It’s the time of year where New Year’s resolutions are in abundance and the Veganuary movement is at the forefront of many minds. Lots of people convert to veganism during the start of a new year for reasons spanning from wanting to help protect the planet to becoming healthier by only consuming plant-based foods.
Many questions are raised relating to the health and nutritional benefits of converting to veganism. In this blog, we aim to help myth-bust some of the common questions raised around living an animal-free lifestyle.
What is Veganism?
Vegans commonly define themselves as individuals who do not consume or use any food or product which is derived from animals. The more mainstream vegan lifestyle centres around food where it is not practice to consume any meat, fish, honey, palm oil or food products containing animal-components.
More devout vegans also avoid using any products that are not environmentally friendly; seek out reusable products where possible and promote a more natural way of life.
Can consuming a Vegan diet satisfy my nutritional needs?
Myth-Bust: Vegans can live just as much of a healthy or unhealthy lifestyles as non-vegans should they not be conscious of how they are fuelling their bodies, and their calorie intake. It is a scientific fact that if you consume more calories than you are burning, you will gain weight.
If choosing a vegan diet, it is beneficial to afford a little more attention towards the micro-nutrients you are consuming and take a look at some supplementation to support your body a little. However, if we all spent a little more time considering this, no matter your diet, we would almost ALL benefit!
Let’s take look in a bit more detail at sources of beneficial vitamins and minerals that vegans can eat, but we all require,to maintain healthy bodies:
Vegans: soy milk, fortified ready-to-eat cereals, nutritional yeast
Vegetarians: (in addition to above) dairy products such as eggs, milk, cheese
Vegans/Vegetarians: rich greens; spinach, swiss chard, kale, nuts/seeds; pine, pistachio, cashews, quinoa, brown rice, lentils, TOFU
Vegans: soy milk, orange juice, cereal, shitake mushrooms
Vegetarians: (in addition to above) dairy products such as eggs, cow’s milk, cheese
Is it true that Vegans struggle to incorporate enough protein in their diet?
In any diet, but particularly when your aim is to lose weight, it is vital to consume enough protein to help you feel fuller for longer and reduce your desire to reach for the not-so-nutritional snacks!
Myth-Bust: Nearly all vegetables, beans, grains, nuts and seeds contain protein. Some often even contain a larger supply of protein than we may expect! Meat-free lovers rarely find difficulty in getting enough protein by sticking to a varied diet containing lots of veggies, nuts, grains, beans and seeds.
Will going vegan help me to lose weight?
If you’re wanting to lose weight by committing to a vegan lifestyle, then most likely, you will succeed and see some considerable weight-loss benefits from this style of eating.
Myth-Bust: The simple act of switching to veganism, means that you are instantly deciding to become a more mindful eater: thinking about everything you eat and drink. This journey quickly develops into a lifestyle change. Something far more powerful than a faddy diet trend filled with empty promises!
I can’t be vegan if I am wanting to experience a healthy pregnancy, can I?
Myth-Bust: If you are wanting to encourage the whole family in a new vegan lifestyle, brilliant! As a vegan mother to a new-born, breast-feeding will always benefit your baby initially. If natural breast-feeding is not your feeding method of choice or is not a viable option for you, there are many soy-based formulas available as alternatives to breast milk.
Even the most committed and knowledgeable vegan may face doubts when pregnant, surrounded by doctors and experts telling you the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy. Expected and important pregnancy weight gain will begin very slowly which can be overcome by eating more often or eating foods higher in fat and lower in bulk.
So, there you have it! The common questions we are asked to myth-bust living a Vegan lifestyle! However you may feel about Veganism; we think that it’s pretty indisputable that ultimately, Vegans are trying to make the world a better place, by living a life which shows kindness and compassion towards our planet.
Why not take a look at our example Vegan mean plan we have available on Results with Lucy? 👇🏼
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