What is the Vegan Diet? A Beginner’s Guide to Going Vegan
What is the Vegan Diet All About? Let’s Find Out
In recent years, the vegan diet has soared in popularity. If you hear people talk about it, you’ll usually be given a range of health, ethical, or environmental reasoning for going vegan, but whatever prompts a person to start the diet, it means the same thing—they stop eating any and all animal products.
So how does the vegan diet work? Essentially, it means not eating anything derived from animals, including eggs and dairy.
There are a number of different vegan diet varieties. Here are a few of the most common:
- Whole food vegan diet: Based around eating a range of whole plant foods like vegetables, fruit, grain, legumes, and nuts.
- Raw vegan diet: Essentially the same as the whole food version, but with the caveat that all foods must be cooked at temperatures below 118 degrees.
- 80/10/10: Follows the raw vegan rules except that it focuses almost entirely on soft greens and raw fruits with very limited fatty foods like nuts or avocados.
- Thrive diet: A raw vegan diet that focuses on vegetables that have been minimally cooked.
- Junk-food vegan diet: A vegan diet built of mock meats and cheeses, French fries, and processed vegan foods.
Is the Vegan Diet Good for You?
So now you’re probably wondering, is the vegan diet good for you?
There is a common conception that vegans tend to have very little issues with excess body fat, and that’s because it’s true. Study after study has shown that the vegan diet is one of the most effective ways to lose weight.
There’s also a widely held belief that vegan dieters cannot maintain muscle mass, but this has been widely disproven. The only male weightlifter from the U.S. to compete in the 2016 Olympics, for example, was vegan Kendrick Farris. In fact, veganism is becoming common throughout sports, with athletes such as NFL player Tony Gonzales, boxer David Hyde, and UFC fighter Nate Diaz all foregoing animal-derived foods.
Studies have also shown that a vegan diet can help reduce blood sugar levels thereby preventing type 2 diabetes. Research shows veganism can also be healthy for your heart, reducing risks of high blood pressure and heart disease. The vegan diet has also been linked to lower rates of cancer, reduced arthritis pain, improved kidney function, and even reduced instances of Alzheimer’s disease.
Does the Vegan Diet have Health Risks?
With all that good news, you might be wondering—is the vegan diet bad for you in any way?
Instances of health issues relating to the vegan diet are extremely rare, but there have been studies that have suggested it can adversely affect a small percentage of the population in certain scenarios. If you’re not eating a properly balanced vegan diet, there is the risk of developing nutritional deficiencies. Iron, for example, is harder to get from fruits and vegetables, but you should be fine as long as you eat plenty of leafy greens, which are iron-rich. The meat-free meals from Whole Body Fuel addresses this by including foods that are packed with iron, like our pesto tempeh with roasted acorn squash and steamed broccoli.
But it’s important to reiterate that health risks associated with the vegan diet are extremely rare, and typically occur only when vegan meals are not properly planned from a nutritional standpoint.
Vegan Diet vs Vegetarian Diet
A lot of people aren’t sure how the vegan diet fares vs the vegetarian diet. What’s the difference?
While both vegans and vegetarians don’t eat meat, the latter does indulge in animal by-products like eggs and dairy. Vegetarians do, however, usually attempt to eat animal by-products that have been ethically and sustainably harvested.
What Can and Can’t Vegans Eat?
While most vegan food restrictions are obvious, some might surprise you. Vegans can’t eat:
- Meat or poultry of any kind
- Fish or seafood of any kind
- Dairy such as milk, cheese, butter, ice cream, etc.
- Bee products like honey, bee pollen, or royal jelly
- Animal-based ingredients like whey, casein, gelatin, egg white albumen, lactose, fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids, etc.
But there are plenty of foods that vegans can eat:
- Tofu, tempeh and seitan: protein-rich meat alternatives
- Legumes: beans, lentils, peas, and more
- Nuts, nut butters, and seeds
- Calcium-fortified plant-based milks and yogurts
- Algae like spirulina and chlorella
- Nutritional yeast, which is rich in protein
- Whole grains and cereals
- Fruits and vegetables
In the end, enjoying a healthy vegan diet is a matter of avoiding all animal-derived foods while being sure to receive the appropriate levels of essential nutrients.
Need Vegan Meal Prep Delivery? Whole Body Fuel Can Help!
One of the most difficult things to do when engaging in any diet plan, including the vegan diet, involves making healthy, tasty meals that stick to the parameters of the diet while offering a variety of meals to enjoy. At Whole Body Fuel, we’re here to help by providing vegan meal prep food that is delicious and nutritious, like our herbes de provence portobello with roasted spaghetti squash, herb goat cheese, and toasted pine nuts.
By signing up with Whole Body Fuel, you’ll receive weekly batches of fresh vegan meal prep delivery directly from our kitchen to your front door. This makes it easy and convenient to stick to your vegan diet while getting a solid balance of essential nutrients, and it allows you to enjoy tasty meals at the same time. Over the course of the past seven years we’ve helped countless customers achieve their health and fitness goals while eating meals they love.
When you receive meals from Whole Body Fuel, you can eat knowing that each meal has been carefully crafted to deliver the utmost in nutritional content for your plan. For the vegan diet, that means you’ll get plenty of delicious meatless options that are rich with flavor. In the event that you need to make specific adjustments to our menu, simply let us know and we’ll make sure that you receive exactly what you’re hungry for.
Place your order today, and you’ll get your first vegan meal prep delivery this Sunday. Thanks to Whole Body Fuel, enjoying delicious vegan meals is more convenient than ever.
To get your first week of prepped, delicious vegan meals, place your order online now, or call (855) WBF-FOOD today!