Tuesday July 23, 2019

Nov 1 is World Vegan Day: In praise of veganism, From fad to growing food habit

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World Vegan Day
World Vegan Day(Image: includingcake)

NOvember 1,2017:  Veganism as a concept comes from a sense of responsibility towards animals and animal products and towards the need for a healthier lifestyle. In a world where people are looking to turn to healthier foods and lifestyles, veganism could just be the need of the hour.

While many have considered turning vegan at some point, the most predominant reason people do not go through with it is the struggle to maintain a vegan diet. However, being conscious and keeping these few things in mind can help achieve success in your effort to become a vegan:

 1. Don’t forget to include protein in your diet: Once you give up the meats, eggs and milk products, you may end up depriving your body of this essential nutrient. While plant-based foods can provide you the required amount, remember to include adequate amounts in your daily diet.

For example: almonds are a source of 15 nutrients, including essential ones such as protein. In fact, these nuts are a richer source of protein when compared with other nuts. Hence, snacking smart with almonds is a great way to start leading a healthy lifestyle.

2. Don’t limit your food choices, find alternatives: You may assume becoming vegan would mean fewer food options. This, however, is a myth. There are alternatives for almost everything. For instance, milk can be replaced with soya or almond milk. Eggs and cottage cheese (paneer) can be swapped with tofu, and meats can be replaced with soya chunks or nuggets. While it does take a little getting used to, but once you do, you may not even miss what you have left behind.

3. Reduce dependency on processed snacks: It is easy to fall prey to the processed food available off the shelves, when hungry, in between your meals. However, processed food is usually high in sodium or sugars which make them unhealthy.

Hence, reduce the intake of processed foods by carrying your snack with you. Vegan foods like sunflower/flax seeds and almonds are fuss free, convenient snacks that can be eaten anywhere and at any time of the day. Whether at home, work or on the go, snacking of these alternatives instead of unwholesome snacks, can make a healthy difference to your life.

4. Drinking water is not passe: While veganism does increase your consumption of fruits, including those with a high water content, you must still strive to consume at least two litres of water every day. If you get bored or tired of drinking plain water, you can mix it up by adding slices of citrus fruits like lemon, sweet lime and/or orange or add mashed fruits like strawberries, cranberries, or even just fresh mint leaves with slices of cucumber.

5. Start small and stay positive: Going vegan suddenly can be a big adjustment for your body and may end up making you uncomfortable. Try starting your transition by being a part-time vegan — keep one meal/snack time in a day in which you will consume moderate servings of non-vegan food items that you have been used to like chicken, fish or eggs.

Gradually decrease your cheat days from once a day to once a week and so on till your body has transitioned successfully into the vegan diet. Eating fresh, healthy food and exercising regularly can help bring positivity and stay calm.

This World Vegan Day, let us celebrate the compassion that vegans feel towards animals and their own bodies and let us also make a conscious effort to make our lives healthier and fulfilled.(IANS)

(Madhuri Ruia is a nutritionist. The views expressed are personal. She can be contacted at ruia.madhuri@gmail.com <mailto:ruia.madhuri@gmail.com>)

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Tips to Keep in Mind for Vegan Beginners

Begin today, but keep patience; it will not happen overnight. This transition will take some time

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dietary supplements
"People should focus on getting their nutrients from a heart-healthy diet, because the data increasingly show that the majority of healthy adults don't need to take supplements," Michos said. Wikimedia Commons

Following a vegan diet has gained popularity in the country as people have now decided follow it for ethical reasons. Begin today, but keep patience as the transition will take some time and find tasty substitutes, say experts.

Nitin Dixit and Mohit Yadav Co-founders of Greenr Cafe and Surruchi Joshhi, Founder of Nut & Bowls Café have shared essentials tips to keep in mind for vegan beginners.

* Begin today, but keep patience; it will not happen overnight. This transition will take some time.

* But being vegan doesn’t mean abandoning your taste buds. With a little help from the internet, local resources, and other vegans, you can find tasty substitutes for all your old favourites.

vegan beginners
Consult a plant-based doctor, health coach or nutritionist to ensure you take care of your nutrition needs like B12, among others. Wikimedia Commons

* Going vegan is a lifestyle, not just about eating plant-based foods. You will find that you can support yourself with personal care products and clothes and homes which are a lot more conducive for your health because they are natural and cruelty-free.

* Keep your vitamins and minerals in check. Eat more plant-based food, more vegetables and fruits, whole foods and grains. Focus on iron, calcium, omegas and vitamin D and vitamin B12.

* Consult a plant-based doctor, health coach or nutritionist to ensure you take care of your nutrition needs like B12, among others.

vegan beginners, tips
Focus on iron, calcium, omegas and vitamin D and vitamin B12. Wikimedia Commons

* Consult with a vegan nutritionist/dietician if you want to start taking supplements. As far as protein is concerned, you get enough protein from the regular healthy vegan food, but if bodybuilding is your passion and you want extra protein in powder form, then switch to plant-based protein powder.

ALSO READ: Consuming High- Fibre Diet may Reduce Risk of Preeclampsia During Pregnancy

* Read labels before you shop at grocery stores. It’s important to eat fresh , organic and clean food, closest to what nature has provided without chemicals, preservatives, and stabilisers.

* Vegan food is full of delectable and refreshing varieties, the more you will explore, the more you will love it. However, if you are allergic to any particular vegetable or fruit, then avoid it and ask your dietician for a better alternative. (IANS)