Gone are the days of hippy, undernourished and tired vegans. Now we are professional athletes, dieticians, scientists, models, actors and everyday people!
A vegan diet consists of not consuming any products derived from animals, this includes meat, dairy, fish sauce and honey etc. There are many reasons people may choose to consume a vegan diet including; health, financial, environment and animal welfare. When cutting out animal products from a person’s diet they need to ensure all essential nutrients are being consumed via food or if not possible supplements.
A vegan diet can be the healthiest diet to follow though this is not always the case, there is almost every type of junk food you can think of which has been “veganised” including vegan jerky, vegan bacon, 2-minute noodle etc. Just because a food is “vegan” does not mean it is healthy, After all sugar is vegan! When starting a vegan diet, it is important to understand how to ensure you are reaching the recommended intake for all nutrients, this is most easily done when consuming a diet rich in fresh fruits, veggies, grains and legumes.
A whole food vegan diet has strong correlations to lower risk of T2DM, cardiovascular disease, types of cancer and lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. Consuming more and varied nutrient dense food products result in lowering risks of overall diseases and mortality.
When starting a vegan diet, it is important to see a nutritionist or dietitian ensure you are meeting requirements of all essential vitamins and minerals. Cutting out animal products from a diet automatically lowers your saturated fat intake and due to plant-based foods naturally containing lower saturated fat and calories meaning you may need to consume more food daily and considering the types of foods you choose to consume.
If you want to find out more about a vegan plant-based diet, please contact me or a registered dietitian to find out simple ways to ensure you are hitting all your daily recommendations for essential nutrients.