What does Vegan mean?
A vegan eats no animal products – red and white meats, fish and other water creatures, eggs, dairy and insect products such as honey and cochineal. That means no animal protein, animal fats, or cholesterol in their diet. They are more likely to pack their diet with a wide range of healthy, disease busting foods high in vegetable protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and good fats. These include fresh fruit and vegetables, a wide range of legumes, including peas, beans and lentils, wholegrain pastas, breads and rice, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices and vegetable oils – especially flaxseed and virgin olive oil.
The term “vegan” was coined in 1944 by a small group of vegetarians who broke away from the Leicester Vegetarian Society in England to form the Vegan Society. They chose not to consume dairy, eggs, or any other products of animal origin, in addition to refraining from meat, as do vegetarians. The term “vegan” was chosen by combining the first and last letters of “vegetarian.”
What about protein?
Lots of plant based protein options exist!
*Tofu, Tempeh and Edamame are all soy based proteins.
*Lentils, Chickpeas, and most varieties of beans
*Hempseeds and Chia seeds
*Amaranth and Quinoa grains
*Nuts, Nut Butters, and Other Seeds
Why is a vegan diet considered healthy?
A vegan diet can:
*Promote weight loss
*Reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels
*Lower your chances of getting certain types of cancer, such as colon cancer
*Manage diabetes by lowering A1C levels
*Can Reduce Pain from Arthritis (a vegan diet is low in inflammatory foods like dairy and eggs which may cause a reduction in inflammatory pain.
Why does a vegan diet help you lose weight?
Vegan diets are typically higher in fiber and lower in saturated fat, and plant based foods are typically lower in calories than animal foods. Plant based diets could give you more energy as your body has to work harder to process animal products than it does to process fruits, vegetables, and grains.
How can you get started with a vegan diet?
Start by making simple substitutions in your diet! Start using agave instead of honey, switch to a plant based milk (soy, almond, oat) instead of cow’s milk. There are a TON of delicious plant based meat alternatives on the market now that taste great—we are huge fans of Beyond Burgers. Try some different cuisines like Thai or Indian food that primarily rely on vegetables as the base. And you can also check out our vegan section of our store for more tasty options to get your body in the vegan mode!