Compared to a mainstream American diet that typically includes meat and dairy, a vegan diet seems to be lacking in protein on the surface. However, with careful planning and some dedication to learning about nutrition, vegans can obtain a sufficient amount of protein from plant foods.
Some vegans turn to vegan protein powders, because they make it easy to get in your daily protein requirements. You can throw the powder into smoothies or into mixtures for baked goods and sweets.
There are many ways to embrace vegan living. Yet one thing all vegans have in common is a plant-based diet avoiding all animal foods such as meat (including fish, shellfish and insects), dairy, eggs and honey - as well as products like leather and any tested on animals.
Although the vegan diet was defined early on in The Vegan Society's beginnings in 1944, it was as late as 1949 before Leslie J Cross pointed out that the society lacked a definition of veganism. He suggested “[t]he principle of the emancipation of animals from exploitation by man”. This is later clarified as “to seek an end to the use of animals by man for food, commodities, work, hunting, vivisection, and by all other uses involving exploitation of animal life by man”.
It's not just about diet
Vegans avoid exploiting animals for any purpose, with compassion being a key reason many choose a vegan lifestyle. From accessories and clothing to makeup and bathroom items, animal products and products tested on animals are found in more places than you might expect. Fortunately nowadays there are affordable and easily-sourced alternatives to just about everything. With over 22,000 products and services registered with our Vegan Trademark alone, living a vegan lifestyle has never been easier. Browse online today.
Vegans choose not to support animal exploitation in any form and so avoid visiting zoos or aquariums, or taking part in dog or horse racing. A great alternative is visiting and supporting animal sanctuaries that provide safe and loving homes for rescued animals.
All the nutrients without the animal products
Many people grow up thinking that animal products like meat and milk are essential parts of a healthy diet. However, well-planned vegan diets follow healthy eating guidelines, and contain all the nutrients that our bodies need. Both the British Dietetic Association and the American Academy of Nutrition and Dieteticsrecognise that they are suitable for every age and stage of life.
An opportunity to eat better
Going vegan is a great opportunity to learn more about nutrition and cooking, and improve your diet. You won't be consuming saturated fat from meat, milk and eggs, and you'll be avoiding processed meat, which the World Health Organization has classified as a cause of cancer. Getting your nutrients from plant foods allows more room in your diet for health-promoting options. If you make smart choices, a vegan diet can be a really healthy way of eating. Get the most out of yours by limiting salt and eating plenty of whole grains, fruit, nuts, seeds and vegetables. These foods are packed full of beneficial fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Excellent long-term health
Some research has linked vegan diets with lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and lower rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. You can eat a totally plant-based diet that supports excellent health, whilst helping animals and protecting the planet.