How does the Vegan Diet work?

Vegan Diet support and discussion

How does the Vegan Diet work?

Postby healthydecode » Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:11 am

While vegetarians eliminate meat, fish and poultry, vegans take it a step further, excluding all animal products – even dairy and eggs. (Vegans are often animal rights activists who don’t believe in using animal products for any purpose.) So say goodbye to refried beans with lard, margarine made with whey and anything with gelatin, which comes from animal bones and hooves, too. Fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes will be your staples.

Exactly how you shape your diet each day is up to you, but you’ll typically aim for six servings of grains, likely from bread and calcium-fortified cereal; five servings of legumes, nuts and other types of protein, such as peanut butter, chickpeas, tofu, potatoes and soy milk; and four daily servings of veggies, two servings of fruit and two servings of healthy fats, such as sesame oil, avocado and coconut, according to an American Dietetic Association guide. There’s also no need to give up dessert: Vegans can eat baked goods (cupcakes and cobbler, for example) made without butter, eggs or albumin.

Need more guidance? The Internet is full of good information, and countless books offer structured vegan meal plans and recipes. "The Kind Diet" by actress Alicia Silverstone ($21.99), for example, outlines potential benefits of going vegan, answers common questions, and contains a glossary of common terms. It guides readers through the process of converting and is packed with recipes. And the "Skinny Bitch" series – which includes the cookbook "Skinny Bitch in the Kitch" – offers nutrition tips and recipes.

You don’t have to go cold turkey. You could start by preparing a couple meat-free dishes each week, and gradually make more substitutions – tofu in stir fry instead of chicken, say, or grilled veggie burgers instead of beef. If your aim is also weight loss, amp up your exercise routine and eat fewer calories than your daily recommended max.

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