Thinking of going vegan? There can be a lot of questions about what to do and how to do it! In this Vegan Guide for Beginners, you will learn everything you need to know!
Becoming vegan is not an overnight mission. It requires practice, time, understanding, and a lot of dedication. You are making a big change, you aren’t only cutting meat out of your menu, but dairy products, honey, eggs, as well.
When deciding to start your vegan journey, it is important to think about the lifestyle change. If you go into the vegan world without knowledge or preparation, you won’t last long. What to do?
Start with a Vegan Diet
People decide to go vegan for environmental, ethical, health, and other reasons. When done right from the beginning, you will be able to get most of the health benefits such as blood sugar control, a trimmer waistline, and more.
The vegan diet excludes all animal products (meat, dairy, and eggs). There are a few different varieties of vegan diets and the most common ones are whole-food vegan diet (fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds), raw-food vegan diet (raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and plant foods), 80/10/10 diet (raw-fruits and soft greens), the thrive diet (plant-based foods and whole foods cooked at low temperatures), and junk-food diet (mock meats, fries, vegan desserts).
What You Can and Can’t Eat
A vegan diet is not a low-fat or low-carb diet. It is all about avoiding meat and dairy products and not macros.
When starting your vegan diet, you need to know exactly what you can and can’t eat.
- Grains (bread, pasta, rice, barley).
- Legumes (your primary protein source)
- Nuts & Seeds
- Tofu & Tempeh
- Plan-based oils
- Natural sweeteners
- Animal proteins (seafood, poultry, poor, and beef)
- Dairy products
- Bee products
- Animal fats and oils
Besides these, there are some other non-vegan foods you should also avoid.
- Deep-fried foods: Onion rings, for example, could be fried in animal fat.
- Sugars: Refined white sugar consists of animal bone char which is not vegan at all.
- Colored food and drinks: Especially avoid red-colored foods and drinks as the color comes from crushed and boiled beetles.
- Alcohols: Some wines and beers might be made from fish gelatin.
- Certain breads: Doughs, for example, include honey and eggs.
You can find some delicious vegan recipes online.
Health Benefits of Going Vegan
In this vegan guide for beginners, we would also want to include some of the health benefits you’ll enjoy if you decide to go vegan.
Studies show that vegetarians have better diet quality than those who eat meat. Vegans also enjoy a higher intake of important nutrients such as Vitamin C, magnesium, and vitamin E.
Some other health benefits you should know about are:
- Weight Loss: If you are looking to lose weight, veganism can be an effective strategy.
- Reduce Cancer Risk: Going vegan is linked to a lower risk of cancer including colon, breast, rectum, and stomach cancer.
- Stabilize Blood Sugar: Vegan diets maintain healthy and stable blood sugar levels.
7 Tips to Start a Vegan Diet
Here are 7 simple tips for starting your vegan diet right:
- Focus on vegetables: Vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals and are high in fiber.
- Eat a variety of foods: Eat balanced meals and a variety of healthy foods.
- Discover new plant-based proteins: There are plenty of vegan sources or protein such as tofu, tempeh, chickpeas, lentils, and beans.
- Fish-free omega 3S is your new friend: Omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain and eye development.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D is found in non-dairy milk and mushrooms.
- Find new sources of iron: You can get iron from legumes, beans, and leafy greens.
- Get B12: When following a vegan diet, you can get some B12 from energy bars or supplements.
When done right, the vegan diet can be easy to get used to and may provide numerous health benefits.