of Veganism
Although some cultures have used a vegetarian diet as a means of maintaining health and/or spiritual purity, veganism is most often associated with animal rights activists.
Some people call themselves vegan because they follow a plant-based diet—while others avoid foods that have been derived from animals.
Animal products that vegans avoid include: honey, eggs, milk and other dairy products, gelatin (made from animal bones), and wool.
The Basis of Veganism
To understand what vegans eat, you have to first understand what veganism is. The term vegan—abbreviated for vegetarian—is used by those who choose to refrain from consuming any animal products.
Meat, fish, eggs and dairy are all off-limits, but vegans can still enjoy a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and plant-based proteins.
Learn more about veganism here . A Typical Day’s Menu: When it comes to nutrition, vegans don’t differ much from vegetarians or omnivores in terms of diet.
A typical day’s menu might include an omelet with tofu, breakfast quesadillas with soy cheese and orange juice. Lunch could be pasta with marinara sauce and dinner would consist of grilled tofu skewers over saute´ed spinach.
At every meal, non-dairy milk substitutes like almond milk are popular alternatives to cow’s milk; nut butter is another go-to spread that adds flavor without using any meat products; legumes like beans are good sources of protein; and whole grains such as quinoa provide fiber and complex carbohydrates that give you energy throughout your day without leaving you feeling sluggish or full afterward.
Where Do Vegans Get Their Protein?
There is a common misconception that vegans don’t get enough protein. This couldn’t be further from truth. In fact, because many non-vegan foods are high in saturated fat and cholesterol, vegans often have a healthier overall diet than non-vegans.
Healthy plant sources of protein include beans and legumes (such as lentils and peas), soy products such as tofu, seitan and tempeh, nuts (like almonds or cashews), seeds (like sunflower or pumpkin seeds) and whole grains (like quinoa).
A quick Google search will uncover vegan recipes that use these proteins to create delicious meals to satisfy any palate. As an added bonus, plant-based proteins are easier on your wallet than animal proteins such as red meat!
Why Go Vegan?
If you eat meat, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of vegan in a derogatory context. If so, you may have formed an opinion based on those negative connotations—which is understandable, but not entirely fair.
As with any lifestyle or food choice, veganism comes with some pros and cons. While it may seem like it’s outside of your comfort zone, that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t be worth giving a try.
Here are some reasons why going vegan might be beneficial for your health and for our planet’s
Help Your Children Understand
Many children look up to their parents as authorities and may not understand why their parents have chosen to go vegan.
While it’s tempting to shield them from news stories of animal cruelty or graphic images of factory farms, keeping information from your children can actually contribute to feelings of confusion and guilt.
By explaining your decision, you can help your kids make sense of why you chose a vegan lifestyle. They might even want to join in! In addition, keep an eye out for plant-based cookbooks designed for children (with lots of pictures!).
It’s never too early—or too late—to learn about how our choices impact animals and our planet.
Being a Responsible Parent on a Plant-Based Diet
A vegan diet is a great way to practice responsible parenting. Many children are picky eaters, and it’s important for parents to make smart choices when feeding their family.
Children on vegan diets tend to have healthier body weights and lower BMI compared with those who eat meat, according to a study published in Pediatrics.
While vegetarian and vegan diets can be healthy for people of all ages, some kids might have vitamin or nutrient deficiencies until they reach adulthood.
Make sure your child is getting all their recommended vitamins by speaking with your doctor about supplementation. If you are going plant-based as a family, get creative with different ways of eating vegetables and fruits, such as smoothies or colorful salads.
Healthy Eating Habits in General—How to Feed Yourself and Your Kids Right Even If You Aren’t On A Plant-Based Diet
A plant-based diet is a great way to eat and live, but it’s not for everyone. The good news is that eating healthily doesn’t require you to follow any one fad diet; in fact, staying healthy and losing weight can be as simple as sticking to some basic nutrition rules.
To get a little guidance with your own eating habits—whether you’re a vegan or not—follow these suggestions from Healthline • Be mindful of portion sizes:
One of the easiest ways to lose weight is to simply pay attention to what you’re putting on your plate. If you have a large helping of pasta at dinner, cut back on other carbs throughout the day.
You’ll likely lose weight without even trying if you make small changes like these every day. (Related: How Many Carbs Should You Eat Per Day?)
Resources for Going Meatless
More and more people in America are cutting back on meat, for a variety of reasons. One of these is to reduce their carbon footprint, since factory farming has a big impact on climate change.
The most sustainable way to live meat-free is by following a plant-based diet. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds – plus plenty of water – gives you everything you need.
And since vegan dishes tend to be quite flavorful as well as nutritious, it’s not hard to find ones that don’t feel like sacrifice.
Recipes You Can Try Today!
If you’re interested in giving veganism a try, there are a lot of recipes online that can help you get started. Here are a few of our favorites:
Breakfast Quinoa with Apples and Raisins : This simple breakfast recipe is great if you’re feeling tired of eggs and toast.
Simply substitute your standard oatmeal or quinoa for whole grains, swap out honey for maple syrup, and throw some raisins into your bowl to sweeten things up.
Overnight oats will keep you full until lunch without adding any extra fat to your meal!