So, why turn vegan? Although the most common reason for becoming vegan is people’s morals and beliefs, more and more people are turning to an all vegan diet for the scientifically proven benefits to vegan living when compared to the average western diet – a well managed vegan diet is usually high in protein, iron, calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals, as well as being usually low in saturated fat, high in fibre and packed with antioxidants, helping reduce some of the world’s biggest health issues such as obesity, diabetes and cancer.
But, the health benefits are not the main reason people convert to veganism – vegans all share a core belief in animal rights. The treatment of animals in farms and slaughterhouses is, ironically, hard to stomach. Animals unnecessarily suffer to make food for us humans when it is not needed. The treatment of these animals is not something I will discuss further here, however if you wish to learn more Paul McCartney teamed up with PETA (People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals) to make a documentary, Glass Walls. Click here to watch the video (TRIGGER WARNING).
A key to any healthy diet, especially vegan diets, is balance. Some vegans take vitamin tablets alongside their daily intake to ensure that they have enough nutrients daily. It is recommended that you have these things daily:
- plenty of fruit and vegetables
- plenty of starchy foods
- some non-dairy sources of protein, such as beans and pulses
- some dairy alternatives, such as fortified soya drinks
- just a small amount of fatty and sugary foods
All of the above can be achieved daily with simple ingredients which are not hard to get nor overly expensive, but are often overlooked as they are different from the norm. As an example, adding edamame beans into salads, pittas or wraps adds more protein into your meal. Changing your diet drastically is something that you will need to consider over time and after conducting your own research.
Interested? Here’s some recipes:
- Jamie Oliver Vegan Recipe Compilation
- PETA’s Recipe Collection
- BBC Good Food Recipes
- Vegan Desserts
- Vegan Snacks