The Complete Introductory Guide to Veganism and Its Many Benefits
Veganism isn't a new idea, but it's been getting more and more attention recently. Online searches for the keyword vegan have increased by more than 250 percent over the last five years. In recent years, many celebrities have turned vegan, and a huge amount of vegan products have been introduced in markets.
This guide explains what is vegan and what vegans really eat. A vegan is a person who actively stays away from the use of animal products for food, clothing or any other reason. People love to become vegan for a variety of reasons, which usually center on the ethical issues of animal rights, environmental care, or religious affiliation. Most people are also attracted to vegan diets for health benefits.
What Is Vegan?
According to the Vegan Society, this is the definition of vegan:
“The word ‘veganism’ represents a philosophy and lifestyle which seeks to exclude all kinds of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals, and the environment. In dietary terms, it represents the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.”
What Is a Vegan Diet?
A vegan diet is a diet that excludes all products that call for the killing or exploitation of sentient beings. That shows that people who consume a vegan diet just eat foods made by plants. They do not eat meat, dairy, honey, eggs or fish.
Veganism is actually a lifestyle, not a diet. To be able to be vegan, a person must exclude all kinds of exploitation from their lifestyle. Those sticking to a vegan lifestyle will not use leather or wool, will stay away from make-up, toiletries and household products that have been tested on animals, and will not bet on animals.
If someone is excluding animal products from his diet but not from a lifestyle, he is plant-based, not vegan, though it is okay to say he is following a vegan diet.
There are roughly 15 million vegans in the world. Veganism is still growing and is predicted to be the biggest lifestyle trend in upcoming years.
The Difference Between Vegans and Vegetarians
Vegans exclude all kinds of animal exploitation from their diets, which includes milk and eggs, as these industries harm animals. Vegetarians exclude meat from their diets but still can eat other animal products like eggs, dairy, and honey. They can also participate in animal exploitation in other forms, by racing horses, for example, or buying leather jackets.
Many vegetarians exclude meat and fish from their diets since they think about animals, without realizing that the production of milk, eggs and honey harms animals. Pescatarians do not consume meat but do eat fish or other seafood.
What is a Vegan Meal?
A vegan meal is a meal that does not include meat, fish, dairy products, eggs or honey. Vegans only consume food that has come from plants. They exclude all kinds of animal exploitation from their life and try to live without giving harm or fear to animals. Some vegans use palm oil and some do not.
Types of Vegans
There are many ways to be vegan, and picking how you choose to handle your diet can have a huge effect on your overall health.
A dietary vegan doesn’t eat animal products or by-products but can use products that have them.
However, you should remember that using animal by-products, like wool, can be harmful to the animal. Sheep, alpacas, llamas, and other animals grow fur for some reason. Their wool helps keep them warm and controls their body temperatures.
A raw-food vegan doesn’t cook food. These vegans usually keep themselves on raw veggies, salads, fruits, nuts, and legumes.
Eating raw is a fad these days, although many people try 30-day experiments with it. You can also try it if you wish. Eating raw restricts your diet substantially, though, and can cause a kind of digestive upset due to the high fiber.
There are numerous unhealthy foods that fall under the vegan category:
Foods fried in vegetable oil
Frozen Meals (Vegan)
A whole-food vegan doesn’t consume processed foods. No pizza or vegan frozen treats for them. Alternatively, they fill their plates with veggies, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and legumes.
This kind of diet can contribute to many health benefits, such as weight loss, improved energy, better digestive function, and lower risk for different diseases.
A low-fat vegan focuses on limiting fat intake. They would cut down on olive oil, for example, because of its high-fat content. They also stay away from high-fat veggies and fruits, including avocados, and stay away from nuts, nut butters, chia seeds, and the like.
Keep in mind that we always need body fat to live. Without it, our bodies lack energy resources. There’s nothing bad about a low-fat diet, but it’s not a wise idea to keep yourself away from all healthy fats.
Health Benefits and Possible Health Hazards of a Vegan Diet
Vegan diets are linked to a lowered risk of a variety of health conditions such as colon cancer, high cholesterol, heart disease, high blood pressure, breast cancer, prostate cancer, stroke, and many more.
A properly managed and planned vegan diet has been proven to be healthy and offers all the essential nutrition for having a healthy and active lifestyle. Although, poor planning and failure to supplement some vitamins, minerals, and nutrients can contribute to deficiencies such as low levels of B12, calcium, iodine, and vitamin D.
Where to Buy Real and Healthy Vegan Foods?
Check out the clean, honest, plant-based superfood snacks, powders, and bars for Healthy Truth. Healthy Truth stands for clean labels and telling the truth about what we put into our products. That’s why everything is made with minimal ingredients, without refined sugars or fillers and you will never find anything processed.