Q. Should I be switching to a Vegan Diet in 2018?
Veganism is fast becoming the big diet movement of 2018. Dieters and health proponents alike are looking to the benefits of a non-animal-based diet and interestingly so are the food manufacturers, coffee shops, and high street restaurants.
You know a movement is becoming more mainstream when food companies and restaurants feel the need to start tailoring their offerings, with Wagamama being just the latest to offer a vegan-only menu.
In today’s blog, I want to set out the concepts behind the vegan diet and give you a basic understanding of what you might expect if you make the switch. In part two I’m going to jump in a little deeper and look at some of the pros and con’s as well as giving a few tips on how to make sure you still keep your diet balanced and healthy.
So, what is Veganism anyway?
To answer this, I guess we should split the topic into three parts, the diet, the environment, and the ethics.
I would guess that you probably already know that Vegans don’t eat meat, like vegetarians, however, this extends beyond meat alone and includes milk, cheese, eggs (dairy) honey and any food source that is derived from animal origin.
This can be a fast way to cut your calories if cheesy pizza’s and juicy burgers have been the mainstay of your regular diet. Of course, you can still overeat on a vegan diet but if you rarely stare down the barrel of a broccoli floret then an improved diet and dropping a few inches is pretty likely, especially in the short term.
The second aspect of a vegan-based diet is the environmental standpoint. Many vegans believe that eating a diet containing animal products or its derivatives causes increased damage to the planet/ environment. This is caused by the intensive farming practices, increased greenhouse gasses from such large volumes of animal waste, increased water consumption for livestock and depleted fish stock to name but a few. A vegan diet is seen as a positive way to reduce a person’s individual impact on the planet.
The Ethical Position
I guess the most widely known position adopted by many (not all) vegans is the animal welfare issues. The high volume of rearing livestock in 2018 concerns many vegans along with the concept of eating meat itself, often viewed as cruel and unnecessary.
While this can often be the case for vegetarians too, veganism can often bring extremely strong proponents of non-animal-based diets together, making the line between diet and ethics blurred for the average individual looking at this as simply a new way to lose weight. Veganism for many encompasses a lifestyle choice for multiple reasons far beyond diet alone.
At this point, I think it’s important to say you can indeed eat a healthy balanced diet as a vegan or non-vegan. Veganism does require some important additional considerations which we will talk about in part two.
For the sake of this blog let’s try to keep things as simple as possible and put the environmental and ethical positions to one side and just talk about the diet itself.
In part two we will jump in a little deeper to the specifics of the vegan diet, explore some important pro’s and con’s as well as what you might expect to be eating if you do decide to make the switch.
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