Vegan diet has become quite popular across the world. It has proved to be a healthy and effective way to lose weight, stay fit and to effectively manage non communicable diseases like Diabetes and Hypertension. Vegan diet is advocated as a planet friendly diet that helps you stay in shape and improves your immunity to fight diseases.
Your current food style is definitely an important factor to decide for the degree of challenges that you might face. If you are a meat lover and animal products make a major part of your diet, your change of diet will be sharp and it will be more challenging. But if you are already a veggie and plant lover, this switching will be smooth for you.
This article provided helpful guide to beginners who are planning to switch to vegan diet.
Categories of Vegan Diet:
Vegan diet generally refers to eating only plant based food. But there are people who are a little liberal with this. Vegan diet can be classified into the following categories:
Vegans eat only plant based food and exclude all the animal products from their diet including milk and dairy products, meat, poultry, fish, egg and cheese. This is a strict vegan diet and many a times these people refuse to use any products made out of animal like leather jacket, shoes and belt.
Lacto-vegetarians take plant products and also include milk and milk products in their diet. They do not eat eggs, meat, poultry and fish.
Lacto-ovo-vegetarians eat plant based foods, eggs, milk and dairy products like cheese and yogurt. They do not eat meat, poultry and fish.
Flexitarians or semi vegetarians follow a strict vegan diet but show some flexibility on some occasions and include animal products including meat in their diet.
Cooking and Grocery Shopping for Vegan Diet:
This might be challenging in the beginning. But enjoy it as an opportunity to try and explore your culinary skills. Start with simple recipes like spaghetti with tomato sauce and vegetable stir fry. You can try simple recipes of rice with loads of veggies for lunch and multigrain pancakes for breakfast. Slowly you can step into trying new recipes from vegan cook book and by trying recipes available online. You have a lot of them available to give you a variety on your table.
Cooking in iron pots is also a healthy way to enrich your dishes with iron.
Since there is a change in your diet plan, a lot will change on your grocery list. You might find some on your list in your regular stores but for some of the items you might have to find a right store or a health store. There are many substitutes available for regular animal products. Regular milk can be substituted with fortified soymilk, almond milk and rice milk, soy cheese can replace regular cheese, tofu can replace eggs in an egg free omelette and commercial egg replacers made of potato starch can replace eggs in baking. Replace butter in baking with canola oil and in sautéing with olive oil, vegetable broth, wine or fat free cooking spray.
There is a lot to discover and try. Give your taste buds some time to get accustomed to these new ingredients in your cooking. A lot of hit and trial will happen and many would turn out to be disastrous. But hold on with your patience and do not give up.