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What Is a Vegan?
What does vegan mean? A vegan is a person who eats plant-based meals. Vegans practice veganism i.e. they abstain from eating animal products. The vegan diet plan doesn’t include eggs, dairy, meat or any other product that originates from an animal. The vegan meal plan is one of the most used diet plans thanks to its unique and healthy approach. There are numerous vegan recipes which have been designed for vegan weight loss. Below is an overview of the vegan diet and what it entails.
Types of Veganism
There’s a misconception that all vegans eat the same type of foods. Well, there are several types of vegans depending on the vegan foods which they take. Below are the different categories of vegans as per the vegan foods:
Whole Food Vegans
These are vegans who love to eat whole foods. Their vegan meals are composed of seeds, nuts, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes. Note that whole foods are great for weight loss and they help to lower the risk of heart diseases.
The term dietary vegan is often times interchanged with the term plant-based eaters. This group of people have vegan meals which are free of animal products. However, they still use the animal products in other things such as cosmetics and clothing.
Raw Food Vegans
This is a group of vegans who only eat raw vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts. In addition to that, they also consume food which is cooked in very low temperatures i.e. below 48 degrees-Celsius.
Junk Food Vegans
They heavily rely on processed vegan food like vegan desserts, vegan-frozen dinners, vegan fries, and meat. This vegan meal plan includes foods such as ice-cream (non-dairy) and Oreo cookies.
Raw-Food, Low-Fat Diet
They are also known as the fruitarians. They mainly rely on fruits and small amounts of plants. This is a subset of the raw vegans whose diet limit some high-fat foods like coconuts, avocados, and nuts.
The Vegan Diet
Although vegans avoid animal products, this doesn’t mean that they must survive on veggies or fruits alone. There are numerous vegan recipes which can be used to create sweet and delicious dishes. The best types of vegan recipes include pasta dishes, tomato pizzas, hummus wraps, smoothies, pasta dishes among others. The alternative for meat includes vegan food such as tempeh, tofu, lentils, beans, seitan, seeds, and nuts. In addition to that, a dairy product may be replaced with plant-based milk sources. Vegans also have the option of purchasing ready-made products such as vegan cheeses, fortified plant milk, and vegan meats.
A common concern which a lot of people have to deal with is if they will get enough protein once they go vegan. Note that there are numerous Vegan Protein Sources. Well-planned vegan diet plan contains all the essential nutrients which the body requires for growth. Some of the high protein vegan foods include chickpeas, lentils, and tofu. Seitan, hempseed, spirulina, green peas, quinoa, amaranth, and many others. These foods provide protein for vegans which help to reduce the risk of certain diseases and to promote muscle growth. Furthermore, the vegan protein diet is healthy and made of high-quality plant-based products.
Reasons Why People Decide to Be Vegans
Most vegans simply choose to avoid eating animal-based products because of various reasons. Some of the common reasons why people opt to eat this way include:
Some people choose to eat this way because of the potential health effects of veganism. Research studies have shown that plant-based diets may be used to reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes type among others. There are also reports that indicate that a reduced intake of animal products can help to reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Besides those, a person may choose veganism in order to avoid the risk of consuming hormones and antibiotics which are used in modern day animal farming.
There’s a direct relationship between animal products and climate change. Overdependence on animal products means that a lot of chemicals and energy will be used on their growth and maintenance. This results in more greenhouse emissions which have a negative environmental impact. Some vegans choose not to eat animal products in order to reduce the negative environmental effect.
3. Ethical Reasons
According to ethics, all animals have the right to life as well as freedom. A person might decide to consciously stop taking animal products and use other alternatives. This group of people is usually known as ethical vegans and they openly speak against the use of animals for foods as well as other industrial purposes.
Eating vegan foods has a lot of benefits. The diet is usually rich in nutrients and it can help you to safely lose weight. Additionally, vegan meals help to reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, and arthritis and improve kidney function.