VEGAN 101

     Content:

1. What does “vegan” mean?

2. What is the difference between a vegan and a vegetarian diet?

3. Why go vegan?

4. What is a vegan diet?

5. How to go vegan?

6. How to lose weight on a vegan diet?

1. What does “vegan” mean?

The word “vegan” comprises not just food but also consumer products, containing no animal ingredients.

 

Being a vegan refers to people who avoid all animal-derived products in their nutrition.

 

The Vegan Society describes veganism as:

“a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.” 1

 

2. What is the difference between a vegan and a vegetarian diet?

Vegetarian:

In general, a vegetarian avoids all kinds of meat and fish but allows eggs and dairy products.

However, there are different kinds of vegetarians:

    • Flexitarians (semi-vegetarians) focus on a plant-based diet but occasionally eat animal products
    • Pescetarians eat fish but avoid all other meat
    • Lacto-ovo vegetarians eat eggs and dairy but no meat
    • Lacto vegetarians eat dairy but not eggs
    • Ovo vegetarians eat eggs but not dairy

Vegan:

A vegan diet cuts out every item of animal origin.

Benefits over a vegetarian diet:

    •     Cruelty-free
    •     Reduces certain health risks
    •     Decrease environmental footprint

 

3. Why go vegan? 

Reasons to go vegan include:

    • To prevent the exploitation of animals
      • Animals on factory farms experience animal cruelty.
      • In the US, every year more than 10 billion land animals are slaughtered for food.2
    • To prevent health issues
      • To lower blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol 3
      • To lower the risk of cancer and diabetes 4 
      • Keeping a healthier weight
      • Better cardiovascular health/reversal or prevention of heart disease 5
      • To improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis 6
    • For the environment to lower carbon footprint caused by animal products.
      • Livestock production accounts for 70 percent of all agricultural land and 30 percent
        of the land surface of the planet 7
      • In the US, with the world’s fourth largest land area, livestock are
        responsible for an estimated 55 percent of erosion and sediment 8
      • One-third of the world’s water consumption is for producing animal products 9
      • The production of one hamburger requires 660 gallons of water, which is the
        equivalent of two months’ worth of shower 10
    • For people to live and eat in a more sustainable way

 

4. What is a vegan diet?

A healthy vegan diet comprises different kinds of plant-based foods from these four food groups:

    • Legumes, nuts, and seeds
    • Grains
    • Vegetables
    • Fruits

All plant-based ingredients can be suitable for a vegan diet.

 

5. How to go vegan? 

1. Take your time to get used to a vegan diet.

2. Start with doing meatless Mondays.

3. Remove meat and dairy day by day. There are plant-based alternatives for nearly any food.

4. Learn more about what vegan foods are and how to balance healthy nutrients and vitamins.

5. Try new foods and flavors.

6. Start planning your meals.

 

6. How to lose weight on a vegan diet?

1. Review the vegan food pyramid

2. Control your caloric intake and portion size

3. Eat your greens

4. Increase your protein intake

5. Reduce processed foods

6. Prepare healthy meals

7. Exercise and stay hydrated