Consider as much a fad as the hipster lifestyle, the vegan diet is probably the most misunderstood food lifestyle on the planet. Some people consider it a passing fable while others think it is a very strict form of vegetarianism.
The reality couldn’t be farther from this notion. Veganism actually means a completely animal-product free diet. This means that while meats and eggs are banned, you don’t consume milk as well. It is neither a fad, nor a crazy lifestyle of a sub-culture. It is a healthy way to lead a cruelty-free lifestyle.
Here is everything you wanted to know about veganism.
Your life could revolve around finding the right protein
It’s true that vegetarian sources of protein are not as nutrient-dense as animal sources. Moreover, the kind of protein you get from vegetable sources are also not as easily digested or used by the body. They are called incomplete proteins, because at least one essential type of protein is missing.
Veganism could mean a never-ending search for the right kind of protein. Apart from what you get in vegetables like broccoli, you will also have to consume a lot of tofu, lentils and quinoa to fulfill your body’s nutrient needs. Many new vegans, who quickly transform to this lifestyle become protein deficient. Avoid this mistake.
If done wrong, you could end up overweight, grumpy and nutrient deficient
A mindless transformation into the vegan lifestyle will bring problems. Let’s understand this by looking into a very common mistake. Most people quickly realize that veggies do not make them feel full for longer.
One serving of veggies and one serving of meats can weigh the same, but they may make you feel full differently. Some people try to supplement this ‘fullness’ by adding pasta, rice and excessive junk meats/fake meats to their diets. This results in nutrient deficiency.
It will also lead to weight gain and make you feel grumpier, irritable and depressed.
Grocery store trips will take double the time
As a vegan, you will now be spending more time reading food labels. Many of your favorite foods will now be excluded from your diet. While you may still get some healthy alternatives to all foods you like, be careful about what you are consuming. Vegans have to work extra hard to ensure that their food follows their ethics.
A B-12 supplement is necessary, so is an iron supplement
Vitamin B-12 is the only vitamin that cannot be found in any vegetarian foods. This vitamin is helpful in maintaining a healthy nerve function. Moreover, it helps in DNA repair as well.
You could feel tired and constipated regularly if your food does not contain enough B-12. Therefore, supplementation will be necessary.
Iron makes hemoglobin in our blood. Iron is found in vegan foods as well. However, this variety of iron (non-heme) is not easily absorbed by the body. The heme iron is readily absorbed and used by our digestive system. So, an iron supplement is also essential.
Do you think veganism is the right lifestyle for you? Why, or why not? Let us know in the comments below.