Vegan 101

     Content:

1. What does “vegan” mean?

2. What is vegan leather?

3. What is a vegan diet?

4. How to go vegan?

5. How to become vegetarian?

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

7. Why go vegan?

8. How to lose weight on a vegan diet?

9. Can I be vegan during pregnancy?

10. Can vegans drink alcohol?

1. What does “vegan” mean?

The word "vegan" not only refers to food but also to consumer products, containing not animal ingredients.

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

 

2. What is vegan leather?

Vegan leather is fake (artificial) leather and is used as a substitute for real leather in clothing, footwear and other products. It can be made of natural or synthetic fiber.

Synthetic materials include plastic-based materials such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyurethane (PU).

Natural materials include cork, kelp and pineapple leaves.

 

3. What is a vegan diet?

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

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

Vegan Food Pyramid

4. 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 and switch to plant-based alternatives.

4. Learn how to balance healthy nutrients and vitamins from plant-based foods.

5. Get a vegan cookbook and learn about new foods and flavors.

6. Start planning your meals.

 

5. How to become vegetarian?

Common types 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

 

6. 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.

Vegan:

A vegan diet cuts out every item of animal origin.

 

7. Why go vegan? 

Reasons to go vegan include:

    • To prevent the exploitation of animals
    • To prevent health issues and reverse disease
    • For the environment to lower carbon footprint caused by animal products.
    • For people to live and eat in a more sustainable way

 

8. How to lose weight on a vegan diet?

1. Review the vegan food pyramid

2. Control your caloric intake and portion size

3. Avoid high sugar snacks and beverages

4. Avoid fast food chains and fried food

5. Avoid High fat, high carb, high sodium meals

6. Eat your greens

7. Increase your protein intake

8. Reduce processed foods

9. Prepare healthy meals

10. Exercise and stay hydrated

 

9. Can I be vegan during pregnancy?

Yes, a healthy plant-based diet can be adapted during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

      • Calories increase only modestly during pregnancy.
      • During pregnancy, your nutrient needs increase, so limit highly processed foods and sweets with empty calories.
      • Protein aim for pregnant women is about 70 grams per day. This can be met by eating beans, lentils, quinoa, tempeh, tofu, whole grains, and vegetables.
      • Calcium-rich foods include tofu, dark green leafy vegetables, beans, figs, sunflower seeds, tahini, almond butter, and calcium-fortified soy milk, etc.
      • Vitamin B12 is not found in most plant foods and should therefore be added as a supplement.
      • Iron is abundant in plant-based foods like beans, dark green vegetables, dried fruits, blackstrap molasses, nuts and seeds, and whole-grain or fortified breads and cereals.

10. Can vegans drink alcohol?

Yes, there is vegan alcohol out there but you have to look for it, since alcohol (beer and wine) can be processed with animal products, such as isinglass, egg whites, or gelatin.

Hard liquors are vegan except for cream-based liqueurs and liquors that include honey.