When When you hear someone say, “they are vegan,” the first thing that probably comes to mind is that they only eat plant-based foods. Well, you're not wrong. Vegans do avoid all animal-based foods, such as all kinds of meat, dairy, eggs, and even honey. However, it is so much more than that.
Veganism is more than just one's diet. It is a way of life that seeks to exclude all forms of cruelty to and exploitation of animals for clothing, food, and any other purpose. Aside from picking only plant-based foods, vegans also avoid animal-derived materials, places that use animals as a source of entertainment, and products tested on animals.
You can think of veganism as more of a choice and advocacy than anything else. But, nobody said you’ll be giving up eating tasty food. There are lots of delicious, healthy plant-derived snacks and foods you can add into your diet instead of animal products.
Why start embracing a vegan lifestyle?
Many people choose to adopt a vegan lifestyle for health, environment, and other ethical reasons. Did you know that, once egg-laying chickens and dairy cows become too old to be productive, they are sold for their meat? Male calves, on the other hand, are typically raised for veal and other products since they don't produce milk.
The meat industry is also both wasteful and harmful to the environment. It is resource-intensive and causes huge amounts of pollution and is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, which are more reasons why you should move away from an animal-based diet.
A vegan lifestyle, on the other hand, promotes a more caring and humane world. By going vegan, you get to save the planet and hundreds of animals from suffering each year. You can also start becoming a climate change warrior by supporting a more sustainable diet. You get to be healthier while changing the world for the better.
Instant health effects after transitioning to a plant-based diet
Many people choose to go vegan for various reasons, including concerns about the environment, or worries about animal welfare. People seeking a healthier diet are also drawn to veganism. But, how exactly does veganism affect one’s health?
Let’s go through some of the most common health benefits of following a vegan diet.
It helps boost your energy
As you replace processed meat with vegetables, nuts, and fruits in your diet, the first thing you'll notice in your body is a boost in energy. This is because plant-based foods are rich in protein and carbohydrates. So, you'll do better with healthy vegetarian snacks and foods than convenience foods that aren’t nutritionally dense and can't sustain consistent energy levels.
It provides better nutrition
Eliminating meat and other animal products from your diet and increasing your intake of plant-based foods allows you to take advantage of the beneficial nutrients found mostly in fruits and vegetables. Aside from fibre and antioxidants, sufficient amounts of magnesium, folate, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and E are also derived from a plant-based diet.
Many vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes also contain enough protein to keep you healthy and strong. However, you should pass up on some vegan fast-food options because they don't carry as many nutrients as fortified, whole-food vegan meals.
It reduces your risk of developing heart disease
A diet rich in a variety of whole plant foods can help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure levels, as plants don’t contain dietary cholesterol. This reduces your risk of developing cardiovascular and other heart diseases.
A plant-based diet prevents the buildup of plaque from saturated fat in your arteries, preventing blockages and inflammation.
It helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels
A plant-based diet can help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels, as it increases insulin sensitivity. Therefore, you are able to reduce your risk of diabetes. Meat eaters, on the other hand, have double the risk of developing such a disease.
It helps protect you against cancer
Eating red and processed meats have been scientifically proven to affect the development of cancer, especially colorectal cancer. On the other hand, eating more veggies, fruits, and legumes has been proven to help lower cancer risk. This is one of the reasons why doctors keep on telling us to eat more veggies.
What are some healthy ways to snack on vegan foods throughout the day?
When going vegan, you don't have to do everything in one go. You can take it slowly in order to ensure you’ve made a long-term, sustainable change. Here are some useful tips on how to incorporate more plant foods into your diet.
Seek out healthy plant-based fats
The unsaturated fats (monosaturated and polyunsaturated) from olives, avocadoes, and nuts are good for the heart. Replace ghee, lard, or butter with these oils, and you will enjoy a healthier life.
Don't forget to eat more plant-based omega-3 fatty acids too by adding more chia seeds, flax seeds, and sea vegetables into your diet.
Make it a habit to eat veggies for breakfast
Breakfast is the best time to start increasing your veggie intake. Since breakfast doesn't have to be a heavy meal, you can try eating a breakfast salad or blending spinach, cauliflower or beet into your smoothie.
Eat healthy vegan snacks and desserts
Switching to fruits instead of cakes, ice cream, and cookies is a much healthier option for dessert. You should also forget about the unhealthy chips for your snacks. Yes, they taste good, but they don't do anything good for your health.
But, don't worry. You can still satisfy your cravings with healthy vegan snacks from Skinni Snax.
For example, you can try the Thai Sweet Chilli crunchy chickpea and soya natural snack. You'll be amazed at how good it tastes. Plus, it's also high in fibre, vitamins, and plant protein. It's also low in fat, making it a perfect vegetarian snack. Cheese & Onion is also another crunchy chickpea ball snack you may want to try.
This article is proudly presented to you by Bong Bonlai at YK Art House - the best vegan restaurant in Phnom Penh and the Vegan marketers at Ardor SEO who wish to enlighten more people about this healthy lifestyle.