Starting a Vegan Diet: A Guide

More and more people are trying to reduce the number of animal products they consume, and some even make the decision to switch to a completely vegan diet. It is a great way to improve your health, help the planet, and potentially lose some weight, but getting started can be confusing. The key to a successful vegan diet is variety, as you need to ensure that you are getting the right nutrients in the right quantities. This guide outlines some key tips to keep in mind if you are thinking of making the switch to a full or partly vegan diet.

Learn to Love Vegetables

If you are not prepared to love vegetables, you might struggle to get what you need from a vegan diet. Vegetables often get a bad reputation in terms of flavor, but there are plenty of creative ways to make vegetables taste great while they’re providing all those vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Get the Right Vitamins

Switching to a vegan diet is often a healthier choice, but it is important to ensure that you get the right nutrients and vitamins from your diet, which can require some research and planning. Vitamin D, for example, tends to come from tinned fish and fortified dairy, but it can also be found in almond milk, soy milk, and orange juice, as well as some mushrooms.

We usually get omega-3 fatty acids from fish such as salmon, but it can also be found in soy, canola oil, walnuts, and flaxseed. A meat-free diet can lead to an iron deficiency if you do not get it from another source like leafy greens, legumes, and beans. Eating vitamin C will maximize how much iron you can absorb from your diet.

Vitamin B-12 is also important as it helps the body to turn food into energy, and while it can be found in some fortified cereals, supplements might be required for some people. If you want to ensure you are getting the right nutrients and vitamins, consider vegan multivitamin gummies as part of your diet.

Go for Whole Grains

Even people who do not follow a vegan diet should be opting for wholegrain bread, pasta, and rice, rather than refined white pasta, rice, and bread, as whole grains contain fiber, iron, and B vitamins. These are essential for healthy digestion and help you to feel fuller for longer.

Eat Plant-based Proteins

Women need around 46g of protein each day. We usually get our proteins from meat and cheese, but they are often full of saturated fat, and the high quantities we eat are harming the planet. However, vegans need not miss out on protein, as there are lots of vegan options such as lentils, chickpeas, edamame beans, tempeh, and tofu. Nuts (e.g., walnuts and almonds) and seeds (e.g., pumpkin and sunflower seeds) also contain protein, so with a varied diet, it should not be difficult to get enough protein in your diet.

Remember that Vegan Foods are Not Always Healthier

There is a misconception that because a food is vegan-friendly, it is healthier than its non-vegan counterpart and that therefore can be eaten in higher quantities. In reality, processed vegan foods typically contain saturated fats such as palm oil or coconut oil. If you are looking for vegan treats now and again, it is best to choose whole foods like nuts, dried fruit, and wholegrain snacks.

Thanks to Zoe

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