What is veganism and the vegan diet and is it for you? Find out everything you need to know right here.
What is a Vegan Diet?
Vegans do not meat, fish, poultry, eggs, or dairy products. Dietary vegans are strict vegetarians, or vegetarians that also don’t eat eggs and dairy products. Ethical vegans also do not eat, consume, or use animal byproducts like honey, leather, fur, silk, wool, and certain personal care products.
What Can You Eat on a Vegan Diet?
On a healthy vegan diet, you’ll be eating vegetables, whole grains (bread, pasta, rice, quinoa), fruits, beans, seeds, and legumes. As you can imagine, there is an infinite number of ways to combine these ingredients into healthy, delicious dishes.
If you’re interested, you can also try PETA’s sample 2-week vegan meal plan.
Will You Lose Weight on a Vegan Diet?
A lot of research shows that vegans (and vegetarians) have lower BMIs and eat less calories than meat-eaters. Nutritionists think the high fiber content of fruits and vegetables help people to feel full.
Is a Vegan Diet Healthy?
According to a recent study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vegetarians have lower risks for heart disease, obesity, and some cancers than meat eaters.
However, a healthy vegan diet requires some planning. Some doctors do recommend that vegans take vitamin B12 and vitamin D supplements and watch protein intake. Good vegan protein sources include: chick peas, lentils, tofu, peanut butter, peas, almonds, and spinach.
How and When Did Veganism Start?
Vegetarianism has been around since ancient times, but there seems to be a few different accounts of the history of veganism in modern times. According to Time, the term ‘vegan’ was coined in England by Donald Watson, to describe vegetarians who did not eat dairy or eggs. He started the Vegan Society, whose doctrine was to “live without exploiting animals.”