What is vegan diet?
Vegan diet is also termed as a vegetarian diet. It consist of plant based food like vegetables, grains, nuts and fruits and other foods obtained from plants and avoidance of foods that are obtained from animals, also include dairy products and eggs.
The people who follow Vegan diet plan used to eat plant version of each traditional food items.
A balanced vegan diet is divided into the 4 food groups-
- Legumes, nuts, and seeds
- Whole Grains
The individual nutrient needs and requirements of energy may vary due to age, activity level, and one’s state of health, this guide should only be considered a broad blueprint for a balanced vegan diet.
What to eat?
This diet should include a diverse mix of fruits, vegetables, grains, healthy fats and proteins.
To replace the protein provided by meat in your diet, you should include a variety of protein-rich plant foods like nuts, seeds, legumes, tofu etc.
A lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet- This diet includes eggs and dairy can also boost up your protein levels.
Eating nutritious food like fruits, vegetables and whole grains will supply a wide range of important vitamins and minerals to fill in any nutritional gaps in your diet.
List of healthy choices in Vegetarian diet are-
- Fruits- Oranges, Avocados, strawberries, pears, peaches, Apples, bananas etc.
- Veggies- Leafy green vegetables, Asparagus, Broccoli, tomatoes, carrots etc.
- Grains- Barley, buckwheat, rice, oatmeal etc.
- Legumes- Beans, Lentils, Chickpeas, soybeans, peanuts.
- Nuts- Cashews, walnuts, almonds, chestnuts, Pistachios etc.
- Seeds- Sunflower seeds, Flaxseeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds, sesame seeds etc.
- Healthy fats- Coconut oil, olive oil and avocados etc.
- Proteins- Tofu, nutritional yeast, spirulina, dairy products etc.
What to avoid?
Vegan diet doesn’t includes the foods from animals sources they are listed below-
- Beef, pork, lamb, and other red meat
- Chicken, duck, and other poultry
- Fish or shellfish such as crabs, clams, and mussels
- Cheese, butter
- Milk, cream, and other dairy products( Some Vegetarian also includes dairy products in their diet)
- Mayonnaise (because it includes egg yolks)
- Honey etc.
Health benefits of Vegan diet
A balanced Vegetarian diet may have several health benefits–
- It is observed that vegans have better heart health as compared with the Non- vegetarian people.
- The people who avoid intake of meat have less of a chance of becoming obese or getting heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
- They are less likely to get diabetes as it may stabilize blood sugar levels and lower chances of having certain diseases.
- Lower chances of cancer, especially cancers of the colon, rectum and stomach and the CA breast, ovaries, and uterus in women.
- It may enhance weight loss.
Some Potential Downsides
A well balanced Vegan diet can be healthy and nutritious but it may also increase the risk of certain nutritional deficiencies.
Non vegan diet like meat poultry etc. supply a good amount of protein, Omega3 fatty acids and micronutrients like zinc, selenium, iron and vitamin B12.
The animal products like dairy and eggs are also enriched with calcium, vitamin D and B vitamins.
So, it is essential to get these nutrients by other sources or by means of some Ayurveda herbal supplements.
Healthy Vegan bites
Snacks are the tastiest and healthiest way to stay energized and keep your hunger away.
Some of the interesting diet are-
- Fresh fruit with a dollop of peanut butter
- Vegetables and fruit salad
- Popcorn sprinkled with Nutritional yeast.
- Roasted chickpeas, peanuts and mix seeds
- Nut and fruit bars
- Puddings of Chia, flax mix seeds
- Muffins self prepared
- Whole-wheat pita with salsa and guacamole
- Cereal with plant milk
- Whole-grain crackers and cashew nut spread
- Dried seaweed snacks
- Sweet corn kheer
- Peanuts and Makhana or foxnut mix
- Sago pudding
- Whole wheat veggie pasta etc.
Try to opt for fiber- and protein-rich options, whenever planning a vegan snack, which can help to keep your hunger at bay.
Vaidya Karanvir Singh is the younger Vaidya in Chandigarh Ayurved & Panchakarma Centre. He is the fourth generation in his family who is practicing as a general consultant in Ayurved & Panchakarma treatment at Chandigarh. In his practice, he had treated more than 1000 plus patients worldwide.